Are you a cycling enthusiast like I am?
I'm the first to admit it took me some time to embrace cycling in the city, but with so many new bike lanes open (and a significant push by the City of Toronto to make cycling more accessible), I'm officially a convert!
Have you cycled the West Toronto Railpath? It's one of my favourites. I love that the multi-use trail runs through a lot of former industrial landscapes which I have a particular fascination with!
A decade ago, Toronto announced that it planned to extend the path beyond Dundas St West and into the downtown core, which would require careful planning and the construction of multiple bridges over busy streets like Queen. The city's proposed extension will be a multi-use trail extending the existing West Toronto Rail path by approximately 2.1km south from Dundas Street West to Sudbury Street and Abell Street. The Globe and Mail said the resulting bike path, end-to-end would be a "veritable bike commuter's superhighway, running all the way from the Junction neighbourhood directly into the downtown core."
Currently, the path makes its mark in a diagonal - running from just north of the Dupont and Dundas intersection in The Junction - and is situated beside the rail tracks that roughly parallel the Dundas Street West. In September, the City and Metrolinx held a symposium on the upcoming changes to the West Toronto Railpath, and in November, they published materials which cleary outline the project, construction, and logistics. Take a peek!
It all started with the Friends of West Toronto Railpath who have their own website which says:
"The Friends of the West Toronto Railpath is a community-based working group with the goal of assisting the City of Toronto design, finance and build a 6.5 kilometre linear park from Toronto’s Junction Neighbourhood into the heart of the city.
Phase One of the project was officially opened in October 2009. This includes landscaping and a hard-surface path from Cariboo Ave to Dundas Street West."
The Railpath will be extended south and east towards downtown Toronto in Phase Two, and, when finished, will offer a sustainable transportation link with the downtown core for more than 250,000 Torontonians!
Here's an imagining of one completed leg of the path:
"The Railpath community group was initiated by a committee of West Toronto residents, cyclists, politicians, activists and environmentalists with the goal of assisting the City in the creation and stewardship of this multipurpose linear park. The Railpath idea had been discussed at resident’s association meetings in Toronto’s West End for years. In 2001, a group of members of the Roncesvalles Macdonell Residents’ Association (RMRA), got together, formed a partnership with the Community Bicycle Network and Evergreen, and began working actively towards making the project a reality."
By the way, are you a BMX biking enthusiast? I had no idea but check out the Wallace Emerson Bike Park located nearby too!
For residents in Wallace Emerson who commute downtown daily, this would be an amazing way to integrate fresh air and exercise into one's life!!!
If cycling is a way of life for you, or you're just beginning to embrace it in the city like I am, here's my recent post called On Cycling In The City: Then And Now. Also check out our recent post, Cycling And Toronto’s Beltline Trail!
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