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East Don Trail Project Q&As

Q: Are there any updates regarding a timeline for the East Don Trail Phase 3 to start construction, and when it is anticipated to be completed. This is a very important phase as it connects many people to the downtown core, and may serve as a great cycle commute route.
Submitted August 7, 2020

A: Phase 3 is definitely an important trail connection between Phase 1 and Phase 2 of the East Don Trail, which will provide improved access to the downtown core.

Phase 3 is currently unfunded. However, TRCA continues to have discussions with the City of Toronto around potential timelines to begin detailed design and ultimately construction of the Phase 3 connection.

Phase 2 is planned to be completed by mid-September, with Phase 1 to come at the end of 2021, pending completion of detailed design and receipt of permits and approvals for the connections through the active Metrolinx rail line.

NOTE: Any delays in end dates will be reflected on the project FAQ page.



Q: Looking at the Phase 2 map, it appears there is either a switchback (bike friendly) or set of stairs to climb up from the level of Don Valley to the Wigmore park. Which is true, switchback or stairs?
Submitted August 25, 2019

A: Thank you for your question in regards to Phase 2 trail alignment. The section of trail you are referring to will be a switchback. The valley in this section is very steep so the switchback will adhere to AODA standards as much as possible. There will be resting and viewing nodes constructed along this section of trail.



Q: Will there be an access point (preferably an at least somewhat access enhancing ramp vs steep stairs) to phase 1 of the trail from Northline Road?
Submitted April 28, 2019

A: The section of the East Don Trail in Phase 1 adjacent to Northline Road is on the opposite riverbank, therefore there will not be an access point connecting the trail to Northline Road. Please refer to the map on the updated construction notice for Phase 1 to see the trail alignment in relation to the river and to Northline Road.



Q: How and when will this connect the Charles Sauriol Conservation Area ( which starts Lawrence, just east of DVP)?
Submitted August 24, 2018

A: The new East Don Trail will connect to the south of Charles Sauriol Conservation Area at Wynford Heights Crescent. This is Phase 2 of the project which will begin in September 2018. A construction notice, including a detailed map, of the Phase 2 trail can be downloaded here. Phase 1 and 2 of the project will occur concurrently. Although Phase 3 (which will connect Phase 1 and 2) was approved during the EA process, it has not undergone detailed design and will be implemented at a later date.



Q: The original design envisioned a continuous trail from the forks of the Don that continued past the Flemingdon Park golf course going north of Eglinton and linking up with the trail in the Wynford Heights area. Now the plan shows two unconnect trails. Why did the plan change?
Submitted January 25, 2018

A: Thanks so much for your question. You are correct; the final intention for the trail (or “the preferred alignment” in the East Don Trail EA) is to connect trails systems from the Forks of the Don (Lower Don, West Don and Taylor Massey Creek trails) through to the Existing East Don Trail (south of Lawrence Ave) and to make a connection to the Gatineau Hydro Corridor.

A project of this scale is often completed in phases in order to construct priority sections, accommodate budgetary constraints, and reduce risks involved in construction. As a result, the trail design and construction has been broken down into three (3) phases (which were discussed in section 8.10 of the EA):

  • Phase 1 – from the Lower Don Trail, over Taylor Massey Creek, along the Toronto Water access route, through the lower
    section of the ravine towards Flemingdon Park Golf Club and east through the Gatineau Hydro Corridor, terminating at Bermondsey Road.
  • Phase 2 – from the existing East Don Trail (by the Wynford Heights access) south towards Eglinton Avenue East, making a connection to Wigmore Park
  • Phase 3 – will connect Phase 1 and Phase 2

To reduce risks, and due to budgetary constraints, Phase 1 and 2 will be constructed first, starting in early 2018, and the design and construction of Phase 3 will occur at a later date.



Q: The creation of this trail seems to be taking a very long time long time. I remember when I first heard about it and in fact went to some of the early information sessions. Frankly I lost interest in actively following the development as there just seems to be too many delays. Is there any realistic estimate as to when the project will be completed?

Submitted December 4, 2017

A: Thank you for submitting your question in regards to the East Don Trail Project. Due to the length and complexity of the proposed East Don Trail, an Environmental Assessment (EA) was required for the project. The EA process identified, evaluated and selected a preferred trail route while ensuring all potential impacts were considered. The EA process also included extensive public consultation to provide direction and gain feedback on the project.

The EA was filed with the Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) for a 30-day public review on November 10, 2016. During this review the project received four (4) Part II Orders from members of the public, which is an appeal request for elevating the status of the project to an individual environmental assessment. When a Part II Order is received by the MOECC the project must then be reviewed and approval must be received from the Minister of the MOECC. The project received approval from the MOECC to proceed with the project on September 1, 2017.

The project team is currently working on detailed design and obtaining additional permits and approvals and intend to move forward with implementation in early 2018. Funds for a portion of the trail have already been secured through the Federal Public Transit Infrastructure Fund as well as identified in the City of Toronto’s budget.

Thank you for your patience and ongoing interest in the East Don Trail Project.