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INFRASTRUCTURE: Don Valley “art fence” to increase access to trails

A new fence has been commissioned to go between the Don Valley Trail and the railway tracks in the lower Don Valley.  At the bottom of this post is a photo of Raff’s mirror artwork underneath the Gardiner.

A fence, typically, is a barrier. To Toronto architect and artist Paul Raff, his “art fence” deep in the Don Valley is about access.

Raff has been commissioned by the City of Toronto to replace a sagging 1.6-kilometre stretch of rusted chain-link fencing in the lower Don Valley, a divider installed decades ago to steer pedestrians and cyclists away from train tracks.

Raff said beauty and function are key components of his “nascent” design plans (to be unveiled this summer) but the thrust is to give the public more entry points to the city’s lush, green heart.

“Toronto is a big, giant place with a lot of diversity and a lot of density and the Don Valley reflects that,” said the 46-year-old Raff, whose previous public artwork mirrors the action at Underpass Park.

Read More: Don Valley “art fence” to increase access to trails | Toronto Star.

urbantoronto-6193-19813

 

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Milkman’s Lane Reconstruction Information Session

via the City of Toronto:

Milkman’s Lane is a 300m, 3m wide gravel surface trail in Rosedale entering the Don Valley from South Drive near Craigleigh Gardens Park.

The trail is well-used by hikers, dog-walkers, cyclists and joggers and connects the community to the Don Valley trail network and the Don Valley Brick Works. It has existed for over 130 years and was used historically by equestrians and for transportation of commercial goods, among other uses lost to history.

Due to ongoing severe erosion issues on Milkman’s Lane, the City of Toronto’s Natural Environment and Community Programs section of Urban Forestry is working with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority on its reconstruction. This will include the installation of erosion control measures, resurfacing, and new fencing.

In addition to trail improvements, tree and forest understory health decline on the ravine slopes adjacent to Milkman’s Lane will be addressed. These slopes, and particularly the slope from Craigleigh Gardens Park, contain an extensive informal trail system and are subject to large volumes of off-trail traffic. This has resulted in soil compaction and the loss of understory vegetation, which in turn has caused slope erosion and tree damage. In order to protect the forest, which contains large oak and maple trees, as well as black cherry, hemlock, yellow birch, ironwood and the nationally endangered butternut, a comprehensive restoration plan and planting program will be implemented over the next 5-10 years to help promote forest regeneration, reduce invasive species and stabilize ravine slopes.

Construction will start in October of 2011 and take approximately 6 weeks to complete.

Please note that there is a Public Information Session on Tuesday, September 13th, 2011:

  • Open House: 5:30 to 6:30 pm
  • Presentation: 6:30 to 7:00 pm
  • Discussion and comments: 7:00 to 8:00 pm
  • @ Evergreen Brick Works
  • Centre for Green Cities
  • Building 12
  • Blake’s Room (2nd floor)

For more information please call 311 or email trails@toronto.ca.

 

[photo from Toronto Ravines and Trails with Abbey]

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Tues, June 28th: Trails and the Brickworks Event

This post is courtesy of Paul Young of the Public Space Workshop:

If you have tried to get to the Brickworks or Rosedale Valley Road by bike or on foot you know the challenges.  This workshop will highlight work underway to improve connections and it will identify additional priority improvements. If you want to learn more or have ideas please come! It is open to all.

This is an invitation to a workshop for those with an interest in improving walking and cycling connections in the Lower Don Valley – between communities, the trails and the Brickworks. Please feel free to invite others.  Note the boundaries are roughly Moore Ave. to Queen St. along the lower Don Valley . Surrounding councillors have been invited.

We have a range of stakeholders including Ward cycling groups, former members of the Don Task Force, City staff from Transportation, Parks and Public Health. It would be great if you can come too.

Connecting Communities, Trails and the Brickworks . . .

Come to a workshop to:

1. Learn about trail connection work already underway
2. Learn about and discuss other opportunities to connect communities to the Don Trail

When?

Tuesday June 28, 2011

  • Open House at 6:30 P.M.
  • Workshop 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.

Where?

  • Estonia House, 958 Broadview Ave.
    • (just north of Chester Hill / Browning) in the “ Crystal Room ”

Who?

  • City of Toronto trail planners
  • Various ward-based cycling representatives
  • Interested hikers, walkers and other trail users
  • Elected representatives have been invited

Notes:

  • Unfortunately bicycle parking is limited. There is a low fence at the northwest corner behind the building or rings a block south.
  • Building is fully accessible from the north side entrance.
  • Transit is available on Broadview Ave.

For more information: email: smohamed@evergreen.ca or call Shah at (416) 596-1495 ext.245

Organized with support from the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition

Hello all, if you have tried to get to the Brickworks or Rosedale Valley Road by bike or on foot you know the challenges.  This workshop will highlight work underway to improve connections and it will identify additional priority improvements. If you want to learn more or have ideas please come! It is open to all.

THE INVITATION

This is an invitation to a workshop for those with an interest in improving walking and cycling connections in the Lower Don Valley – between communities, the trails and the Brickworks. Please feel free to invite others.  Note the boundaries are roughly Moore Ave. to Queen St. along the lower Don Valley . Surrounding councillors have been invited.

We have a range of stakeholders including Ward cycling groups, former members of the Don Task Force, City staff from Transportation, Parks and Public Health. It would be great if you can come too.

Details and a poster are included below.

Thank you on behalf of our working group!

All the best, Paul

Connecting Communities, Trails and the Brickworks . . .

Come to a workshop to:

1. Learn about trail connection work already underway

2. Learn about and discuss other opportunities to connect communities to the Don Trail

When? Tuesday June 28, 2011 Open House at 6:30 P.M.

Workshop 7:00 – 9:00 P.M.

Where? Estonia House, 958 Broadview Ave.

(just north of Chester Hill / Browning) in the “ Crystal Room ”

Who? – City of Toronto trail planners

– Various ward-based cycling representatives

– Interested hikers, walkers and other trail users

– Elected representatives have been invited

Note: Unfortunately bicycle parking is limited. There is a low fence at the northwest corner behind the building or rings a block south.

Building is fully accessible from the north side entrance.

Transit is available on Broadview Ave.

For more information: email: smohamed@evergreen.ca or

call Shah at (416) 596-1495 ext.245

Organized with support from the Ontario Healthy Communities Coalition www.ohcc-ccso.ca

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Mountain Bike Bridge Sabotage in the Don Valley

Alarming news out of the Don Valley… a series of bridges constructed by off-road and mountain bike cyclists are being sabotaged… with the clean lines of a sawzall saw being evident:

Timothy Charles, founder of the Toronto Off-Road Biking Association, said the supporting beam of the bridge appears to have been deliberately cut partway through in several places that couldn’t be seen by anyone crossing above.

The damage put the structure at risk of collapsing, which could have caused serious neck injury, broken bones or worse, he said on Sunday. He warned cyclists to be on their guard.

“Never cross any structure unless you’re sure of its safety,” Charles said.

The bridge is one of several spanning gullies on the hillside of the ravine near Overlea Blvd. and Thorncliffe Park Dr.

Be careful out there.

[Top photo from Toronto Star, by Timothy Charles; Photos below from Pedal Magazine, from Ted Ingram]

News Links:

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