From May 2023 to July 2025, the Lower Don River Trail is closed from Pottery Road to Bala Underpass at Corktown Common for construction. This includes the stairs from the Riverdale pedestrian bridge and Queen Street bridge. Visit Project Updates for more information.

The Lower Don River Trail is undergoing improvements to upgrade accessibility, mitigate erosion and flooding from the Don River, resolve drainage issues and enhance overall trail connections. Guided by the 2013 Lower Don River Trail Master Plan, the trail improvements are complemented by a series of projects (several of which have already been completed) that will protect and enhance the Don Valley environment as well as its recreational amenities.

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  • May 2023: Construction starts from Pottery Road to Bala Underpass at Corktown Common
    • March to October 2023: Site preparation work (staging, removals, excavations etc.)
    • Late 2023: Poor soil conditions discovered
    • May 2023 to June 2025: Metrolinx fence and gate replacement
    • November 2023 to July 2024: Foundation installation for structures (sloped path/pedestrian ramp and Dundas Staircase)
    • June to September 2024: New swale construction (landscaping for stormwater management)
    • November 2024 to June 2025: Sloped path/pedestrian ramp and Dundas Staircase installation
    • February to May 2025: Asphalt pavement replacement and pedestrian railing installation
  • July 2025: Construction complete from Pottery Road to Bala Underpass at Corktown Common
  • Spring to Summer 2025: Wayfinding/sign improvements to the trail

The timeline is subject to change.

May 2024

Work is progressing with revised foundation construction for the elevated sloped path. This foundation work will help stabilize the ground to address poor soil conditions discovered in late 2023. This additional work, and delays in obtaining the required structural steel, have impacted the sequencing for the fabrication and installation of the elevated ramp at Riverdale pedestrian bridge and the new staircase at Dundas Street bridge, delaying the project completion date.

While this work will continue through winter 2024/2025, other landscape and site restoration work will need to be completed in spring 2025 because it cannot be done during the winter. With construction ongoing until July 2025, the active construction site will stay closed for public safety.

The City continues to work closely with the contractor to identify opportunities to complete the work sooner and investigate where work can be phased to allow for earlier opening at sections of the trail, if feasible.

Photo taken from the trail of a tall metal fence with the Metrolinx railway corridor on the right and the trail under construction on the left.
Fence installation between the Lower Don River Trail and the Metrolinx railway corridor.

November 2023

Construction is delayed and is anticipated to be completed late summer 2024. The project site is complex, narrow and located between Don River and a rail corridor, resulting in some challenges with getting materials and equipment in and out of the site. Additionally, a section of the site experienced erosion from the nearby river (a geotechnical review for a solution is underway) and some of the required permitting and approvals from other infrastructure located nearby took longer than anticipated.

July to August 2023

Construction is active on the Lower Don River Trail. All trees permitted for removal have been removed, with some exceptions. Existing site features including asphalt pavement, Metrolinx fences at the railway side and pedestrian guardrails at the riverside have been removed in sections throughout the entire site. Construction vehicles travel throughout the site and will start excavating the foundations and preparing the site for slope path construction at the Riverdale bridge area and staircase construction at Dundas bridge. The trail should not be used by the public at all, as it is unsafe.

Trail entrances at Pottery Road, the Riverdale bridge staircase, Queen bridge staircase and Corktown are closed. Additional barriers are also located within the closed area at the Bellville Underpass, and the bridge over the Don River, north of the pedestrian bridge. The City monitors and reinforces the trail closures daily.

Excavators working to remove existing site items at the south side of Riverdale Pedestrian Bridge
Work in progress at Dundas Bridge area for new staircase installation

June 2023

Construction has started with site preparation work, which is taking longer than anticipated due to the irregular topography of the site and approvals and inspection for the permit conditions. The trail closed in May so that the contractor could access and set up the staging area, tree protection and sediment control required for the permits.

Due to the few entry/exit locations along the trail, 4 km of the trail is closed to the public to allow for the contractors to start work in an area that encompasses both south and north of the mid-access point (Riverdale Parks East and West into the trail and vice versa). While it is possible to briefly open the very small area at the south end of the trail, from Queen Street to Corktown, the closure would be hidden from the entrance and confusing as pedestrians and cyclists would need to turn around and detour. Additionally, construction will move to this area soon. In mid-June, other construction activities like excavation will start and create unsafe conditions, even during the weekends when construction work has paused.

