With more than 1,600 public parks and 600 km of trails, Toronto’s parks network covers a substantial 13 per cent of the City’s land area and is one of its greatest assets.

The Toronto Parks and Trails (TPT) Wayfinding Strategy aims to implement a unified signage system for this natural asset as part of a series of coordinated pedestrian, cycling and vehicular wayfinding initiatives delivered by the City of Toronto.

In 2014, the City of Toronto initiated the development of a unified wayfinding strategy for Toronto’s parks and trails.

The TPT Wayfinding Strategy is focused on improving wayfinding in parklands managed by the City. The aim of this ambitious project is to implement a signage system for parks and trails that:

  • Provides consistent identification, orientation and navigation in and around parks and trails
  • Encourages visiting, exploring and appreciation of Toronto’s natural assets
  • Serves all park and trail users regardless of their abilities
  • Reduces clutter and redundant infrastructure within parks and on trails, thereby enhancing the natural environment
  • Is economically sustainable and viable in the long term

Project history

A pilot scheme consisting of a new family of wayfinding signage was implemented in 2017 in the Lower Don Trail and Riverdale Parks.

Lessons learned during the pilot informed refinements to the signage products, graphics, and construction, which are being incorporated into the rollout of the system.

Multi-use Trail Wayfinding

Sign location plans have been developed for:

  • Black Creek Trail
  • Highland Creek Trail
  • Taylor Creek Trail
  • a portion of the Lower Don River Trail

Installation of the wayfinding systems for these trails is anticipated to occur in late 2023.

Diagram of the trail wayfinding sign family, which includes four products designed to orient trail visitors through identification and by providing direction. Two of the products include trail maps. All of the products feature orange header panels.
The trail sign family includes four products designed to orient trail visitors through identification and by providing direction.

Natural Environment Trail Wayfinding Pilot

In addition to our network of paved multi-use trails, Toronto is also home to over 300 km of natural surface (dirt) trails that wind through our forests and ravines. These natural environment trails tend to be narrower and more remote than paved trails, and present a unique challenge for wayfinding. In 2021 the City began the Natural Environment Trail Wayfinding Pilot to develop and test a subset of the Toronto Parks and Trails (TPT) Wayfinding sign family within these natural environment settings. These signs use timber posts that will be aesthetically more suited to natural forested settings, and easier to install and maintain in remote locations.

In fall 2023, wayfinding signage will be installed in two areas of the city:

  • Crothers Woods, Sun Valley and Cottonwood Flats area in the Lower Don Parklands; and
  • Beare Hill Park in Scarborough.

Public feedback will help us to evaluate the effectiveness of the signage and plan this type of wayfinding in the future. More information about this project will be provided on this page.

Diagram of the natural environment trail wayfinding sign family, which includes six products designed to orient trail visitors through identification and by providing direction and site interpretation. One of the products include trail maps. All of the products are mounted on wood posts or structures and feature orange header panels.
The Natural Environment Trail sign family is closely related to the existing Parks and Trails Wayfinding sign family, but with a more natural aesthetic better suited for forested ravine settings.

Toronto Island Park Wayfinding Map Pilot

In May 2022, the City prepared a draft interactive map to collect public feedback on accuracy, omissions, errors and priority destinations. The pilot maps can be reviewed in-person at Jack Layton Ferry Terminal or any of the three ferry docks on the Islands.