Roads and Trails

East Don Trail Environmental Assessment

The City of Toronto and the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) are constructing a new multi-use trail to connect the existing East Don Trail, Gatineau Corridor Trail, and the Don Trail System.  Following an extensive public consultation and environmental assessment planning process, the final trail design will be completed later this year with construction commencing in early 2018.

NOVEMBER 5 COMMUNITY EVENT CANCELLED

Due to a Special Weather Statement that forecasted up to 40mm of rain starting Saturday evening and continuing into Sunday night in the GTA, Toronto and Region Conservation (TRCA) and City of Toronto staff cancelled the East Don Trail Community Event scheduled to take place on Sunday, November 5, 2017 from 10am to noon due to safety concerns.

With the anticipated rainfall, TRCA also released a Flood Outlook Statement urging the public to avoid and/or exercise extreme caution around water ways as fast flows and storm runoff can cause erosion and flooding in low-lying areas.

We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for your understanding.

For more information email EastDonTrail@trca.on.ca or call 416-661-6600 ext 5338.

Purpose

Currently, there is a significant gap in the multi-use trail network within the East Don Corridor.  The purpose of the East Don Trail Environmental Assessment Study was to determine a preferred trail route within this existing gap.  This trail will:

  • Create a key connection route linking major trail systems;
  • Provide a safe way for people to access the valley system;
  • Provide a viable transportation route for cyclists; and
  • Create outdoor recreational opportunities for a variety of users.

Background

Multi-use trails are facilities separated from the roadway and support a number of users - walkers, runners, cyclists, inline skaters, wheelchair users, people with baby strollers and people walking dogs.

During the summer of 2011, the City of Toronto conducted an audit of its existing major multi-use trail network to assess the viability of new trail connections. The findings were produced as the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan which recommends 77 km of new bikeway trails to be added to the existing network. The plan was approved by City Council at its meeting on June 6, 2012. The East Don Trail is the largest and most complex multi-use trail project identified as a priority in this plan.

In May 2012, a feasibility study (summary posted below) was completed to assess the potential for a trail system through the East Don Corridor.  The study determined that a trail was possible and identified potential trail alignment options and technical challenges.  In order to determine the best trail route, further investigations and environmental studies were recommended.

The next step in this study involved a comprehensive planning and design as part of the Environmental Assessment process. Community feedback was incorporated throughout this process.

With approval from the MOECC to proceed with the project, the City of Toronto and TRCA are working on the detailed design and securing additional permits and approvals for the implementation of the East Don Trail.

The City has completed the East Don Trail study report and issued it for a 30-day public review period from November 10 to December 9, 2016.

Read Environmental Study Report

ExpandFrequently Asked Questions

Contents

East Don Trail Study. 3

1. What is an Environmental Assessment Study?. 3

2. What type of Environmental Assessment is this Study?. 3

3. What is the purpose of the East Don Trail Study?. 3

4. Where is the Study area located?. 3

5. Where is the funding for the trail coming from?. 3

6. How does the proposed multi-use trail connect with the Pan Am path project?. 4

7. What are the expected benefits of an East Don Trail?. 4

Environmental Study Report (ESR) 4

8. What is the status of the East Don Trail Study?. 4

.9. Once the project is approved by Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), what are the next steps?. 5

Detailed Design.. 5

10. What happens during the trail detailed design?. 5

11. Does the project have to go through any reviews or permits beyond the EA?. 5

General Design Parameters. 6

12. What is the general design for the trail?. 6

13. Where will the proposed trail be located?. 6

14. Where will the access points to the trail be located?. 6

15. What type of material will be used for the trail surface?. 6

16. Will trail amenities be provided (e.g., signage, lighting, etc.)?. 6

17. Will the existing gravel access route along the East Don River which is used by Toronto Water remain as it is?. 7

Construction.. 7

18. When will construction of the trail start?. 7

19. How long will it take to construct the trail?. 7

20. How will trail construction impact the surrounding environment and what will do you do to ensure it’s protected?. 7

Consultation.. 8

21. How will the public be updated about the trail detailed design and construction?. 8

Accessibility. 8

22. Some areas in the valley are very steep. If a trail is built there it may be inaccessible for people with mobility issues and elderly users. How will this be addressed?. 8

