Originally a 1.4 km gap in the Humber River Trail (HRT) near Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue West, approximately 800 metres of trail remains to be completed. This gap constitutes a significant barrier to a continuous multi-use trail system both along the HRT and in the future Loop Trail. The Loop trail is an 65 km off road, multi-use ring that will connect multiple ravines, neighbourhoods and trail systems throughout Toronto. Existing routes present safety concerns to users who are forced to detour along busy local roads that lack designated cycling infrastructure and are not fully accessible.

The study is being conducted in partnership by Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and City of Toronto.

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March 31, 2021: Notice of Commencement issued

The City of Toronto and Toronto & Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), issued Notice of Study Commencement to identify a preferred multi-use trail alignment for the remaining gap in the Humber River Trail (HRT) just south of Mallaby Park at St. Phillips Road and the southern entrance to Crawford-Jones Memorial Park off Cardell Avenue.

Notification was circulated to everyone in the study area which is bounded by the 401 (north), Lawrence Street (south), Islington Avenue (west) and Pelmo Park/Elm Street (east).

Get Involved

Public consultation is an important element of the study. You will have opportunities for input at key stages throughout the project. Information about future public consultation events will be distributed by mail and posted here. If you have questions or comments, or would like to receive email project updates, please contact us at 416-338-2850 or email maogosha.pyjor@toronto.ca

The Mid Humber Gap project area is located between two completed sections of the Humber River Trail (HRT) just south of Mallaby Park and west of St. Phillips Road and the southern entrance to Crawford-Jones Memorial Park off Cardell Avenue.

Project area is bounded by Weston Road to the east, Cardell Avenue to the north, west side of the Humber River for to the west and St.Phillips Road just south of Humber River for the southern point. A railway runs east west through the middle of the area which is situated south of the 401.

Schedule

March 2021

  • Issue Notice of Commencement
  • Problem Opportunity Statement
  • Identify Alternative Trail Alignments

April 2021

  • Identify Preliminary Preferred Trail Alignments

June 2021

  • Public Information Centre 1

August 2021

  • Evaluation and Selection of Preferred Alignment

November 2022

  • Public Information Centre 2

January 2022

  • Refine Conceptual Design of Preferred Alignment

February 2022

  • Finalize and Submit Project File Report
  • Issue Notice of Completion

Stakeholder Advisory Group

A Stakeholder Advisory Group (SAG) comprised of stakeholder representatives and local residents will be formed to review and provide feedback throughout the Environment Assessment process. The SAG will assist in building a consensus on the Mid Humber Gap’s primary objective – to identify a preferred multi-use trail alignment for the remaining approximately 800 metre gap in the Humber River Trail (HRT).

Public Event

Consultation for the Mid Humber Gap Trail will engage in a broad range of residents, businesses, and stakeholders over two rounds of engagement.

Project History

The Mid Humber Gap Project was one of 26 projects identified in the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan adopted by Toronto City Council in 2012 and a near-term priority in the 2019 Cycling Network Plan Update.

Stage 1 – Trail Construction and Improvement Work (Completed 2013)

In 2013, the City and Toronto & Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) completed Stage 1 of the Mid Humber Gap project. During Stage 1, a 600-metre trail was constructed to connect Mallaby Park to the HRT system and a pre-existing dirt trail was formalized into a 3.5 metre-wide paved multi-use pathway.

Stage 2 – Feasibility Study (Completed 2019)

In 2019, the City and TRCA completed Stage 2 of the Mid Humber Gap project to evaluate conceptual trail alignment options to close the remaining gap of approximately 800 m in the HRT between Mallaby Park and Crawford-Jones Memorial Park.

The Feasibility Study provides a project rationale for pursuing Stage 3 – Municipal Engineer Class EA (MCEA) Schedule B Planning Process. The Feasibility Study evaluated a range of conceptual trail alignments, culminating in a recommended “in-ravine” and “on-road” option.

Trail alignment constraints include steep grades, challenging topography and private property considerations.   These constraints increase the complexity of the project and may require construction of bridges, boardwalk structures and negotiations with private landowners. The Feasibility Study also confirmed the need to conduct a more thorough investigation via an MCEA Schedule B process.

Stage 3 – Municipal Engineer Class Environmental Assessment Schedule B Planning Process (Ongoing)

The Mid Humber Gap is currently in Stage 3 and subject to MCEA Schedule B requirements.

Environmental Assessment Process

Building off the work already completed as part of a Feasibility Study undertaken in 2019, the planning and design of the Mid Humber Gap will follow the Schedule B requirements for a Municipal Engineer Class EA (MCEA) process. The MCEA meets the intent of the EA Act by providing for the identification of problems or opportunities; giving due regard to the need to protect the environment and minimize effects; and consulting with affected stakeholders early and throughout the decision making process (Municipal Engineers Association, amended 2015).

Evaluation Process

The study will consider the following items to determine the location and alignment for the new trail connection:

  • natural environment
  • residents and property owners in the focus area and the surrounding area
  • user accessibility, safety and experience
  • technical feasibility/constructability
  • capital (upfront) and lifecycle (long-term) costs

Following the first virtual Stakeholder Advisory Group and Public Meeting, the potential connection options will be evaluated and a preferred alternative will be recommended based on the outcome of the evaluation and public feedback.

Information used in the evaluation will be collected through existing reports, field studies, input from technical advisors and subject matter experts and through public consultation.

Study Outcome

All potential alignments for the multi-use trail, both individually and collectively, will be studied in order to provide a preferred trail alignment to complete approximately 800 metres of the Humber River.

The preferred trail alignment will be decided as per a formal Environmental Assessment (EA) process and followed by design/construction programmed in future years (based on budget ability).

Property Impacts

Some of the potential multi-use trail alignments that are being proposed could involve impacts to residential and commercial properties. In some cases, the potential impact is to the City-owned right of way.

The owners of properties that are potentially impacted by multi-use trail alignments will be engaged with directly by the City of Toronto and Toronto & Region Conservation Authority (TRCA).

Private property impacts will be considered as part of the detailed evaluation criteria used to determine the recommended alignment.