East Don Trail Project


June 11, 2024

The East Don Trail Phase 1 Project has completed a critical milestone in the delivery and installation of the pedestrian-cycle bridge over the Metrolinx rail line.

Final restoration works and asphalt paving will commence in June 2024 for the East approach of the new bridge, as well as the section of pedestrian trail from the West Approach Structure to Bridge 4.


The City of Toronto is working with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) to design and construct a multi-use trail system within the East Don Corridor between the north end of Charles Sauriol Conservation Area, the Lower Don Trail System, and Gatineau Corridor Trail.

Under the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund (PTIF) – Phase 1, the Government of Canada is investing up to $11.25 million for the East Don Trail project. The City of Toronto is matching this funding contribution.


The East Don Trail will fill a significant gap in the Don Valley Trail System and provide a valuable connection along this trail network, which extends from the north end of the city south to Lake Ontario. It will also provide a key connection to the existing Gatineau Trail and future Meadoway.

In 2011, the City of Toronto conducted an audit of its existing major multi-use trail network to assess the viability of new trail connections. The findings were produced as the Bikeway Trails Implementation Plan, which identified the East Don Trail as a priority project.

To determine the preferred East Don Trail route, a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment (EA) process was undertaken. An EA is a comprehensive planning and decision-making process used to assess the potential effects (negative and positive) that a project will have on the environment.

The East Don Trail EA was approved by the Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP) in 2017. For more details on the EA process and to view the Environmental Study Report, visit our FAQs page.

The East Don Trail project area was divided into three phases. Detailed design for Phase 1 and 2 was undertaken and implementation commenced in September 2018. Construction for Phase 2 is complete, while Phase 1 is currently underway. To view the construction notices, please visit the document library.

What Will the East Don Trail Mean For You?

  • Enjoyment and connection to the natural environment and the Don River ravine
  • Safe and equitable access for a variety of trail users with differing abilities
  • Active transportation route which is off-road and non-motorized
  • Safety through trail design
  • Sense of community and local amenity for neighbouring residents
  • Physical activity and mental health benefits through hiking, walking, running, rollerblading, cycling or meditating

newly completed bridge on East Don Trail

The East Don Trail Will Reduce Barriers and Connect People to Nature

The City of Toronto has a responsibility to promote safety and minimize barriers to access. Legal and technical requirements have been defined by the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). We have designed the trail to be as accessible as possible within the limits of feasibility and acceptable environmental impacts.

Connections to Nature and the Ravine System Require Environmental Protection

The East Don Trail is part of a broader ravine management plan to improve access and ecosystem protection.

As many multi-use trails exist within sensitive natural environments, the design, construction, use, and maintenance of these trails will minimize impacts and disruptions within the ravine system.

Every effort is made to comply with a host of guidelines, regulations, and authorities having jurisdiction.

This Area Already Contains Trails — Why Add Another?

Informal, user-created, natural surface trails have been created over many years from use (see photo below). These, however, are problematic for a number of reasons:

  • User-created trails can pose a hazard  to public safety and potentially lead users to unsafe areas that are eroding.
  • User-created trails can disturb sensitive habitats, spread invasive species, and increase erosion. (See image at left.)
  • Trails must be planned according to the City’s Natural Trails Strategy.
  • Leaving the current informal trail network alone will not protect the natural environment.
user-created trail
User-created trail

One main trail in the East Don will leave a smaller environmental footprint than a large number of user-created trails.

The East Don Trail will be designed and constructed in such a way that it will often follow existing informal trails, as well as the location of the water sewer line (underground pipe and manholes). A portion of the trail will be routed within the Gatineau Hydro Corridor.

Making use of these existing conditions will decrease the overall impact on the environment. The implementation of a formal trail system will also manage the negative impacts on natural areas caused by overuse.

For every tree that is removed for this project, three will be planted — all native species.




blue checkmark in green circle Environmental Study Report
The East Don Trail Environmental Study Report (ESR) had a 30-day public review period from November 10, 2016 to December 9, 2016.
blue checkmark in green circle Class EA Approval from MOECC
The Class EA was approved by the MOECC on August 31, 2017.
blue checkmark in green circle Detailed Design
The City of Toronto and Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) worked in collaboration to complete the detailed design of Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the East Don Trail and have secured additional permits and approvals for its implementation.
green circle Construction
Construction of Phase 2 was completed November 2020. Phase 1 construction is currently underway.




Email: EastDonTrail@trca.ca
Phone: (416) 661-6600 ext. 5338