Winter park path project

The Toronto and Regional Conservation Authority has strict rules about salting pathways near water courses. Each winter, huge amounts of salt drain into our rivers and streams and toxic levels are routinely measured. As a result, the salting of pathways close to the Humber is not permitted. This makes for slippery journeys for the many people who rely on park pathways to get from A to B.

The City of Toronto’s Parks division is piloting a park path clearance project in our area. This winter, plows are clearing paths from Mallaby Park, through Cruickshank to the Raymore Park off-leash area then continuing from the Humber Creek culvert construction to James Gardens. After plowing, instead of salt, a black grit is being spread to assist with traction. Based on personal experience, it appears to work.

Let’s hope that when spring arrives, the grit will be hoovered up and recycled.

UPDATE: Parks supervisor Shane Rajapakse tells me that the grit is called LavaGrip and it’s being evaluated by the Parks people as well as TRCA. A report on its effectiveness will be sent to Toronto Council later this year. Apparently it is pet safe and made from small particles of actual lava from an extinct volcano in Quebec and it is supposed to break down at the end of the Winter.

“Salt is for Margaritas, folks”.

Other park concerns

Metrolinx’s September 28 meeting about the Eglinton West LRT raised several concerns. Regular readers will know that Metrolinx is planning a raised train through and above Fergy Brown Park. They are also planning a new, longer access road and “extraction shaft and portal” through what appears to be a stand of trees on park land.

Image from Metrolinx

My interpretation. Obvs, I’m not a cartographer.
From Metrolinx

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.

Weston ten years ago: November 2010

The new steps at Mallaby Park as they appeared in November 2010.

Here’s a taste of what was happening in Weston back in November 2010.

Some new steps had replaced the wooden ones at Mallaby Park, near St Phillips and Weston Road.

The Weston Farmers Market had wrapped up for another year.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford nominated Councillor Frances Nunziata as Toronto Council Speaker; a powerful position she has held since then. She was being sued by a disgruntled ex-employee and Adam looked at her expenses.

Artscape was investigating the possibility of an arts hub in Weston and where it might be located.

The In Touch Retirement Home was under scrutiny after two residents and later, a third resident died.

A brand new soccer facility in Lions Park was almost complete.

Adam reported on what our local politicians had been up to.

The Clean Train Coalition was battling Metrolinx and rallying over electrification.