Urban Forestry Projects

Chorley Park

Chorley Park Trail Connection

Unstable dirt path winds down the ravine hillside between the dense undergrowth of the forest canopy.Chorley Park is located in the Toronto neighbourhood of Rosedale – Moore Park (Ward 27).  The location of Ontario's last Government House, the site was developed into a park in the 1960s. Chorley Park overlooks the Don River Valley near the Beltline Recreation Trail and the Don Valley Brick Works Park.

Trail Connection Project – Update July 2017

In order to make the trail connection safe and protect the sensitive ecology of the adjacent ravine, Parks, Forestry and Recreation initiated a trail improvement project in Chorley Park in 2011. The final design work for the new trail connection has now been completed and construction is expected to begin in late summer 2017.

This trail will connect Chorley Park to the Beltline Trail and will provide an accessible trail to the Don valley Brick Works Park and the Lower Don Trail system from the west side of the valley.

The public input process was very important in designing the trail. There has been extensive public consultation on the plan, which has resulted in nine modifications from the original design, and the final design will create a trail which will balance the needs of all users.

Construction is expected to begin in August. Tree and shrub planting on the site will take place once construction is complete.

A natural surface trail for hiking in the forested area will be retained. Removal of the existing staircase and trails in this area and construction of a new dirt trail is scheduled for 2018-2019.

The City would like to thank all the volunteers who dedicated many hours to participate in the consultations and we appreciate everyone's patience during the months it took to realize this new plan. The trail has been improved through input from the community.

Expect to see new construction signs posted and flyer notices distributed this summer, with construction work anticipated to begin in late summer of 2017 and completed by the end of the year.

The City of Toronto, in partnership with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), is working towards the construction of a new trail to connect Chorley Park to the Beltline Trail and Moore Park Ravine. 

The existing footpaths, asphalt trail and timber staircase at Chorley Park are not safe for public use and will be removed and converted to a natural forest condition. Rehabilitation of this existing infrastructure to bring it to up to standard and safe for public use is not possible at its current location because of the potential construction impact on the endangered butternut trees within the area. Because the area next to the butternuts is already disturbed, this site provides a great opportunity to improve access to the ravine for users with differing abilities, as well as restore the previously disturbed area with native species.

2014 Chorley Park site visit, participants listening to speaker at base of a unstable path on the ravine slope
Existing steep foot path - to be converted to plantings and replaced with a safer trail connection
2014 Chorley Park site visit, the working group is walking up one of the switchback trail in the Don Valley Brick Works Park
Existing rotting wooden stairs - to be converted to a natural forest condition and replaced with safer trail connection

To provide safe access into and out of Moore Park Ravine we have developed a plan for two trail connections at Chorley Park:

  • A natural surface footpath for hiking in the forested area (similar to the foot trails that exist today)
  • An asphalt switchback with a gradual slope to provide access for trail users with differing abilities

The trail connection project was originally identified as part of the 2012 plan for improvements to the Beltline Trail.

Construction of the switchback trail is expected to be completed in 2017. Construction of the natural surface trail is scheduled for 2018-2019.

There has been extensive public interest in this project, and a number of consultations which were undertaken to develop and revise plans for the trail.

A drop-in event was held on June 24, 2013 to give the community (primarily members of the North Rosedale Residents' Association) the chance to learn more and provide feedback about the Chorley Park Trail project, how it will be implemented, and what disruptions to expect.

In November 2013, the City distributed pre-construction public notices to surrounding residences and also posted an advisory sign on the Beltline Trail at the base of the hillside.

In addition, the North Rosedale Residents' Association (NRRA) disseminated information about this work, including the Winter 2013-2014 newsletter on the NRRA website.

On May 12, 2014 Councillor Wong-Tam and City staff hosted a meeting for residents to learn more about the Chorley Park Trail and to ask questions of City staff and project leads.

On June 9, 2014 the City convened a public meeting to present new design options and to receive comment from residents after receiving concerns from residents about the planned asphalt switchback design.

In October 2014, a Chorley Park Trail Design Stakeholder Working Group of 30 community members was formed to provide advice on recommended trail design principles and elements.

In January 21, 2015 the City hosted a Consultation Meeting for People with Disabilities to receive their input on various aspects of the potential design of the Chorley Park Trail, including slope, passing, resting and viewing areas, and other relevant accessibility features. The context for this meeting and its role at this stage in the process is explained in the Accessibility Update Memo written by the project team that was presented to the Stakeholder Working Group in November 2014.

The outcome of all stakeholder and public consultations, is summarised in the following document:

For a more accessible version, read a text only description

Construction of the switchback trail will begin in the summer of 2017 and be completed by the end of the year. Natural surface trail construction is scheduled for 2018-2019.