The Bayview Avenue Multi-Use Trail is available as an alternative route for the entire distance of the closure and is parallel to the trail.

The trail under construction showing a west muddy trail with construction fencing on the left side separating the trail from the mature trees and greenery along the perimeter.
The trail under construction showing a wet muddy trail with caution tape and construction fencing on the left side and construction workers in the background.

April 2023

From May 2, 2023, to summer 2024, the Lower Don River Trail will be closed from Pottery Road to Bala Underpass at to Corktown Common, including the Riverdale pedestrian bridge and Queen Street bridge stairs, for construction. Signs with a detour map are posted at all trail access points. The Bayview Multi-Use Trail, west of the Metrolinx Railway, is available as an alternative route.

The pedestrian bridge connecting Riverdale Park West and Riverdale Park East is open to the public but will not provide access to the Lower Don Trail during construction.

A map of the Lower Don Trail and surrounding area, showing the areas impacted by phase 2 construction for the trail improvements. The multi-use trail running predominantly north-south is shown in orange, a non-entry symbol shows the trail entry points that are closed during construction, a red lined with hash marks shows the closed multi-use trail, and the bike lane or cycle track is shown with a blue line.

Areas near the Lower Don River Trail are undergoing improvements as part of the 2013 Master Plan implementation.

Chester Springs Marsh Enhancements

  • Location: Chester Springs Marsh, between the Don River and Lower Don River Trail, south of the Prince Edward Viaduct
  • Timeline: April 22, 2024, to July 2024
  • Contact: Cheryl Post

The project will improve the marsh’s water retention and habitat quality with new plantings and invasive species management. A new lookout will be added with interpretive elements and Indigenous placekeeping. The project is funded in part by the Federal Natural Infrastructure Fund (NIF).

Crothers Woods Trail Improvements

  • Location: Pottery Road, east of Bayview Avenue
  • Timeline: 2023 to late 2024/early 2025
  • Contact: Cheryl Post

The project will add a kiosk and signage to the trail entrance from Crothers Woods.

Cudmore Creek Wetland and Trailhead Improvements

  • Location: Pottery Road and Bayview Avenue
  • Timeline: Fall 2023 to November 2024
  • Contact: Cheryl Post

The Cudmore Creek Wetland and Trailhead Improvements project will revitalize the new trailhead with signage to improve overall safety and visitor experience and restore the wetland habitat. The project is funded in part by the Federal Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) and the Hydro One Biodiversity Initiative.

Riverdale Park East Top of Bank Improvements

  • Location: Riverdale Park East hill adjacent to Broadview Avenue
  • Timeline: Spring 2024 to spring 2025

The Riverdale Park East Top of Bank Improvements project will establish a lookout point with seating at the top of the hill.

Wellesley Park Trail Connection Improvements at Amelia Street

  • Location: Wellesley Park connection to Rosedale Valley Road and Amelia Street
  • Timeline: 2024 (design) to 2025 (construction)

The project will improve accessibility to Wellesley Park.

The 2013 Lower Don River Trail Master Plan was developed in consultation with project partners and key stakeholders, including Toronto Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Metrolinx, the Toronto Accessibility Advisory Committee and the City’s maintenance and operations team. The 2013 Master Plan aims to generate a strong identity for the entire trial while also improving it by adding trail connections, safety features, upgrading accessibility, better managing natural environments and developing a strategy for public art installations.

Since the 2013 Master Plan, improvements were completed at:

  • Bala Underpass
  • Bayview multi-use trail from Pottery Road to Rosedale Valley Road
  • Belleville Underpass
  • Chorley Park to Beltline Trail connection
  • Cottonwood Flats trails
  • Crothers Woods, north of Bayview Avenue
  • Don River lookout platform, north of Pottery Road
  • Don Valley Brick Works
  • Don Mills Road trail (east side)
  • Forks Parking Lot at Don Mills Road and the Don River
  • Intersection of Rosedale Valley Road and Bayview Avenue
  • Pottery Road pedestrian bridge and trailhead
  • Riverdale Park East northeast corner
  • Thorncliffe Park Drive to E.T. Seton Park