Strategies and Plans

Toronto Ravine Strategy

Crother's Woods in autumn with view of skyline

Why is a Ravine Strategy being created?

Ravines provide many important ecological services and recreation opportunities. They are also a fragile resource. With population growth, new development and climate change putting increased pressure on ravines, a plan to guide their future management, use, enhancement and protection is critical. While aspects of the ravine system are addressed in a number of different City plans/strategies, regulations and bylaws, the City does not have a comprehensive strategy that brings all of these together and focuses specifically on ravines. The Ravine Strategy will take into account the network of various related plans/strategies, regulations and bylaws and contain a vision for the ravine system and a set of principles to guide planning and policy. It will also identify stewardship opportunities and priorities for investment.

What is the scope of Toronto's ravine system?

Toronto's ravine system, with its rivers, dramatic geography and forests, defines the city's landscape. Making up 17 per cent of Toronto’s total area, ravines wind through residential, commercial and industrial neighbourhoods and include watercourses, parks and trails, roads, railways, golf courses, cemeteries, hydro corridors, institutions (hospitals and schools), former landfills and more. Ravine land ownership in Toronto is 60 per cent public and 40 per cent private, with 30,000 private addresses within ravines.

Who is creating the Toronto Ravine Strategy?

Bridge over East Don RiverPhoto credit: Matt Forsythe

Parks, Forestry and Recreation, City Planning and Toronto Water are developing the strategy in consultation with other City divisions, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), the public and a wide range of stakeholders.  
The development of the Strategy is also being supported by an Interdivisional Ravine Steering Committee created to increase collaboration among the different City divisions involved with ravines and act as the coordinating body for the implementation of strategic actions related to ravines.

What's happened so far?

  • May 4, 2015: Ravine Strategy Workshop with 117 stakeholders
  • June 25, 2015: Public Open House – background information and discussion about challenges and opportunities within ravines (47 attendees)
  • June 5 - July 24, 2015: Online Ravine Strategy Survey (2,702 responses)
  • July - October, 2015: Ongoing consultation with stakeholder groups and City of Toronto staff
  • September 17, 2015: First Ravine Strategy Advisory Group meeting (external stakeholders)
  • November 10, 2015: First Interdivisional Ravine Steering Committee meeting
  • November 23, 2015: Update to Parks and Environment Committee on the Ravine Strategy
  • December 16, 2015: Chief Planner's Roundtable on Toronto's Ravines, City Hall Committee Room 2, 3:30-6:30 p.m.
  • January 2016: Presentation to Planning and Growth Management Committee
  • June 16, 2016: Report to Parks and Environment Committee on draft Ravine Strategy
  • June 18 - August 31, 2016: Ravine Strategy Pop-up Consultations
  • Update! October 2, 2017: City Council unanimously adopts the draft Toronto Ravine Strategy

Questions? For more information about the Ravine Strategy, please contact: