The city has identified monies to fully fund the Sherway Trail Link, and is working to proceed with its construction next year despite the Ministry of Transportation’s planned Queen Elizabeth Way bridge replacement work.
The joint city and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) restoration project envisions a 0.7-kilometre section of trail and vegetation restoration to provide a safe and convenient connection under the QEW for pedestrians and cyclists to connect with the lake and the waterfront trail.
TRCA and city parks, forest and recreation staff had planned to begin work on the Etobicoke Creek Trail improvements at the QEW overpass next year.
But MTO is planning major rehabilitation work on the QEW overpass starting in 2018 in the area of the planned trail improvements. The work is expected to last four to five years.
“We can’t wait for the MTO,” said Etobicoke-Lakeshore Councillor Mark Grimes. “Can we design it to make that connection while we’re waiting for MTO?”
Etobicoke York Community Council unanimously supported Grimes’ five-part motion at its Oct. 13 meeting with respect to three Etobicoke trail links: Sherway, North Etobicoke and South Mimico.
Councillors recommended Toronto council request the city parks’ general manager to continue working with the MTO to finalize an easement required to support the Sherway and North Etobicoke trail links, in consultation with TRCA and city transportation cycling infrastructure staff.
Should the MTO bridge project be delayed and not begin until late 2018, councillors recommended the city move forward with the Sherway Trail project next year.
Grimes’ motion also recommended Toronto council request the city’s parks general manager to move ahead with the South Mimico Trail Link on the east side of the Mimico Creek next year.
Councillors also voted to recommend Toronto council request the city’s parks general manager continue to explore partnership and funding opportunities with Metrolinx and other agencies to help fund and implement the North Etobicoke and South Mimico trail links.
“This is a tremendous opportunity. We’re behind Mississauga and its trail north of Eglinton,” Etobicoke Centre Councillor Stephen Holyday said of the North Etobicoke trail link.
“We want to continue that work south of Eglinton at Centennial through Councillor Di Ciano’s ward and connect to the Lake Shore. There are beautiful trails through wooded valleys that connect to the lakefront trails.”
Councillors requested the city’s parks general manager update community council in the second quarter of 2017.
Toronto council will vote on community council’s recommendations at its Nov. 8 meeting.