Construction on the 600 metre extension to the Humber River cycle / walking trail is well under way. While this new (breathtakingly beautiful) section will begin at the north end of Cruickshank Park it will end at Mallaby Park, tantalizingly disconnected from the rest of the trail which resumes at Fairglen Crescent. Apparently negotiations are proceeding which will sort out rights of way and allow the two sections to link up. This will save cyclists some nasty traffic encounters north of St Phillips and allow for an almost traffic-free trip to the lake from the North of Toronto.
As part of Phase 1 of the Mid Humber Trail Project, a 600 metre extension will link the northern end of the Humber Trail – currently at Cruickshank Park to the Mallaby Park steps. This 3.5 metre wide pavement (matching the rest of the trail) will be placed over the current dirt path.
The construction is expected to last 4-6 weeks beginning in ‘early summer’ and contractors will operate from the parking lot at Lawrence and Little. More information on the construction can be found here as well as during a drop-in session at the Weston Library March 6, between 7 pm and 9 pm.
For Phase 2, the city is currently looking at options to extend the trail from Mallaby Park to Fairglen Crescent where the trail continues.
Although plans are in place to continue the Humber Trail beyond its current abrupt ending in Cruickshank Park, it’s unlikely we’ll see any progress on the ‘Weston Gap’ this year. According to Transportation Planner Jennifer Hyland, City Transportation Services are involved with negotiations on property transfers with the Ontario Ministry of Transportation. This would take the trail to Mallaby Park. In addition, there are plans to incorporate a 4m wide path on the west side of the railway bridge by 2014.
Ms Hyland also says that progress has been slow because of the ‘varying property interests’.
Let’s hope that planners and politicians can redouble their efforts on this important project so that cyclists and trail walkers can appreciate the stunning beauty of the Weston section of the Humber Valley. This will also allow Weston to capitalize on its bicycle connection.