23. What is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?. 8

24. Will Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act apply to the East Don Trail Project?. 8

Natural Environment 9

25. How will you ensure that the trail will not look “over developed”? I like the natural feel of the Don Valley lands. 9

26. Will an increase in traffic in the area harm existing plants and wildlife?. 9

27. Will there be any restoration work or improvements to the natural environment in the area associated with the trail?. 9

28. Will the development of the trail increase the spread of invasive species?. 10

29. How will the development of the trail impact local wildlife?. 10

30. How will the trail impact the deer herds that currently use the area?. 10

Land Ownership. 11

31. Are the private landowners in the local Study Area being consulted?. 11

32. What will happen to the Flemingdon Park Golf Club?. 11

Safety. 11

33. How will the new multi-use trail provide safe access to the valley lands?. 11

34. Will a new multi-use trail be able to accommodate different users safely?. 12

Trail and Users. 12

35. Will the new plan include winter maintenance of the Trail?. 12

36. Will you be doing anything to address the increase in garbage that will come with an increase in users? 12

37. Will off-leash dogs still be allowed in the area once the trail is constructed?. 12

38. What will happen to the natural surface (dirt) trails in the area?. 13

39. Will the trail include additional by-law enforcement e.g. to reduce off-leash dogs and cyclists riding too fast?

40. Some trees in the East Don valley lands have an orange dot on them, what does this mean?

East Don Trail Study

1.    What is an Environmental Assessment Study?

An environmental assessment (commonly known as a EA) is a study required by the Ontario Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) to assess the potential positive or negative effects of an individual project on the environment. Social, cultural and economic aspects are also consiered. Key components of an environmental assessment include:

  • consultation with government agencies and the public
  • consideration and evaluation of alternatives
  • management of potential environmental effects

For more information on Government of Ontario Environmental Assessments visit:

www.ene.gov.on.ca/environment/en/industry/assessment_and_approvals/environmental_assessments/index.htm

2.    What type of Environmental Assessment is this Study?

The Study is being planned in accordance with the guidelines set out in the provincially approved document titled “Municipal Class Environmental Assessment” (Municipal Engineers’ Association, October 2000 as amended in 2007, 2011, and 2015) and falls within the category of a Schedule ‘C’ Class Environmental Assessment (EA). The Study has also been undertaken in accordance with the Ministry of Infrastructure (MOI) Public Work Class EA.

For more information on the Municipal Class EA process please visit: www.municipalclassea.ca

For more information on the MOI Public Work Class EA please visit: http://infrastructureontario.ca/Templates/Buildings.aspx?id=2147487991&langtype=1033

3.    What is the purpose of the East Don Trail Study?

This Study will determine a preferred trail route withing the East Don valley lands. This proposed trail will:

  • Create a key connection route linking major trail systems;
  • Provide a safe way for people to access the valley system;
  • Provide a viable transportation route for cyclists; and
  • Create outdoor recreational opportunities for a variety of users.

4.    Where is the Study area located?

The Regional Study Area is located within the East Don valley lands, which are located in the City of Toronto, and is bounded by Lawrence Avenue to the north, O'Connor Drive to the south, Victoria Park Avenue to the east, and Don Mills Road, Overlea Boulevard and Donlands Avenue to the west.

5.    Where is the funding for the trail coming from?

Funding will come from Transportation Services, and Parks, Forestry & Recreation capital budgets. Capital budgets are part of a multi-year funding program which is adopted by City Council. The multi-year plan covers longer term and one-time expenditures for fixed assets. Some funding for the trail may also be sought through other internal funding mechanisms (e.g. Section 37 funds) and external grant/stimulus program opportunities.

Note: Section 37 refers to the Planning Act which permits the City to authorize increases in permitted height and/or density of new developments through the zoning bylaw in return for community benefits.

6.    How does the proposed multi-use trail connect with the Pan Am path project?

A portion of the East Don Trail Study Area forms part of the 'Pan Am Path" – this includes the southern section of the East Don Corridor as well as the connection to the Gatineau Corridor Trail. The Pan Am Path is a multi-use path that will connect over 80 kilometres of Toronto's trails, adjoining neighbourhoods and Pan Am competition sites from north west Etobicoke to south east Scarborough. It is supported by City Council as a Pan Am showcase project. For more information see:

app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2013.EX33.13

www.panampath.org

7.    What are the expected benefits of an East Don Trail?

Multi-use trails are actively enjoyed by a wide range of users and are generally considered an attractive neighbourhood amenity. Trails provide a space for interaction with neighbours and increase access for people to discover natural, cultural and heritage places in the City.

