Today in Weston August 18, 2017

A willow tree washed downstream by recent storms rests temporarily on top of the weir at the north end of Cruickshank Park . – Photo taken August 16 -(Click to enlarge.)

 

Cruickshank Park trail open

TRCA Project Coordinator, Courtney Rennie was true to his word (see yesterday’s post). As of Tuesday August 15, the south end of the Cruickshank Park trail is open and workers are beginning to remove the fencing.

Grading and re-seeding of one of the staging areas has been completed. Now about that path…
The completed erosion control work should protect the Scarlett Road property for decades to come.

No doubt work will eventually begin on replacing the path which has taken a beating all the way down to Raymore Park thanks to various construction projects, the last of which (sewer re-lining) should be winding down soon.

Cruickshank Park erosion work winding down.

Cruickshank Park has undergone two recent periods of construction. The first, in 2013 was to extend the Pan Am Path from the north end of the park to Mallaby Park at Weston Road and St Phillips.

The Pan Am Trail extension under construction in October 2013. (File)

The most recent was to do extensive erosion control work on the Etobicoke side. The Humber River was beginning to chew at a Scarlett Road co-op apartment’s playground and would have eventually threatened the whole site. Access for the work was through the Lawrence parking lot and this meant that for all but the most determined, the Pan Am Path northwards to Mallaby was closed.

Looking North from the staging area during construction.

A staging area and bridge to the affected bank on the far side were constructed to expedite access.

The temporary bridge allowed access to the slope rehabilitation work (visible on the far bank).

Toronto and Region Conservation Area Project manager, Courtney Rennie tells me that, “I anticipate opening the trail as early as next week, including removal of the temporary fast fencing around the project limits. There may be intermittent closures of the trail for terraseeding and restoration plantings, however that will only be for a few hours at a time while staff are on site.”

Great news!

Park Construction Update.

Our local parks are undergoing a variety of transformations. In Raymore Park, rehabilitation of the retaining wall staging area is well under way,  a new off-leash area has been set up while sewer re-lining along the Humber is still likely to take a few more months.

Rehabilitation work continues after the Raymore Park retaining wall construction. New trees have been planted this week.

In Lions Park, heavy vehicles undertaking sewer work have destroyed the bike path and cones have been placed to warn cyclists and pedestrians.

Heavy construction vehicles have destroyed the dedicated bike / pedestrian path near the Raymore footbridge.

In Cruickshank Park, stabilization work is taking place that will prevent further erosion of the TCHC property at 1025 Scarlett Road. At the moment a bridge is being used to access the site and the walkway through the park has been blocked in order for the work to proceed. The end date is set for next month but judging by the current state of construction, that looks extremely optimistic and unlikely.

1025 Scarlett Road from the Weston side showing the bank stabilization work.
The temporary bridge allows access to the work from the Weston side.

Needless to say, the bike / pedestrian trail (Humber Trail / Pan Am Path) needs to be re-paved. When this will happen is anyone’s guess but all work involving heavy construction vehicles will have to be finished no doubt. Construction projects seem to take longer than advertised in this part of Toronto for some reason. Anyway, probably not this year. This will mean some tough sledding for walkers and cyclists for quite some time. One good thing is that the replacement path, when it finally gets here, will be built wider to meet new city standards.

Today in Weston – Cruickshank Park tree planting

Workers from Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in conjunction with City of Toronto Parks were at work today at the Lawrence Avenue entrance to Cruickshank Park planting red oak trees. These native trees need lots of room and will provide welcome summer shade in years to come. According to Metrolinx spokesperson, Manuel Pedrosa, the trees donated by Metrolinx are marker trees to represent the ones recently planted in the Humber Arboretum.

There will be an official ceremony tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Avenue entrance to the park.

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Pan Am Path extension officially opens

Urban Arts entertains the crowd.
Urban Arts entertains the crowd.

Another link officially opened today in a major step towards completion of the much anticipated Pan Am Path. This 84km path is being created by linking existing shorter trails and will eventually allow pedestrians and cyclists to move from Brampton to Pickering without encountering motor vehicles. After the ceremony, a Jane’s Walk took pedestrians along the path and a group of cyclists followed later. Bike Share Toronto (formerly Bixi) had bikes for those wishing to try the new link. Dynamic youth support organization UrbanArts provided music and an art activity for the celebration.

Urban Arts art activity.
Urban Arts art activity.

One of the more distasteful aspects of these events is the unseemly scramble for credit. Political representatives from all three levels of government were jockeying for position. Freshly re-elected MPP Laura Albanese announced a $400,000 grant from the Trillium Foundation to be spent on projects covering the length of the trail (strangely the Trillium Foundation site has no trace of this in their list of grants). Councillor Frances Nunziata announced (again) the $48,000 worth of exercise equipment to be installed in Cruickshank Park (well before the Council election in October no doubt). This money was extracted from several developers in exchange for Council concessions. Another guest speaker, Etobicoke Centre Tory MP Ted Opitz prattled on about his support for the path despite the Federal Government contribution of precisely zero to this project. It takes some nerve to remove protection from the Humber River (as the Tories have done) and then bask in the glory of others’ work. Then again, there will be a federal election by October 2015 at the latest. Right leaning mayoral hopeful Karen Stintz was in attendance but mercifully kept a low profile (until the ribbon cutting). Incredibly, our own MP Mike Sullivan told me he was not invited and therefore didn’t get to speak. Organizers from Friends of the Pan Am Path claimed there had been an oversight.

Brent Chamberlain and Frances Nunziata cut the ribbon.
Brent Chamberlain (Friends of the Pan Am Path) and Frances Nunziata (with scissors) cut the ribbon.