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INFRASTRUCTURE: Cyclists eager to extend trips downtown on the West Toronto Railpath

The 3.5-metre-wide cycling and pedestrian path currently runs for two kilometres along the railway corridor, roughly following Dundas Street West, from Dupont Street in the north to near College Street in the south. Now, six years after the first leg opened, cyclists were eager to hear about the three-kilometre extension that will take the mostly off-road path deep into the city to Stanley Park near Strachan Avenue and Wellington Street West, even though work won’t start until 2016.

Read More: Cyclists eager to extend trips downtown on the West Toronto Railpath – The Globe and Mail.

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INFRASTRUCTURE: West Toronto Railpath Extension Public Consultation Review

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Today I’m linking to a really good synopsis (with photos!) of the public consultation on the West Toronto Railpath Extension by Jnyyz on his blog “Biking in a Big City“. Looks very good…. as an east ender, I’m pretty jealous.

Tonight was the long awaited final public consultation on the West Toronto Railpath extension. This followed a public meeting that was almost a full year ago. I’m very happy to report that the revisions to the design are almost all positive.

The main points were that there was overwhelming support for the project to go forward, and that the design review panel urged all stakeholders to work together to provide more land to improve the routing of the railpath extension.

The changes in the details of the proposed route were mostly worth the wait.

Read More: Railpath extension public consultation | Biking in a Big City.

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EVENT: Mon, June 23 – West Toronto Railpath Extension Public Meeting

The second of two public events for this study will take place on:

Date: Monday, June 23, 2014

Time: 5:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. with a presentation at 6:30 p.m.

Location: Parkdale Community Recreation Centre, 75 Lansdowne Avenue

Study Overview

The City of Toronto is studying a preferred route for extending the West Toronto Railpath from the Sterling Avenue (at Dundas Street West), along the Kitchener GO rail corridor, to beyond Strachan Avenue and the planned Fort York Pedestrian & Cycle Bridge.

The Study will determine:

  • Preferred alignment of the Railpath extension
  • Urban design features such as landscaping, public art, bike parking, signage and lighting
  • Opportunities for access points linking the Railpath to communities along the rail corridor
  • Design options for new pedestrian and bicycle bridges that may be required, and feasibility and cost-effectiveness of the different options

More Details: West Toronto Railpath Extension Environmental Assessment – Roads and Trails – Infrastructure Studies | City of Toronto.

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EVENT: Apr. 25-27 – Guided Railpath Extension Tours!

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Well this looks awesome. Guided tours of the proposed route of the Railpath Extension!

We invite you to explore the proposed route and help shape what will become Toronto’s premiere piece of cycling infrastructure. Join us on a series of guided walking and cycling tours that promise to reveal the landscape of the rail corridor. Guided tours will depart from the Gladstone lobby at:

  • 6PM Friday April 25th – RSVP
  • 1PM Saturday April 26th – RSVP
  • 1PM Sunday April 27th – RSVP

via West Toronto Railpath Extension – Gladstone Grow Op.

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“Living Walls” Proposed Along West Toronto Railpath and Train Tracks

Put your hand up if you’d rather see attractive and healthy green walls beside the Railpath instead of ugly soul-destroying concrete?

In a press release issued on September 17, a community activist group called the Junction Triangle Rail Committee made a counterproposal: Instead of walls made of concrete, vinyl, or acrylic, why not use plants in special, cage-like metal containers to create a sort of living wall? The group partnered with the Wabash Building Society to hire Brown and Storey Architects to flesh out the concept. (All the images in this post are renderings taken from Brown and Storey’s presentation [PDF].)

The architects argue that green, leafy barriers would be a more humane, more attractive way of shielding neighbours from the trains, and that the shrubs would be a better complement for the West Toronto Railpath, which, under the current plans, will get the noise-wall treatment over much of its length. They could also be combined with new pedestrian crossings to create a sort of linear park.

Metrolinx has been holding public noise-wall consultations in communities along the rail corridor for the past several months, and plans to continue doing so until October. Participants are invited to give input on the design of the walls, though Metrolinx always has final say over whether that input is heeded.

As to the specific proposal—building living walls instead of artificial ones—Metrolinx says it’s not possible. In an emailed statement, Metrolinx spokesperson Vanessa Thomas told us that there isn’t enough space in the rail corridor to install something like a living wall. Other greened-up options, though, might be considered.

Full story:  West-End Community Groups Want “Living Walls” Along Toronto’s Train Tracks | cityscape | Torontoist.

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