We’re connecting Gatineau Trail with Morningside Park.

New and resurfaced multi-use trails and pedestrian bridges will make the park more accessible for park users.

The Pan Am Path is a multi-use recreational trail network that spans the City of Toronto. Most of Pan Am Path runs through river valleys and along hydro corridors. However, certain sections of the Pan Am Path detour along municipal roads. In the summer of 2014, the City of Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) began planning a trail connection project within Morningside Park in order to develop an important connection to the Pan Am Path through the Highland Creek Valley Corridor.

Project Timeline

  • Early 2016: phase 1 is complete and involved review and analysis
  • 2018 and 2019: phase 2 is complete. The permits and approvals required for the first stage of implementation were obtained.
  • Winter to summer 2020: Installation of the pedestrian bridges and the trail segments between
  • 2020: development of detailed designs and implementation planning for future phases

The preferred trail connection alternative endorsed by the City and TRCA is shown here.

The technical details of this image can be described by contacting the project coordinator listed on this page
Click to expand concept design

This alternative was preferred as it employs existing under-developed trail infrastructure that provided additional trail connection opportunities from both Ellesmere Road and Orton Park Road. This option also provides the overall best value, is most technically feasible, and causes the least disturbance to surrounding natural areas.

Other proposals to reduce the number of bridges were also considered. These options were eliminated from further consideration due to concerns that certain slope sections were steep and potentially unstable.

With the detailed designs for the first stage of construction complete and most necessary permits and approvals obtained, the trail connection works will now be implemented over the next several years with capital funding allocated to the project in phases.

Phase 1: Review and Analysis

The focus of this phase was inventory and analysis. The project team completed various tasks including reviewing existing planning policies, conducting archaeological assessments, carrying out tree inventories and topographic surveying, and completing an Ontario Stream Assessment Protocol Monitoring report. Phase 1 has concluded with a clear picture of the opportunities and constraints for the proposed Pan Am Path Connection and set the stage for conceptual design work in Phase 2.

Phase 2: Permits and Approvals

Phase 2 consists of securing all necessary permits and approvals and creating an implementation schedule with preliminary cost estimates. Consultations provided important feedback to help determine priorities.

Phase 3: Implementation

Phase 3 has been divided into three stages of work to provide a focus for each of the projects making up the final trail connections. The first stage will consist of the installation of the three bridges over the Highland Creek south of Ellesmere Road to enable the connection to Morningside Park.

Trail users should anticipate that the new connection to Morningside will be unpaved and may require that cyclists dismount. Paving is planned once the connecting works proposed by Toronto Water are completed. These works will protect Toronto Water infrastructure and will be designed to consider climate resiliency in the design of the creek bed and side slopes.

Additional trail resurfacing and extensions will occur in Botany Hill Park and just north of Ellesmere during later stages of the project.

A grassy section of land separated from the road by a post fence
Part of the proposed trail connection area north of Ellesmere.

October 6, 2019

Highland Creek Salmon Festival

TRCA representatives attended the Highland Creek Salmon Festival to inform the public of the project plans and answer any questions.

September 30, 2018

Highland Creek Salmon Festival

TRCA representatives attended the Highland Creek Salmon Festival to inform the public of the project plans and answer any questions.

May 23, 2017

Public Meeting

Trail features being considered for the project were discussed.

For more information about the project, download a shortened version of the Highland PanAm MultiUse Trail presentation.

 

The Great Trail logo with text that reads "This project was funded in part by a grant from Trans Canada Trail"

This project was funded in part by a grant from Trans Canada Trail.