Item - 2023.IE7.8

Tracking Status

IE7.8 - Connected Communities: Advancing Year-Round Trails between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Ward:
6 - York Centre

City Council Decision

City Council on November 8 and 9, 2023, adopted the following:

 

1. City Council direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, to explore the feasibility of, and optimal alignment for, a year-round trail connection between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station that will achieve the following goals:

 

a. not interfere with regular golf operations within the Don Valley Golf Course;

 

b. maximize connections to adjacent amenities, destinations and residential areas, including Earl Bales Park, York Mills Station and the West Lansing neighbourhood in Willowdale;

 

c. maximize connectivity and safety for trail users, including through formalizing existing improvised trails that may be substandard; and

 

d. minimize impact on important habitat and hydrogeological features of the ravine.

 

2. City Council direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to explore opportunities for public trail access through this section of the Don Valley on an interim basis in accordance with the Toronto Municipal Code and the goals in Part 1 above, while long-term trail designs are being evaluated and implemented.

 

3. City Council direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report back with a recommended work plan for advancing both interim and long-term year-round trail connections resulting from Parts 1 and 2 above, as well as a preliminary capital and operating cost estimates, to the Committee by the second quarter of 2024.

Background Information (Committee)

(October 23, 2023) Revised Letter and Appendix 1 from Councillor James Pasternak on Connected Communities: Advancing Year-Round Trails between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-240201.pdf
(October 23, 2023) Letter and Appendix 1 from Councillor James Pasternak on Connected Communities: Advancing Year-Round Trails between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-240179.pdf

Communications (Committee)

(October 23, 2023) Letter from Wesley Reibeling, Park People / Ami∑es des parcs (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173183.pdf
(October 23, 2023) Letter from David Simor, The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173182.pdf
(October 24, 2023) Letter from Lee Scott, Walk Toronto (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173196.pdf
(October 24, 2023) Letter from Graeme Kennedy, Tenblock (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173181.pdf
(October 24, 2023) Letter from Zunaid Khan and Ellen Schwartzel, Toronto Field Naturalists (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173198.pdf
(October 25, 2023) Letter from Lanrick Bennett Jr., BYCS (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173200.pdf

Communications (City Council)

(November 3, 2023) E-mail from Michael Black (CC.Supp)
(November 5, 2023) E-mail from Eleanor Heinz (CC.Supp)
(November 4, 2023) E-mail from Lance Gleich (CC.Supp)
(November 5, 2023) E-mail from Lynette Logue (CC.Supp)
(November 5, 2023) E-mail from Marcia Kaplanis (CC.Supp)
(November 7, 2023) Letter from Alison Stewart, Director of Advocacy and Public Policy, Cycle Toronto (CC.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/cc/comm/communicationfile-173567.pdf
(November 7, 2023) Letter from Jim Sadler, President, South Armour Heights Residentsí Association (CC.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/cc/comm/communicationfile-173590.pdf
(November 7, 2023) Letter from How-Sen Chong, Climate Campaigner, Toronto Environmental Alliance (CC.New)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/cc/comm/communicationfile-173570.pdf

Motions (City Council)

1 - Motion to Amend Item moved by Councillor Lily Cheng (Carried)

That City Council amend Infrastructure and Environment Committee Recommendation 1 so that it now reads as follows:

 

1. City Council direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, to explore the feasibility of, and optimal alignment for, a year-round trail connection between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station that will achieve the following goals:

 

a. Not interfere with regular golf operations within the Don Valley Golf Course;

 

b. Maximize connections to adjacent amenities, destinations and residential areas, including Earl Bales Park, York Mills Station and the West Lansing neighbourhood in Willowdale;

 

c. b. Maximize connectivity and safety for trail users and adjacent residential areas, including through formalizing existing improvised trails that may be substandard; and,

 

d. c. Minimize impact on important habitat and hydrogeological features of the ravine.


Motion to Adopt Item as Amended (Carried)

IE7.8 - Connected Communities: Advancing Year-Round Trails between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station

Decision Type:
ACTION
Status:
Amended
Ward:
6 - York Centre

Committee Recommendations

The Infrastructure and Environment Committee recommends that:

 

1. City Council direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, to explore the feasibility of, and optimal alignment for, a year-round trail connection between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station that will achieve the following goals:

 

a. Not interfere with regular golf operations within the Don Valley Golf Course;

 

b. Maximize connectivity and safety for trail users and adjacent residential areas through formalizing existing improvised trails that may be substandard; and,

 

c. Minimize impact on important habitat and hydrogeological features of the ravine.

