Gatineau Corridor Trail
The City of Toronto is proposing to extend the Gatineau Hydro Corridor Trail from Victoria Park Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East with a possible extension in the future westward to Bermondsey Road.
- Phase 1: Victoria Park Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East
- Phase 2: Eglinton Avenue East to Bermondsey Road
Once completed, these two new sections of the Gatineau Corridor Trail would connect to a larger trail network system across North York and Scarborough from the Don Valley to the Rouge Valley.
The City of Toronto has received funding through the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program. The Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program is part of Canada 150 Celebrates, the Government of Canada’s celebration of our country’s 150th anniversary of confederation. The money received from Canada 150 will be used to upgrade existing and add new recreational and cultural infrastructure across the city.
Construction of the multi-use trail extension (Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East) was completed in spring 2018.
Victoria Park Road crossing
As previously communicated, there will be a signalized crossing at Victoria Park Avenue which was approved by City Council May 2016. The signalized crossing will connect trail users to the extended trail westward to Eglinton Avenue East. There will also be a handrail along Victoria Park Avenue to help protect both cyclists and pedestrians.
Eglinton Avenue East trail entrance
The first phase Gatineau Corridor Trail ends at Eglinton Avenue East and will be subject to construction staging in regards to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Further extension on the trail westward from Eglinton Avenue East to Bermondsey Road is a possibility, pending on coordination with Metrolinx.
Future connection west (Phase 2)
A possible extension of the Gatineau Trail westward from Eglinton Avenue East to Bermondsey Road is being coordinated with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Metrolinx.
Two potential road crossings would be required for this phase: one across Eglinton Avenue East and a second across Bermondsey Road. In particular, a mid-block traffic signal on Eglinton Avenue East would allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross Eglinton Avenue and Jonesville Crescent and continue along a westward connection. It is expected that second phase of Gatineau trail construction could start in 2022, after completion the crosstown.
Eglinton Crosstown LRT & Metrolinx
The construction for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line is expected to conclude in 2021. To find out more information on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
Multi-use trails are facilities separated from the roadway and support a number of users – walkers, runners, cyclists, inline skaters, wheelchair users, people with baby strollers and people walking dogs.
During the summer of 2011, the City of Toronto conducted an audit of its existing major multi-use trail network to assess the viability of new trail connections. The findings were revealed in the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan which recommends 77 km of new bikeway trails to be added to the existing network. The plan was approved by City Council at its meeting held on June 6, 2012. The proposed Gatineau Corridor Trail project is a key component of the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan which connects existing cycling infrastructure, other major multi-use trails, public transit and community services.
In 2011, approximately seven (7) kilometres of the Gatineau Hydro Corridor Trail was built and three (3) kilometres upgraded as part of federal and provincial infrastructure funding programs. The existing Gatineau Hydro Corridor Trail runs easterly from Victoria Park Avenue to Orton Park Road and continues again from Conlins Road to Meadowvale Road.
The proposed new sections of the Gatineau Corridor Trail are planned mainly within the Hydro One Corridor and include:
- First Phase: Victoria Park Avenue to Eglinton Avenue East.
- Second Phase: Eglinton Avenue East to Bermondsey Road. Following the second phase, the trail extension would connect with the proposed East Don Trail at Bermondsey Road.
When fully complete, the Gatineau Corridor Trail would provide a multi-use trail system across North York and Scarborough from the Don Valley to the Rouge Valley. These new sections of trail would also provide a key link in the Pan Am Path, a legacy project of the Pan Am Games 2015, which connects trails from the border of Brampton in the northwest of the City to the border of Pickering in the east. In addition, the new trail would become part of the TransCanada Trail network through the City of Toronto.
1. When is the multi-use trail between Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East expected to be completed?
Pending final approvals from Infrastructure Ontario and Hydro One, design and construction of this 600 m segment of the Gatineau Corridor Trail is expected to be completed in spring 2018.
2. When is a future multi-use trail between Eglinton Avenue East and Bermondsey Road expected to be completed?
The City is working with Metrolinx on how best to cross Eglinton Avenue East. The connection between Eglinton Avenue East and Bermondsey Road is also contingent on coordination with other levels of government and lands not owned by the City and therefore cannot be planned for at this time.
With anticipated construction of the Eglinton LRT in near future, the City is taking a phased approach for the Gatineau Trail between Victoria Park Avenue and Bermondsey Road which would ultimately connect with the proposed extension of the East Don Trail.
3. Where is the funding for the trail coming from?
Funding for the construction of this trail project is included in the Transportation Services 2014-2023 Capital Budget and the allocation for cycling infrastructure. Capital budgets are part of a multi-year funding program which is adopted by City Council. The multi-year plan covers longer term and one-time expenditures for fixed assets. Visit the Transportation Programs and Services webpage to learn more about where the money comes from and goes.
4. What are the benefits of this project?
Multi-use trails are actively enjoyed by a wide range of community members for recreation and active transportation. The trail provides access to recreational amenities and a safe travel route that allows people to get out into the community – to walk, bike, rollerblade with neighbours and get to know their environment. Building trails also supports the City’s Public Health objective of encouraging physical activity to improve the overall health and well-being of Torontonians.
