Bloor West Villager
The design for the new Sunnyside Bike Park will be unveiled at an open house on Thursday, June 21.
The new park, which will be located 3 Ellis Ave. in the Lake Shore Boulevard and Ellis Avenue area, was designed by the internationally acclaimed Jay Hoots of Hoots Inc., a world leader in the design of community-based bike skill parks and trail systems. The design team was helped along by bicycle motorcross (BMX) and mountain bike riders at a consultation meeting held in October.
Anxious to show people the design, Parkdale-High Park Councillor Sarah Doucette calls it "amazing."
"As a non-bike person, I think it looks fantastic," said the councillor, who couldn't be happier with the new space, the former showroom for the Ellis Avenue condominiums. "This is my ultimate location, which I spoke about at the meeting (in the fall)."
Construction is set to begin on the park, which includes a skills trail, pumptracks, a wide variety of jump lines and a large drop and wall ride. There will be benches, picnic tables, drinking fountains and designated family areas, in September.
Scheduled for completion at the end of the year, the park has been given the go-ahead from all city departments. The city enlisted the talents of Hoots, who can take credit for building more than 39 bike parks, 29 trails and three tracks in the past seven years.
Until a couple of years ago, there had been makeshift jumps and ramps inside High Park near the duck pond not far from The Queensway for as long as three decades. The area is an ecologically significant area, according to the city. Last May, the informal, freestyle cycling area was dismantled by the city with help from members from different First Nations communities. With shovels and rakes in hand, they restored what is known to them as Snake Mound, a sacred burial ground. The area has been replanted and fenced off and is currently being monitored for any further cycling activity. Since then, the city had been on the search for a more suitable place for BMX and freestyle riders.
It is the hope that the new park will keep riders out of ecologically sensitive areas in the neighbourhood, said Doucette.
The open house takes place June 21 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. For further details, email email@example.com