Public places that are actively used by residents are generally regarded as safer and more comfortable for all ages – the most effective crime prevention approach is to encourage a high level of activity along the trail system.

Trails support the opportunity for physical activity through hiking, walking, running, rollerblading and cycling which is in tune with the City's public health objective to encourage physical activity to improve the health of Torontonians.

Building trails that are high-quality and accessible infrastructure also promotes social equality.

The East Don Trail will provide a single multi-use trail in a valley system that currently contains an extensive network of informal trails.  This will encourage users to stay on a single route away from more ecologically sensitive areas, minimizing negative environmental effects.  For more information refer to Questions 27 and 29.

Environmental Study Report (ESR)

8.    What is the status of the East Don Trail Study?

Phases 1 to 4 of the Environmental Assessment (EA) process have been completed for the East Don Trail Study.
Phase 1 identified the purpose of the Study (the problem or opportunity for this Study) and set project objectives.
Phase 2 identified and evaluated alternative solutions, or alternative trail alignment options.
Phase 3 identified and evaluated alternative design concepts for the preferred solution and selected a preferred design concept (preferred trail route). To view the preferred trail design concept on the project website, see Summer 2016 Update
Phase 4 included preparing the Environmental Study Report (ESR), which documents the project activities, correspondence and decision-making process up to and including Phase 4 of the EA process, for public record.  
The ESR was available for a 30 calendar day review period from Thursday, November 10 to Thursday, December 9, 2016

During the thirty day review period, members of the public submitted written requests to the provincial Minister of the Ministry of Environment & Climate Change to require the City to comply with Part II of the Environmental Assessment Act.  The Minister has denied the requests for the Part II and approved the Class EA.

Further details on the Part II Order process can be found at: www.ontario.ca/page/class-environmental-assessments-part-ii-order.

9. Once the project is approved by the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC), what are the next steps?

The project will move into the implementation phase. The implementation phase, or Phase 5, includes completion of trail detailed design, contract drawings and documents, followed by trail construction and operation with appropriate monitoring, as detailed in the Environmental Study Report.

Detailed Design

10. What happens during the trail detailed design?

The trail detailed design will refine and finalize the preferred trail design concept selected in Phase 3 of the EA and described in the Study ESR. This phase will produce detailed design drawings including construction standards and specifications, Construction Management Plan, Environmental Monitoring Plan and trail Operations and Maintenance Plan.

11. Does the project have to go through any reviews or permits beyond the EA?

Yes. A number of permits and approvals will need to be secured prior to trail construction. Acts, regulations and City by-laws that may need to be adhered to include, but are not limited to the, Migratory Birds Convention Act, Ontario Heritage Act, Conservation Authorities Act , Ravine and Natural Feature Protection By-law and Noise Control By-law.

In addition, where the proposed trail route intercepts public utilities, review and approvals will be required from those utility companies, including: GO/Metrolinx, Hydro One, and Enbridge Gas.

General Design Parameters

12. What is the general design for the trail?

The trail will be designed as multi-use trail. Toronto has hundreds of kilometres of multi-use trails in parks, hydro and rail corridors, boulevards and natural areas across the city. Multi-use trails are generally paved and shared by people walking, in wheelchairs, pushing strollers, running, in-line skating and cycling. The East Don Trail will be an approximately 3.6 to 4 meter wide, 4.8 kilometer long asphalt multi-use trail routed within the East Don Valley, and contain a number of watercourse bridges and crossings of the rail line.

13. Where will the proposed trail be located?

A number of factors were assessed to determine the most suitable trail location, including physical, natural, social-economic, and cultural environments. The preferred trail route meets the Study objectives for providing safe access to the valley lands, a safe off-road option for cyclists and other users, as well as providing a simple focused route while avoiding or minimizing environmental impacts.

To view the preferred design concept, see Summer 2016 Update.

14. Where will the access points to the trail be located?

The trail will be accessible from the existing East Don Trail, Lower Don Trail, Taylor Creek Trail, West Don Trail, Wigmore Park, Eglinton Ave East and Brmondsey Road.

