Ravines provide many important ecological services and recreation opportunities. They are also a fragile resource. With population growth, new development and climate change putting increased pressure on ravines, The Toronto Ravine Strategy will guide future ravine management, use, enhancement and protection.
The Strategy's Principles
Ravines are fundamentally natural spaces. Ecological function and resilience is the foundation for long-term sustainability of the ravines and watersheds. We are all guardians of these spaces and must treat them with care and respect. All actions related to ravines should be guided by the overarching goal of protecting these spaces by maintaining
and improving their ecological health.
With 40% of Toronto’s ravines on private property, the Property Owner’s Guide to Healthy Ravines gives residents an overview of best practices for managing and protecting these important natural spaces.
Managing the multiple pressures on ravines — from population growth and increased recreational use to climate change, weather events and invasive species — requires consistent and significant ongoing investment. In addition to looking for efficiencies in the way we manage ravines and opportunities to expand the system, we must make an ongoing investment in these spaces a priority.
Toronto’s ravines provide great opportunities for people to connect with nature and the city’s rich history. We must ensure that people understand and appreciate the value of our ravine system and have physical opportunities to connect with these spaces in a safe and sustainable manner.
Many individuals and organizations are interested in becoming more involved in the care and enhancement of Toronto’s ravines. The City must work in partnership with the community, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), neighbouring municipalities, other levels of government, property owners, utility providers and other stakeholders to create more opportunities for individuals and organizations to contribute to these spaces in meaningful and sustainable ways.
No other city in the world has a ravine system like Toronto’s. Our ravines are a signature feature of Toronto and a vital city asset. They act as place-makers, distinguish neighbourhood boundaries and character and help to define Toronto’s identity on the world stage. We must celebrate these spaces and encourage recognition of and respect for this magnificent system throughout Toronto and the rest of the world.
Parks, Forestry and Recreation, City Planning and Toronto Water developed the strategy in consultation with other City divisions, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the public and a wide range of stakeholders.
The development of the Strategy was supported by an Interdivisional Ravine Steering Committee created to increase collaboration among the different City divisions involved with ravines and act as the coordinating body for the implementation of strategic actions related to ravines.
May 2015: Ravine Strategy Workshop with 117 stakeholders
June 2015: Public Open House – background information and discussion about challenges and opportunities within ravines (47 attendees)
June – July 2015: Online Ravine Strategy Survey (2,702 responses)
July – October 2015: Ongoing consultation with stakeholder groups and City of Toronto staff
September 2015: First Ravine Strategy Advisory Group meeting (external stakeholders)
November 2015: First Interdivisional Ravine Steering Committee meeting
November 2015: Update to Parks and Environment Committee on the Ravine Strategy
December 2015: Chief Planner’s Roundtable on Toronto’s Ravines
January 2016: Presentation to Planning and Growth Management Committee
June 2016: Report to Parks and Environment Committee on draft Ravine Strategy
June – August 2016: Ravine Strategy Pop-up Consultations
September 2017: Completion of the strategy