Roads and Trails

Etobicoke Creek North Trail

The City of Toronto in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority(TRCA) is constructing a new 1.1km long multi-use trail south of Eglinton Avenue West and parallel to the Etobicoke Creek. This project will formalize an existing granular trail to an asphalt trail along Etobicoke Creek at Eglinton Ave West while protecting areas of erosion by incorporating natural bank stabilization measures. This Project is part of the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan, adopted by Council in 2012.

CONSTRUCTION NOTICE
Etobicoke Creek North Trail Construction south of Eglinton Avenue West
Expected Start Date: July 2017
Expected End Date: April 2018

OCTOBER CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Refer to Construction Notices & Updates Tab for more information.


Project Background

The objective of this project is to formalize an existing granular trail along Etobicoke Creek at Eglinton as part of the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan, adopted by Council 2012. This project is identified as project 13 – Etobicoke Creek North in the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan.
This new trail connection will fill a significant gap in the Etobicoke Creek Trail and provide a valuable connection along this trail network which extends north to Caledon and south to Lake Ontario. It will also provide a key connection to the Eglinton West Trail

Figure 1: 

Phase 1 of the project was completed in spring 2016, culminating with the selection of the
preferred general trail alignment and associated in-stream works.

To better inform the preferred trail alignment and as part of the baseline information/preliminary
analysis, numerous studies were conducted. These include the following:

  • Geotechnical Investigation Report
  • Arborist Report
  • Subsurface Utility Engineering Quality Level A Report
  • Archaeological Assessment (Stage 1-2)
  • Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol (OSAP) Survey
  • Species at Risk (SAR) Screening by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF)
  • Species at Risk Survey

 

Land ownership within the trail location is under the authority of the City of Toronto and
Infrastructure Ontario/Hydro One Networks. The City of Toronto is currently under a lease
agreement with Infrastructure Ontario

Approvals are however required from Urban Forestry, Toronto and Region
Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the pipeline utility companies for trail construction.


Project Status & Next Steps

This trail project is currently in the detailed design phase.  Design revisions based on comments from internal City staff, TRCA staff and the public are currently underway. Construction is anticipated to begin in June 2017 and continue until spring 2018.
A Construction Notice will be mailed out prior to start of construction work in June 
Note: Tendering and Implementation commencement is dependent on the acquisition of
all of the necessary approvals from Hydro One, Utilities, etc. Due to delays in the approvals process the start date has been changed to July 2017.


 

Etobicoke Creek North Trail

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Contents

What is the purpose of this trail?. 2

Where will the proposed trail be located?. 2

Where is funding for the trail coming from?. 2

What is the general design for the trail?. 2

How does the proposed trail multi-use trail connect with Centennial Park and Eglinton Ave West?. 3

What are the expected benefits of an Etobicoke North Creek Trail?. 3

What type of material will be used for the trail surface?. 3

Will trail amenities be provided ( ie. signage, lighting)?. 3

Some areas in the valley are steep. Will the trail be accessible for most people?. 4

When will construction of the trail start?. 4

How long will it take to construct?. 4

How will trail construction impact the surrounding environment?. 4

Will construction activities impact local traffic?. 5

Where will the park be closed and when?. 5

Will there be any restoration work to the natural environment associated with the trail?. 5

Will an increase in traffic in the area harm existing plants and wildlife?. 6

Will the development of the trail increase the spread of invasive species?. 6

Will a new multi-use trail be able to accommodate different users safely?. 6

Will the new plan include winter maintenance of the trail?. 7

Will you be doing anything to address the increase in garbage that will come with new users?. 7

Will the trail include additional by-law enforcement ie. off-leash dogs and unsafe cyclists?. 7

What is the buttress that is being built?. 7

What benefits, compared to other bank stabilization measures, does the buttress offer?. 8

Why is the buttress necessary?. 8

Why is the buttress so large?. 8

 

 

What is the purpose of this trail?

 

The purpose of this trail is to provide a trail connection along Etobicoke Creek at

Eglinton as part of the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan, adopted by Council

2012. This new trail connection will:

·         Fill a significant gap in the Etobicoke Creek Trail;

·         Provide a valuable connection along the existing trail network which

·         extends north to Caledon and south to Lake Ontario;

·         Provide a key connection to the Eglinton West Trail;

·         Provide a safe way for trail users to access the valley system; and,

·         Create outdoor recreational opportunities for a variety of users.

 

 

Where will the proposed trail be located?

 

The proposed trail will be located on the east side of Etobicoke Creek, south of

Eglinton Avenue West and west of Centennial Park Boulevard in the City of Toronto.

The trail will extend approximately 1.1 km south from Eglinton Avenue West to meet

an existing asphalt path.

 

 

Where is funding for the trail coming from?

 

The trail construction is funded through Transportation Services/Cycling Infrastructure and Programs Capital budget, and will be maintained through the operating budget of Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

 

What is the general design for the trail?

 

The trail will be designed as a 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 typically 3.5 metres wide; generally paved; and,

are shared by people walking, in wheelchairs, pushing strollers, running, in-line

skating and cycling.

 

 

How does the proposed trail multi-use trail connect with Centennial Park and Eglinton Ave West?

 

The proposed multi-use trail will join the existing asphalt trail at the southern limit,

leading up the hill to Centennial Park Boulevard and continuing into Centennial Park

on the other side of the road. The proposed trail will also join the eastbound sidewalk

along Eglinton Avenue West.

 

 

What are the expected benefits of an Etobicoke North Creek Trail?

 

The Etobicoke Creek North Trail will fill a significant gap in the Etobicoke Creek Trail

system, thereby providing a safe and enjoyable way for trail users to access the

valley system. This multi-use trail will be actively enjoyed by a wide range of users

and it is expected to be an attractive neighbourhood amenity that will 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.

 

 

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

 

The proposed trail surface will be asphalt. Asphalt was chosen because it is a firm

and stable surface, is resistant to erosion, and has lower maintenance costs than

other materials (e.g., natural surface, limestone screenings, woodchips, etc.).

Asphalt is also able to support a variety of users and abilities (i.e., children, users

with mobility issues, and elderly users) and will facilitate emergency vehicle access. Asphalt is considered a standard trail surface for multi-use trails by the City of Toronto.

 

 

Will trail amenities be provided ( ie. signage, lighting)?

 

There will be no amenities along this section of trail.  There are a number of amenities in Centennial Park - including (washrooms, parking, etc.). The trail will not be lit or winter maintained.

 

Some areas in the valley are steep. Will the trail be accessible for most people?

 

The proposed recreational multi-use trail has been designed to comply with the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and the City of Toronto Multi- Use Trail Design Guidelines. The trail will be relatively flat with a maximum grade of 6.8% at only one location at the Eglinton Access. The proposed trail will also be sufficiently wide with an asphalt surface to facilitate use by a variety of users.

 

When will construction of the trail start?

 

Construction is tentatively scheduled to commence June

2017, pending the receipt of all necessary permits and approvals.

 

How long will it take to construct?

 

Construction will last approximately 9.5 months, excluding final site restoration.

 

How will trail construction impact the surrounding environment?

 

It is expected that the proposed trail construction will have short term impacts to the

natural environment, however the following best management practices (BMPs) will

be employed during construction to ensure the ongoing protection of the

environment and public safety:

·         A spill kit shall be kept on site at all times in the event of a spill resulting from

machine breakdown or damage.

·         Appropriate erosion and sediment control measures will be employed during

construction to ensure no deleterious substances enter the watercourse.

·         All disturbed areas are to be restored to existing conditions or better. Any

disturbed areas will be vegetated by planting and seeding with native trees,

shrubs and grasses to prevent erosion. A total of 267 trees and 500 shrubs

will be planted at the site following construction. In the event that there is

insufficient time remaining in the growing season, the site will be stabilized

(i.e. exposed areas covered with erosion control blankets to keep the soil in

place and prevent erosion) and the plantings will be completed during the

next appropriate planting window. In accordance with this, effective erosion

and sediment control measures will be maintained until the site is re-vegetated.

·         A qualified avian biologist will be on site during the required tree removals to

confirm the absence of Species at Risk and active bird/bat breeding nests.

·         A certified arborist will conduct weekly site visits during construction to ensure

tree protection measures remain in place and to monitor the condition of

trees.

 

 

Will construction activities impact local traffic?

Construction activities will be contained within the project limits and should not

impact local traffic. Please note that construction vehicles and heavy machinery will

be accessing the site from either Centennial Park Boulevard or Eglinton Avenue

West, depending on the stage of construction. The roadways will be cleaned with a

street sweeper to ensure mud/debris from the construction site is not tracked onto

the street.

 

Where will the park be closed and when?


Temporary fencing will be erected around the construction site (refer to map below) to provide public safety for the duration of the trail construction.

Will there be any restoration work to the natural environment associated with the trail?