15. What type of material will be used for the trail surface?

The majority of the trail surface will be asphalt. Asphalt was chosen because it is a firm and stable surface, does not erode, and has lower maintenance costs than other materials (e.g., natural surface, limestone screenings, woodchips). Asphalt is also able to support a variety of users and abilities (i.e., children, users with mobility issues, and elderly users) and is considered a standard trail surface for multi-use trails by the City of Toronto. In some sections of the trail a boardwalk surface may be necessary to travel across lower wet areas.

16. Will trail amenities be provided (e.g., signage, lighting, etc.)?

Yes. Some trail amenities will be located at nodal points (where the trail meets the road, other trails or parkland), and may include garbage receptacles, signage and bicycle parking. Lighting will be explored at areas where the trail meets the street (access points). These types of amenities including, specific locations, type and details will be determined in the detailed design phase of the Study.

17. Will the existing gravel access route along the East Don River which is used by Toronto Water remain as it is?

Toronto Water uses the existing route in the southern portion of the Study Area for periodic monitoring of the East Don Trunk Sewer. The preferred trail alignment also utilizes this route. Shared use of the trail with Toronto Water will have a smaller footprint of impact to the local area.

Construction

18. When will construction of the trail start?

The trail will be constructed in three (3) phases as follows:

1)    The section of trail to be constructed in Phase 1 extends from the Lower Don Trail, over Taylor Massey Creek, along the Toronto Water access route, through the lower section of the ravine towards Flemingdon Park Golf Club and east through the Gatineau Hydro Corridor, terminating at Bermondsey Road. Phase 1 will be initiated in early 2018.

        2)   Phase 2 is planned to extend from the existing East Don Trail south to Eglinton Avenue East, with construction potentially commencing in early 2018.

        3)   Phase 3 will connect Phase 1 and Phase 2, from Eglinton Avenue East south to the Gatineau Hydro Corridor. Phase 3 construction commencement is to be determined.

Construction for each phase will be subject to approvals and budget availability.

19. How long will it take to construct the trail?

Currently, there is no definite time line for the length of construction. Construction of the trail will be done in three (3) phases as outlined in Question 20, with the construction of the complete trail taking approximately 4 or more years, subject to approvals and budget availability.

20. How will trail construction impact the surrounding environment and what will you do to ensure it’s protected?

The trail construction may impact the surrounding environment in a number of ways. Construction activities may affect local vegetation (tree removal), aquatic environment (sediment run-off), wildlife (displacement as a result of construction-related disturbance), existing natural area uses (adjacent trails closures and intermittent increases in noise and vibration levels) and several other environment components.

To minimize the impacts, various mitigation measures have been proposed. These include sediment and erosion control measures, post-construction site restoration and tree planting, conformance to migratory and breeding bird timing windows, minimizing the size of staging areas, and issuing timely construction notices to local residents and park users.

The project Environmental Study Report contains a detailed description of construction-related environmental impacts and mitigation measures. As per the requirements of the Municipal Class Environmental Assessment, these provisions are to be adhered to during trail implementation.

Consultation

21. How will the public be updated about the trail detailed design and construction?

The public can keep informed in a number of ways:

  • A public event will be held during the detailed design phase
  • The project website for the EA will be maintained for the detailed design and construction phases: www.toronto.ca/eastdontrail
  • Members of the public who wish to receive updates by mail can contact Maogosha Pyjor, Senior Public Consultation Coordinator, by phone: 416-338-2850 or email: eastdontrail@toronto.ca
  • People can subscribe to the Study E-Mail list to receive updates. To receive updates by email, subscribe to the mailing list under the Contact Us section of the project website.

Accessibility

22. Some areas in the valley are very steep. If a trail is built there it may be inaccessible for people with mobility issues and elderly users. How will this be addressed?

The East Don valley lands provide an interesting and varied trail experience, but do present challenges for making the trail easily accessible to people with mobility limitations, such as those with a disability, the elderly and people with strollers. Wherever possible, the trail will be designed and built to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA).

Throughout the process of the selecting the design concept, all efforts were made to route the trail in areas of minimal grade changes. In cases where the trail locations, and consequently the design, are restricted, less steep alternatives were explored. Trail detailed design will incorporate signage informing users of trail segments with potential access challenges.