5. What is Infrastructure Ontario and Hydro One’s role in this project?
The corridor where the trail is being built is owned by Infrastructure Ontario. This land is managed by Hydro One and the trail is considered a secondary use on this land. The City as the trail builder must abide by regulations of Hydro One for the design, construction and maintenance of the trail and provide for all requirements of the Infrastructure Ontario for approvals. All approvals must be obtained from these agencies before trail construction can occur and a license agreement for easement is granted.
6. What is the general design for the trail?
The trail will be designed as a multi-use pathway and will function as a shared space between a variety of users (cyclists, pedestrians, rollerbladers, etc.).
With the exception of the constrained Victoria Park Avenue (east side) segment which will be 2-2.5 m wide, the trail will be 3.5 m wide, paved and include trail amenities (signage) to ensure user convenience and comfort.
7. Will trees be removed?
The trail construction will require some tree removal in order to provide a direct route with minimal grade changes which respects the natural topography. All efforts have been made to limit the impact on trees including the selection of a work area that ensures no trees being removed.
An arborist report has identified that there are 25 trees within the area of the Hydro Corridor between Victoria Park Avenue and Eglinton Avenue East which will be affected. Of these trees only 4 have a significant trunk diameter (between 25 cm and 35 cm) and are all White Spruce trees. All other trees are small and have trunk diameters that are 10 cm or less. These smaller trees look like “scrubs”.
To minimize the tree impacts, mitigation measures will include post-construction site restoration and tree planting, minimizing the size of staging areas, and issuing timely construction notices to local residents and trail users.
The City of Toronto’s Urban Forestry Division, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and Hydro One have all been consulted.
The project team is working closely with an arborist, landscape architect, and the City’s Forestry staff to develop a plan for tree replacement and planting. For every tree being removed, the replanting is at a 3:1 ratio of trees (3 trees for every 1 tree removed), or 10:1 ratio for shrubs (10 shrubs for every tree removed). Each tree that is removed will be replaced in accordance with the City’s Tree By-laws.
8. What happens at the road crossings?
Along the length of the trail for Phase 1 there will be one road crossings of Victoria Park Avenue. Crossing treatments are an important component to ensure trail user safety and trail continuity.
A signalized intersection at Victoria Park Avenue has been approved by City Council and will be installed as part of this project to connect trail users to the extended trail west of Victoria Park Avenue.
The first phase Gatineau Corridor Trail will end at Eglinton Avenue East and be subject to construction staging in regards to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Further extension on the trail westward from Eglinton Avenue East is a possibility, pending on coordination with Metrolinx.
Phase 2- A possible extension of the Gatineau Trail westward from Eglinton Avenue East to Bermondsey Road is being coordinated with the Eglinton Crosstown LRT and Metrolinx. Two potential road crossings would be required for this phase: one across Eglinton Avenue East and a second across Bermondsey Road. In particular, a mid-block traffic signal on Eglinton Avenue East would allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely cross Eglinton Avenue and Jonesville Crescent and continue along a westward connection.
9. What is the maintenance plan for the trails?
The City will be responsible for ensuring the trail is well maintained including; litter pick-up, grass cutting, pavement repairs, and upkeep of signage. However, the trail is not planned to maintain in the winter months (no snow removal).
10. What is the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA)?
The Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities (AODA) Act was enacted by the provincial government in 2005 to help make Ontario accessible to people with disabilities. This act lays the framework for the development of province-wide mandatory standards on accessibility in all areas of daily life.
11. Will Accessibility for Ontarians with Disability Act apply to the Gatineau Trail?
This project will comply with the requirements set out by the AODA.
The City of Toronto’s Parks Forestry & Recreation Advocate for People with Disabilities will be notified and consulted with about the design and construction process.
12. Will the new trail be able to accommodate different users safely?
Multi-use trails work by sharing spaces to build a trail community in which users cooperate to preserve and protect a common resource. When all trail users observe basic trail etiquette, their encounters with other users will be amicable, and most people will have a satisfying experience on the trail. Trail signage will help to promote trail etiquette so that all users are aware of how to use the trail appropriately. Residents are encouraged to call 311 for anything of concern.
A number of details will be considered during detailed design to improve the safety of different users including:
- width requirements for safe multi-use (3.5 to 4 m)
- clear sight lines
- pavement markings to help keep people on proper side of path
13. How close will the trails be to homes?
To ensure privacy, the location of the proposed trail has been placed at adequate distances from residences. In addition, where possible, the trail will be on the side of the corridor which does not have residences.
14. What are the options for ensuring the trail is safe?
- Safety through design is being addressed to increase visibility, sight lines of trail users – and potential pedestrian lighting at access points
- Tactile pavers beside existing sidewalk along Victoria Park Avenue to guide visually impaired persons where a separate bike path would be provided
- An Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Study to evaluate EMF exposure along the proposed trail within the corridor
- Toronto Police Service provides some patrol coverage (generally officers on bicycles) of the City’s major trails