 

2. City Council direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to explore opportunities for public trail access through this section of the Don Valley on an interim basis in accordance with the Toronto Municipal Code and the goals in recommendation 1 above, while long-term trail designs are being evaluated and implemented.

 

3. City Council direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report back with a recommended work plan for advancing both interim and long-term year-round trail connections resulting from recommendations 1 and 2 above, as well as a preliminary capital and operating cost estimates, to the Committee by the second quarter of 2024.

Origin

(October 23, 2023) Letter from Councillor James Pasternak

Summary

Toronto’s ravine systems are vital to the city. They provide for storm water management, healthy ecosystems, as well as beautiful green spaces that are universally appreciated. In many communities, Toronto’s ravines also provide for critical connectivity, allowing for residents to walk, bike, or otherwise get to parks and community centres, public transit stations, or into nature without requiring the use or expense of a car and to cross under highways like the 401 that otherwise divide neighbourhoods. Where year-round trail connections do not exist in Toronto, such as between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station, it is incumbent upon the City to explore the ways they can be created to achieve these benefits.

 

In 2022, City Council passed IE27.6 – Review of City of Toronto Golf Courses and directed staff to advance the implementation of strategies that would improve ravine access and trail connections. With the conclusion of the Negotiated Request for Proposal Process for the management of City-owned golf courses (GG7.17), it is the appropriate time to explore how year-round trail access can be created around the Don Valley Golf Course, connecting Earl Bales Park to Yonge Street and providing access to and from adjacent residential communities without impacting regular golf operations. Today, the only formal trails that connect these areas pass through the middle of the golf course and are closed to the community between April and November.

 

Access to greenspace is also an important equity consideration, particularly where there are opportunities to improve mobility. With many purpose-built affordable apartment buildings along Sheppard and close to this ravine, a connection could materially benefit many individuals and families into the foreseeable future.

 

With capital plans for some 10,000 trees and shrubs to be planted in 2025 in this section of the Don Valley ravine, now is the time to advance a plan that improves accessibility, while complementing golf course operations and supporting ravine habitat and conservation efforts.

Background Information

(October 23, 2023) Revised Letter and Appendix 1 from Councillor James Pasternak on Connected Communities: Advancing Year-Round Trails between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-240201.pdf
(October 23, 2023) Letter and Appendix 1 from Councillor James Pasternak on Connected Communities: Advancing Year-Round Trails between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/bgrd/backgroundfile-240179.pdf

Communications

(October 23, 2023) Letter from Wesley Reibeling, Park People / Ami∑es des parcs (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173183.pdf
(October 23, 2023) Letter from David Simor, The Centre for Active Transportation (TCAT) (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173182.pdf
(October 24, 2023) Letter from Lee Scott, Walk Toronto (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173196.pdf
(October 24, 2023) Letter from Graeme Kennedy, Tenblock (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173181.pdf
(October 24, 2023) Letter from Zunaid Khan and Ellen Schwartzel, Toronto Field Naturalists (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173198.pdf
(October 25, 2023) Letter from Lanrick Bennett Jr., BYCS (IE.Supp)
https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2023/ie/comm/communicationfile-173200.pdf

Speakers

Alison Stewart, Cycle Toronto
Graeme Kennedy, Tenblock

Motions

Motion to Add New Business at Committee moved by Councillor James Pasternak (Carried)

Motion to Adopt Item as Amended moved by Councillor James Pasternak (Carried)

That the Infrastructure and Environment Committee delete the recommendations, and adopt instead the following recommendations from the revised letter (October 23, 2023)  from Councillor James Pasternak on Connected Communities: Advancing Year-Round Trails between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station:

 

1. Direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, to explore the feasibility of, and optimal alignment for, a year-round trail connection between Earl Bales Park and York Mills Station that will achieve the following goals:

 

a. Not interfere with regular golf operations within the Don Valley Golf Course;

 

b. Maximize connectivity and safety for trail users and adjacent residential areas through formalizing existing improvised trails that may be substandard; and,

 

c. Minimize impact on important habitat and hydrogeological features of the ravine.

 

2. Direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation to explore opportunities for public trail access through this section of the Don Valley on an interim basis in accordance with the Toronto Municipal Code and the goals in recommendation 1 above, while long-term trail designs are being evaluated and implemented.

 

3. Direct the Acting General Manager, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in consultation with the General Manager, Transportation Services, to report back with a recommended work plan for advancing both interim and long-term year-round trail connections resulting from recommendations 1 and 2 above, as well as a preliminary capital and operating cost estimates, to the Committee by the second quarter of 2024.

Source: Toronto City Clerk at www.toronto.ca/council