23. What is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?

The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) was enacted by the provincial government in 2005 to help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities. This act lays the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory standards on accessibility in all areas of daily life. For more information on the AODA visit: www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/understanding_accessibility/aoda.aspx

24. Will Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act apply to the East Don Trail Project?

The East Don Trail will comply with the requirements set out by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). However, AODA allows for exceptions to be made where meeting requirements is not possible due to:

  • existing site constraints (for example, existing hydro, rail and gas infrastructure); and
  • negative effects on water, fish, wildlife, plants, invertebrates, species at risk, ecological integrity, or natural/cultural heritage values

The City of Toronto's Parks Forestry & Recreation Advocate for People with Disabilities is involved with the Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) for the East Don Trail Study. In addition the City’s Parks Forestry & Recreation Community Disability Steering Committee has been engaged during the EA process, and will continue to be engaged as part of the detailed design. These individuals will provide input into the design process to ensure that accessibility standards are met wherever possible.

For more information on making trails more accessible visit: www.mcss.gov.on.ca/en/mcss/programs/accessibility/info_sheets/public_spaces/trails_beach.aspx

Natural Environment

25. How will you ensure that the trail will not look “over developed”? I like the natural feel of the Don Valley lands.

One of the defining features of the current Study Area is the feeling of escaping into nature while still being in the city. During the evaluation and selection process of the preferred route opportunities to avoid or mitigate effects on the natural environment were addressed, and included a trail aesthetics component. Based on this component, crossing structures and segments most consistent with the natural environment experience were ranked higher during the evaluation and selected to form the preferred route, where possible.

26. Will an increase in traffic in the area harm existing plants and wildlife?

Currently, the East Don valley lands have an extensive network of informal trails (dirt trails that develop over time from repeated use). Throughout the Study Area, these informal trails have an impact on the natural environment, including:

  • habitat fragmentation – the breaking up one patch of habitat into a number of smaller patches
  • increased opportunities for interaction –between people and local wildlife and/or, their pets and wildlife.

By developing a single multi-use trail, users will be encouraged to stay on a single route. In addition, the trail will allow access to the valley for future restoration and maintenance of areas that are currently in a deteriorated state.

27. Will there be any restoration work or improvements to the natural environment in the area associated with the trail?

The trail design and location will respect the natural environment and minimize negative environmental impacts. However, it is recognized that some damage may occur.

A Monitoring Plan will be developed in the detailed design project phase that will outline the procedures to monitor the potential environmental impacts of trail construction as well as assess the effectiveness of impact mitigation measures. Also to be developed during detailed design, the Restoration Plan will address compensation for necessary vegetation removal required to construct the trail. The plan will specify compensation for the removed and/or injured trees, at a greater amount than removed.

Finally, the City of Toronto will adhere to any conditions, such as tree and shrub planting, of permits issued under applicable regulations, such as Toronto's Ravine and Natural Feature Protection By-law (www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_658.pdf).

28. Will the development of the trail increase the spread of invasive species?

Invasive species are plants, animals, aquatic life and micro-organisms that out compete native species when introduced outside of their natural environment and threaten the local ecosystem. Invasive species are already present throughout much of the Study Area. Informal trails which people use through both infested areas and pristine areas are one way invasive species are spread.

Part of the Study looked at minimizing negative environmental effects by concentrating use on a single trail, away from areas with higher ecological value where possible. A formal trail that allows for better access to the valley will also make it easier for the City to monitor and address the spread of invasive species.

To reduce the potential of trail construction contributing to invasive species spread, the following measures will be implemented during construction:

  • ·         Minimize importing and/or moving fill/soil, where possible
  • Retain as much existing vegetation as possible during site preparation and construction
  • Avoid transplanting vegetation to minimize spread of invasive species from infested to non-infested areas
  • Employ restoration practices that contribute to prevention of invasive species spread (e.g., use site-appropriate native plants and invasive-free materials for post-construction restoration).

29. How will the development of the trail impact local wildlife?

Impacts on wildlife associated with trail development vary depending on the species of animal. The majority of wildlife in the Study Area are species that have successfully adapted to and are commonly found in urban settings (e.g. grey squirrel). The potential negative effects on wildlife of developing a single multi-use trail are expected to be minor overall.