 

The trail design and location will be respectful of the natural environment and

minimize negative environmental effects. However, it is recognized that some

damage may occur. The project 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).

 

All areas that have been disturbed as a result of the trail construction will be topsoiled and seeded with native seed mix during favourable weather conditions. In addition, a total of 267 native trees and 500 native shrubs will be planted within the project limits.

 

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

 

Currently, the Etobicoke Creek valley lands have an extensive network of informal

trails (trails and footpaths that have developed over time from people using the

area). Throughout the project area, all of these informal trails have an impact on the

natural environment, including:

·         Habitat fragmentation – this is the breaking up one patch of habitat into a

number of smaller patches

·         Increased opportunities for interaction – this can be 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, thereby reducing impacts to the adjacent plants and wildlife. In addition, the trail will allow access to the valley for future restoration and maintenance of areas that are currently in a deteriorated state.

 

 

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 the

project area. Informal trails which people use through both infested areas and

pristine areas are one way to spread invasive species. The proposed trail will look 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.

 

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

 

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. Residents are encouraged to

call 311 for anything of concern. A number of design details will be considered

during detailed design including:

·         Width requirements for safe multi-use (3.0 to 3.5 metres)

·         Clear sight lines

·         Safety fencing (i.e. post-and-paddle fencing) along steep/high slopes

·         Smooth pavement transition to other trail surfaces

 

 

Will the new plan include winter maintenance of the trail?

 

No. Parks, Forestry and Recreation typically do not maintain multi-use trails in ravines due to impacts of salting on the adjacent natural area.

 

 

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

 

No. A formalized trail will help concentrate the majority of users and thereby reduce

the dispersal of garbage within the valley lands. Garbage receptacles are placed at Centennial Park.

 

 

Will the trail include additional by-law enforcement ie. off-leash dogs and unsafe cyclists?

 

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 and can be found on the City of Toronto’s website.

There is 20km/hr speed limit for all trail users.

For more information, please visit the City of Toronto website. www.toronto.ca

 

 

 

What is the buttress that is being built?

The vegetated buttress which will be installed along the erosion scour midway through the project limits is a natural bank stabilization measure; it is a technique of soil bio-engineering that incorporates plantings in between layers of stone to provide soil and slope stabilization.
The plant parts themselves, roots and stems, serve as the main structural and mechanical elements in a slope stabilization system. Live cuttings and rooted plants are imbedded in the bank in various arrays to serve as soil reinforcements, hydraulic drains, and barriers to earth movement. This bank protection measure will strengthen over time as root mass builds up and binds the soil; it is considered a self-repairing system in the event of minor washouts.

 

 

What benefits, compared to other bank stabilization measures, does the buttress offer?

 

The vegetated buttress is the most natural, least invasive and aesthetically pleasing option compared to other bank stabilization techniques, such as an amourstone or gabion basket retaining wall, while still providing the trail and creek bank with a significant amount of protection against erosion. The buttress incorporates native plantings that, once fully vegetated, will increase riparian cover over the creek, thereby creating microhabitat and refuge for both aquatic and terrestrial species.

 

Why is the buttress necessary?

The vegetated buttress is being constructed for the following reasons:

1) To protect and stabilize the eroded bank from future predicted creek migration rates; and,

2) To provide protection for the trail, and in turn, provide protection and safety for trail users.

 

 

Why is the buttress so large?

The vegetated buttress was designed according to the extent of the existing bank scour as well as predicted creek migration rates. The intent of the design was to establish long-term erosion control and slope stabilization measures so that the bank would no longer be at risk under 100-year flooding conditions. The buttress serves to not only protect and stabilize the bank but also to protect the trail, and in turn, protect trail users. For these reasons, the buttress extends approximately 90 m along the creek bank, encompassing the currently eroded area as well as areas in which the creek is expected to migrate and potentially impact (wash-out or erode) the bank and trail in the future. It is important to note that the extent of the buttress was carefully designed to minimize impacts to the creek in addition to providing long-term protection and safety.

