Upper Highland Creek Access Improvements
We’re connecting Gatineau Trail with Morningside Park.
The Pan Am Path is a multi-use recreational trail network which 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.
The preferred trail connection alternative endorsed by the City and TRCA is shown here.
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.
Following completion of the detailed designs and receipt of necessary permits and approvals, the trail connection works will be implemented over the next several years with capital funding allocated to the project on an annual basis.
The focus of this phase was inventory and analysis. The project team completed various tasks related to the inventory and analysis 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 consists of securing all necessary permits and approvals and creating an implementation schedule with preliminary cost estimates. Consultations will provide important feedback to help determine priorities.
Phase 3 will consist of implementation 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.
The trail is expected to open in fall 2020.
This was completed in early 2016.
This was completed in fall 2018.
- Tree removals will take place in April 2019.
- Construction will start July 2019, with expected completion in fall 2020.
A public meeting was held on May 23, 2017.
For more information about the project, download a shortened version of the presentation: Highland PanAm MultiUse Trail.