To minimize the impact of trail construction to wildlife, the following measures are proposed:

  • Design the trail and configure construction access and staging areas to minimize vegetation removal, grading and filling, where possible.
  • Restrict site preparation, such as tree removal, during the time of year when migratory and other birds are breeding (between May 1 and July 31).
  • Restore areas around the trail after constructing using appropriate native tree and shrub species and consider other habitat enhancements where appropriate.
  • If necessary, further measures to minimize potential impacts will be developed in consultation with the City of Toronto Tree Protection and Plan Review section, TRCA biologists and the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

30. How will the trail impact the deer that currently use the area?

Impacts on white-tailed deer in the Study Area are expected to be minor. Efforts will be made to minimize removal of trees and shrubs that provide cover for deer. In addition, providing a single trail can lower disturbance to deer[1] by concentrating human use to a smaller area which deer can avoid. Deer are highly adaptable and able to use a variety of landscapes, except open areas where they cannot take cover[2]. In urban areas, white-tailed deer become more active at night and use areas with more cover during the day[3].

Land Ownership

31. Are the private landowners in the local Study Area being consulted?

Yes. The private landowners and key stakeholders that will be directly impacted by the design and construction of the proposed trail are being consulted regularly throughout the Class EA process, and their feedback and concerns are being documented by the project team. They include Hydro One, Enbridge, Flemingdon Park Golf Club, and GO/Metrolinx.

32. What will happen to the Flemingdon Park Golf Club?

In the evaluation of trail alignments, the alignment which went through the Flemingdon Park Golf Club (River Walk B) scored the highest in terms of functional value, less impact on natural and physical environment, and user experience. However, the preferred alignment that has been selected is the second highest scoring alignment (Hillside Trail) with a portion of the trail which runs adjacent to the Golf Course. Hillside trail was chosen because it does not affect the current operations of the golf club or require private property acquisition. The East Don Trail Project team will continue to consult with Flemindgon Park Golf Club throughout the process.

Safety

33. How will the new multi-use trail provide safe access to the valley lands?

A number of design criteria will be looked at during the detailed design stage of the Study to help ensure safety of trail users including:

  • Providing safer routes and access points to the valley lands that cross the river and rail line in a safe manner, address erosion issues; and, avoid flood prone or steep areas, where possible.
  • Designing the trail to accommodate Emergency Medical Services vehicles (i.e. ambulances).
  • Ensuring unobstructed sight lines for trail users.
  • Compliance with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) – see Accessibility questions for more information
  • ·     Providing signs that outline existing Parks, Forestry & Recreation bylaws (www.toronto.ca/trees/ravines.htm) like those that restrict the use of motorized bicycles on trails, maximum cyclists speeds of 20 km/hr, and dogs on-leash regulation. For more information on bylaws for parks, visit www.toronto.ca/legdocs/municode/1184_608.pdf

34. Will a new multi-use trail be able to accommodate different users safely?

Multi-use trails can work. Sharing trails helps to build a trail community in which users cooperate to preserve and protect a common resource. When all trail users observe basic trail etiquette, their encounters with other users will be amicable, and most people will have a satisfying experience on the trail. Trail head signs will help to promote trail etiquette so that all users are aware of how to use the trail appropriately. Residents are encouraged to call 311 for anything of concern.

A number of factors will be considered during detailed design to address user safety including:

  • ·         Width requirements for safe multi-use (3.5 to 4.0 metres)
  • Clear sight lines
  • Pavement markings to direct users
  • Resting and passing areas
  • Regulatory, informational and warning signage

Where the trail intersects with access points a number of measures will be considered to increase safety for users including:

  • Impressed pavement treatments
  • Cautionary wording in the trail pavement to help to slow faster users and provide awareness for all users of a trail crossing

Trail and Users

35. Will the new plan include winter maintenance of the Trail?

No. Parks, Forestry and Recreation does not maintain multi-use trails in winter and the Study does not recommend winter maintenance of this trail. Winter maintenance is not being considered for a variety of reasons including cost, topography of the trail, and potential impacts on the adjacent natural area.

36. Will you be doing anything to address the increase in garbage that will come with an increase in users?

The City will provide trash bins at trail access points. In addition, a formalized trail will help concentrate the majority of users into a single area and thereby reduce the amount of litter in more sensitive areas of the valley.

37. Will off-leash dogs still be allowed in the area once the trail is constructed?

Off-leash dog parks are not part of the scope of this Study. Under the Parks Bylaw (Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 608-34) and the Animals Bylaw (Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349-11), dogs are required to be on a leash when not in a designated off-leash area.

A number of existing off-leash dog parks are located within the City. The closest ones are located at the Brickworks (Bayview and Mortimer), Sherwood Park (Mount Pleasant north of Eglington),Sunnybrook Park (south of Sunnybrook hospital, near Bayview and Eglinton) and at the Taylor Creek parking lot (east of Don Mills Road at the Taylor Creek Trail head). For more information, see the complete list of dog parks within the City of Toronto

Any request for a new off-leash dog area on City parks should follow the normal procedure as defined in the "People, Dogs and Parks – Off-Leash Policy" independent of this project. For more information, please visit the City of Toronto website.

38. What will happen to the natural surface (dirt) trails in the area?

The scope of this Study is limited to a multi-use paved trail. The natural surface trails will be addressed as part of the City of Toronto's Natural Environment Trail Strategy. The strategy works to ensure the protection of the City of Toronto's natural areas while offering safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities for all users. The Natural Environment Trail Strategy can be found here.

For more information about trails in Toronto visit: www.toronto.ca/parks/trails

39. Will the trail include additional by-law enforcement e.g. to reduce off-leash dogs and cyclists riding too fast?

Trail etiquette has been noted as an important issue. The City will continue to encourage safe and appropriate use of the trail through signage. Further efforts, such as public education campaigns and increased by-law enforcement, are beyond the scope of project. To report bylaw infractions, please contact 311.

40. Some trees in the East Don Valley lands have an orange dot on them, what does this mean?

A1.Orange spray paint (usually in the form of a dot) on trees found within the East Don valley lands may be part of one of two programs: The East Don Trail Study detailed tree survey or the City of Toronto Emerald Ash Borer Program

A detailed tree inventory (survey) was undertaken during the East Don Trail Study, to inform the evaluation process used to select the preferred trail route. During the field surveys some trees were spray painted as reference points. For more information on the detailed tree inventory and how it was used during the EA process please refer to the Environmental Study Report - Appendix F.

Orange dots on trees may also be associated with investigations done as part of The City of Toronto Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) program. The EAB is an introduced insect pest from Asia that attacks and kills all species of ash trees. This invasive pest devastated ash trees in southern Ontario and parts of the United States since its discovery in Detroit, Michigan in 2002. The City of Toronto is managing the impact of EAB within Toronto through the following ways:

  • Removal of dead and dying ash trees
  • Insecticide treatment of selected ash trees
  • Tree replacement and proactive planting
  • Communication and public outreach
  • Co-operation with both public and private sectors in the areas of research and development

For more information on Emerald Ash Borer in Toronto, visit www.toronto.ca/eab.

 

[1] Taylor, A.R. and R.L. Knight. (2003). Wildlife reponses to recreation and associated visitor perceptions. Ecological Applications 13(4): 951-963. in Snetsinger, S.D. and K. White. (2009). Recreation and trail impacts on wildlife species of interest in Mount Spokane State Park. Pacific Biodiversity Institute, Winthorp, Washington.

[2] University of Michigan. (2013). Deer conflicts: Urban/suburban deer management. Deer.fw.msu.edu. Retrieved from deer.fw.msu.edu/conflicts/urban.php

[3] Canfield, J.E., L.J. Lyon, J.M. Hillis, and M.J. Thompson. (1999). Ungulates. in G. Joslin and H. Youmans, coordinators. Effects of recreation on Rocky Mountain wildlife: A Review for Montana. Committee on Effects of Recreation on Wildlife, Montana Chapter of The Wildlife Society. in Snetsinger, S.D. and K. White. (2009). Recreation and trail impacts on wildlife species of interest in Mount Spokane State Park. Pacific Biodiversity Institute, Winthorp, Washington.

ExpandCommunity Liaison Committee

This Community Liaison Committee (CLC) provides interested community members with an opportunity to discuss options for an East Don Trail with City of Toronto and TRCA staff.

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The short URL for this page is:

toronto.ca/eastdontrail