 

Slides 12-15 are the event display maps which can be viewed below 
Event Display Maps

Vegetated Buttress
A vegetated buttress is a natural bank stabilization measure and incorporates plantings which will be installed in between the layers of stone. The vegetated buttress is the most natural, aesthetically pleasing option compared to other bank stabilization techniques that still provides the trail with a significant amount of protection against erosion. Once fully vegetated, the buttress will increase riparian cover over the creek, thereby creating microhabitat and refuge for both aquatic and terrestrial species.
Please refer to the pictures below "before & after" pictures of a vegetated buttress which was constructed in the winter/spring of 2017.It is a representation of what the vegetated rock buttress will look like for the Etobicoke Creek North Trail Project and is also a true display of a natural bank stabilization measure, which is capable of providing additional habitat and blending in beautifully to the surrounding landscape.
Vegetated Buttress Illustration 1
Vegetated Buttress Illustration 2

Construction Update - October 2017

The work the Toronto Region Conservation Authority and the City of Toronto have been delivering on the Etobicoke Creek Trail North project is progressing well. The contractor is working aggressively to ensure the project meets its scheduled end date of April 2018.

Currently, the contractor has completed:

  1. Site set up which includes all fencing around the periphery of the work area for public safety
  1. All erosion and sediment control measures
  1. Tree removals along the areas of the proposed trail location
  1. Site preparation and bank isolation for the installation of the vegetated rock buttress

Next steps:

  1. Excavation and grading of the bank for the installation of the vegetated rock buttress 

 

Construction Pictures

Photo 1. Site 3 near realignment section

Photo 2. Overview of buttress location

Overview of Buttress location

Photo 3. Drainage layer of vegetated rock buttress and cofferdam.

Photo 4. Drainage layer of vegetated rock buttress in the process of being installed.

Photo 5. Overview of Site 2 & 3.

Additional Notes:
We appreciate the public's continued effort to avoid entering and using the closed off-trail section within the cordoned off area. For your continued safety, please obey all posted construction signs and stay clear of the work area and equipment.


 

CONSTRUCTION NOTICE
Etobicoke Creek North Trail Construction south of Eglinton Avenue West
Expected Start Date: July 2017
Expected End Date: April 2018

Beginning this summer, the City of Toronto in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority will be constructing a 1.1 km long multi-use trail south of Eglinton Avenue West and parallel to Etobicoke Creek. This project will formalize a section of existing gravel trail to an asphalt trail and protect an area of erosion by incorporated natural bank stabilization measures. The proposed scope of work also includes the installation of a drainage swale along a portion of the eastern side of the trail.

The work is scheduled to start July 2017, pending the receipt of all necessary permits and approvals, and is anticipated to be completed by the end of April 2018 excluding final site restoration, which will be completed during spring 2018 as weather conditions permit.

Etobicoke Creek Trail Mississauga side 

The City of Mississauga is also making improvements along the Etobicoke Creek Trail from Burnhamthorpe Road to the Brampton border. This 11-km stretch of trail will see some of its parts widened, existing trail surface paved as well as rest areas will be added.

Wayfinding signage along the trail will also be updated to enhance user experience. We’ll also be adding traffic counting technologies to assess how well this trail is being used.

This project is being funded through the Government of Canada’s shared funding Public Transit Infrastructure Fund program. Funding is shared between the program partners—the City of Mississauga and the Government of Canada

Construction Timeline 
Construction is scheduled to begin in late-July 2017 and is expected to be complete by fall 2017.
For more information: www.mississauga.ca/portal/residents/parks-etobicoke-creek-trail  .


Work Details

Construction crews will:

  • Install bank stabilization works at one location located approximately half-way through the project limits.
  • Excavate the existing gravel trail and install a paved asphalt trail along the same general alignment, and install a drainage swale along a portion of the eastern side of the trail.  

What to Expect DuringConstruction

 You may experience dust, noise, and other inconveniences. The City will make efforts to reduce impacts. Your patience is appreciated.

  • For safety reasons, the section of trail undergoing work will be fenced off to prevent public access.
  • Construction vehicles will access the site from either Centennial Park Boulevard or Eglinton Avenue West 
  • Redirected pedestrian traffic around construction vehicles during deliveries/pick-ups.

Work Hours 

The work hours on this site are 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.            


Traffic Management 

Construction activities will be contained within the project limits (within the valley) and should not impact local traffic. Please note that construction vehicles and heavy machinery will be accessing the site from either Centennial Park Boulevard or Eglinton Avenue West, depending on the stage of construction. 

The roadways will be cleaned with a street sweeper to ensure mud/debris from the construction site is not tracked onto the street.


Road and Sidewalk Access

There will be no road or sidewalk restrictions within the project limits. Pedestrians will be safely redirected during construction vehicle access to the site.


Driveway Access

There will be no restrictions to driveway access. 


Link to PDF version of Construction Notice

Construction Notice