Humber gap closing… very slowly

If you’re a cyclist, you know the “Humber Gap”, the missing stretch of the Humber River trail that would join the gorgeous trails north of Weston to the many kilometers of trails that run down to Lake Ontario.

The gap is at the north end of Cruickshank Park, and it’s a pain.

In fact, it’s worse than a pain. It’s dangerous: trail users are forced onto a very busy stretch of Weston Road where, despite the sharrows, you’d have to be suicidal to take to two wheels.

Now the Toronto Region Conservation Authority is starting an environmental assessment that will take small steps to close the gap. A 2019 investigation found that it would be hard to do and would “require the construction of bridges, boardwalk structures, and securement of property.”

That feasibility study said that more needed to be known about the subsurface “to inform the placement and design of any proposed water crossings.” In addition, “Complete ecological, geotechnical, water resources and geomorphologic assessments were also recommended to inform and refine the proposed trail alignment concepts.”

The Humber River Gap. Map from the TRCA.

Thanks to C for the tip.

Micallef calls out cycling in Weston

Would you feel safe cycling on busy Weston Road?

Freelance journalist Sean Micallef has written a column about the sorry state of cycling in Weston. He says, ““Home of the Bicycle” is a slogan found all around Weston, yet it’s one of the worst places in Toronto to ride a bike.” The article is in the Toronto Star behind a paywall but may be accessed at this link in Toronto.com.

In essence Micallef says that cycling is scary in Weston and is an equity issue according to area resident Christina Hoang.

We’ve been saying this for years at Weston Web. It’s nice to see others joining in.

Ten years ago this month…

Suri Weinberg-Linsky speaking in support of Olympic Variety in September 2010 (file).

Here’s a little taste of what WestonWeb was covering a decade ago.

In September 2010, crime was a big issue with a rash of muggings and a double murder. Eighty people met in support of Olympic Variety in Weston Village. Have we settled down since then? I’d like to think so.

A Weston retirement home was coming under scrutiny – beginning a long saga that (we think) ended last year.

John Tory was about to referee a local mayoral debate for the 2010 civic election. Rob Ford, endorsed by then and current councillor Frances Nunziata was the surprise winner of that race. No doubt Tory foresaw his own 2014 candidacy at that meeting.

Lions Park’s soccer field was undergoing extensive preparations before being covered in artificial turf – it has proved to be an incredibly popular year-round attraction.

Urban Arts had completed a new mural and Toronto Council looked as if it would do something for Weston cyclists. Sadly a golden opportunity to build a path along the rail tracks was lost and ten years later the dangerous ‘Supercentre’ gap in the trail is still there.

Finally, speaking of rail tracks, the Clean Train Coalition (who successfully lobbied for an airport express station in Weston) was rallying in support of electric locomotives for the then unbuilt and unnamed UP Express. That dream is still a few years away although GO electrification plans will allegedly be developed by next year.

Walkers in Weston’s 2010 Pink Parade participate in the seventh annual Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. (file) Click to enlarge.

Bikeshare in Weston Lions Park

I do believe that Weston has finally arrived. We just got our very own Bikeshare station, at Weston Lions Park.

On June 16, Bikeshare announced their new station, with 23 parking spots (but only 4 bikes as I write this).

Bikeshare bikes
Photo by Bikeshare

Though I’m delighted, I won’t claim I follow the logic: Bikeshare rides nicely fix the last-mile problem for commuters and tourists—how do you get from a subway stop to your meeting? It’s less clear what they’ll be used for here, since we are well removed from the rest of the system, the docking stations are not at the UPX, and rides get a bit expensive  after the first 30 minutes.

Perhaps they’re meant for touring the beautiful bike paths beside the Humber River, and that’s a great use for them! I’ve loved renting bikes in cities I get to visit. I just can’t imagine that many tourists coming here (yet!).

While Weston got bikes first, Bikeshare says they’re expanding to Mount Dennis and Rockcliffe-Smythe this year. The details are hard to find, but I’ve asked.

The system now has 6,850 bikes and 625 stations across the city.

 

 

 

City facilities reopening

The city is re-opening many sports, recreation, and library facilities. In Weston and Mount Dennis, you should be able to

  • Use the dog parks
  • Golf at Scarlett Woods
  • Fish at the Humber and Topham Pond
  • Play tennis

For the time being, playgrounds, pools, and splash pads remain closed. The Weston Farmers’ Market will not open until mid-summer, at the soonest. The soccer field at Weston Lions Park, which had attracted players in violation of distancing rules, remains closed.

The Weston Public Library will reopen for curbside pickup of book holds on June 1. Borrowers will be able to return their loans through the drop box. The library is asking that you hold onto any large or fragile items.

 

 

New bike shop in Weston

There’s a new little bike repair shop in Weston: Cheel’s Wheels.

Mark Cheel says “I was recently let go from my project management position due to COVID-19 and I figured, while I was on the job hunt, to get back to my roots and jump back into bicycle repair”, an industry he has more than a decade of experience in.

His prices are very fair: $30 for a tune-up, which includes a lube job, gears and brakes, wheel truing and a safety check. For $15 he’ll pick up or deliver, too.

And, because you can’t be too safe, he wipes down the bike before and after any repairs.

Call or text Mark at (416) 951-8950 if you have any questions.