Thornhill SNAP

UPCOMING EVENT

Oakbank Pond Park Pollinator Garden

Please join the SNAP team — Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and City of Vaughan — at our upcoming community planting event in your neighbourhood! Come out to celebrate the last days of summer and enjoy the outdoors!

Date: Thursday September 9, 2021
Time: 6:00 to 9:00 p.m.
Location: Oakbank Pond Park, Vaughan

REGISTRATION COMING SOON


COVID-19 protocols will be in place throughout the entire event. Please see registration page for more information. Please bring your own gloves, masks, and water bottles. Shovels will be provided. Appropriate outdoor clothing and sturdy shoes are recommended.
This event is free, and registration is required.

Thornhill SNAP Action Plan

The Thornhill SNAP is a comprehensive action plan for neighbourhood resilience and revitalization that integrates local community interests, sustainability objectives, and climate adaptation.

READ THE DRAFT ACTION PLAN REPORT

Undertaken as a partnership between Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the City of Vaughan, this plan supports a future where:

  • the neighbourhood’s public and private spaces are well connected and rich with nature, activity, culture, history, and art
  • people of all ages and abilities feel comfortable, safe and engaged
  • the built environment is created or retrofitted with health and sustainability in mind
  • community connections grow and prosper

Implementation of the Thornhill SNAP Action Plan recommendations will help achieve the objectives and targets identified in many municipal, regional and TRCA strategies, and will advance strategic initiatives identified in the City of Vaughan’s Climate Emergency Declaration.

ABOUT THE PLANNING PROCESS

SNAP’s planning process began with neighborhood selection, which was completed using a unique TRCA mapping tool that layers the priorities of the watershed, local municipalities, and planned capital projects.

This exercise identified hot spot areas within the City of Vaughan that had multiple key priorities. As a result of this exercise, the Thornhill neighbourhood was identified as a prime candidate for a SNAP.

The SNAP action planning process follows a three-phase approach that incorporates extensive community and multi-stakeholder engagement

The SNAP action planning process followed a three-phase approach — each phase containing extensive community and multi-stakeholder engagement (see the Engagement Summary), quick-start events and programming, and scoping and technical analysis.

In conjunction with this three-phase approach, a climate change vulnerability assessment and high-level resiliency strategy was conducted for the Thornhill neighbourhood. The results of this assessment, along with 24 adaptation and resilience strategies, have been documented in the draft Action Plan report.

ENGAGEMENT SUMMARY

Engagement Activity Date
One-on-one Stakeholder Meetings Various dates
SNAP into Action Survey January
Co-Visioning Workshop January 26
Indigenous Communities Engagement May 28
Open House #1 June 14
Open House #2 June 14
Action Plan Map Online Commenting Period June 1-14
Complete Streets Signature Project Workshop July 22
Gallanough Park Signature Project Workshop July 29
York Hill Park Signature Project Workshop September 2, 2020

In Phases 1 and 2 of the planning process, five Motivating Themes were identified, which later informed the development of the Integrated Action Areas and Signature Projects that were identified in Phase 3, and each of which are highlighted on the neighbourhood Action Plan Map:

Five key motivating themes emerged from the community engagement undertaken in Phase 1 and 2 of the Thornhill SNAP planning process. These themes will inform the development of project ideas in Phase 3 of our action planning process.

1. Nature in the City

People requested more trees and habitat on public and private properties (especially main streets, parks, and homes). They want ways to encourage contact with nature — for example, through outdoor programming, trails, and better signage.

cyclist on tree-lined trail next to city street at sunset

2. Revitalized, Connected Parks & Open Spaces

Again, the call for more trees and habitat in parks and open areas, with shade and seating and art installations. Residents want these areas to become inclusive community-building spaces that are livable and human, with accessible, multi-age, and multi-season recreation facilities for events and sports.

Residents would also like to see unique destinations created in parks, with greenspaces that are well connected through trails and wayfinding. They also want to be sure their green spaces are safe with loitering addressed and potential for terrorism considered.

nature trail lined with trees

3. Pleasant, Connected Active Transportation

Residents suggested the need to improve walkability and bikeability, for both recreational and commuting purposes. They want these connections to be accessible for seniors, with wayfinding and places to sit.

women walking on urban trail

4. Community Connections & Livability

Residents expressed a desire for their community to have better connections, such as those between apartment tower sites and single family homes, both north and south of the railway tracks. To improve livability, they would like to see spaces designed to encourage community-building and to host community events and intergenerational programming.

community event hosted on greenspace near residential towers

5. Sustainable Retrofits in Homes and Institutions

There is a keen interest in energy efficiency, renewables, and electric vehicles, as well as water conservation, stormwater management, flood prevention, and waste management measures. Such measures could be adopted in homes and other buildings in the neighbourhood through the introduction of rain barrels, recycling, reuse programs, tree planting, and habitat creation.

landscaped yard of residential property
rain barrel
TRCA team member plants tree on residential property

A number of secondary themes also emerged:

  • Flood Prevention (60% of survey respondents are concerned; most of the comments were about street flooding)
  • Aging in Place and Accessibility (emergency preparedness, multi-geenerational programming, accessible design of public spaces)
  • Safety and Security (robbery and hate crimes)
  • History and Culture (historical heritage, arts, education)
  • Local Food (farmers market, community gardens, greenhouses, orchards), although urban agriculture did not rank high in the survey
  • Traffic and Transit (reduce congestion, improve access to transit)
  • New Development (interest in affordable housing; concerns around high-rise towers/services and congestion; desire for more nature in new developments)
  • City Services (litter pickup on streets parks, improved maintenance of infrastructure, repair of clogged drainage, leaf removal and maintenance of trees)

 

The Thornhill SNAP Action Plan is anchored on three Integrated Action Areas:

1. Connected People, Places, and Ecosystems

This action area will include a series of initiatives focused on:

  • Active transportation for improved pedestrian and cycling options
  • Green infrastructure to add more trees and habitat across the neighbourhood and improve stormwater management
  • Projects and programming related to the revitalization of parks and open spaces as interesting destinations with diverse amenities that respond to current community priorities
  • Inclusion of educational and cultural programming and events to encourage community connections.

Creditview Activity Hub at Sandalwood Park in Brampton

2. Residential Retrofits

This action area will provide supports and programming for homeowners to assist them with identification and implementation of actions to make their homes and their properties more efficient and more resilient to extreme climate events.

a rain garden forms part of a residential retrofit program in the County Court SNAP neighbourhood

3. Greening and Humanization of Commercial and Institutional (CI) Properties and Multi-unit Residential Buildings (MURBS)

This action area will focus on creating more sustainable and resilient buildings, parking lots and outdoor spaces associated with MURBs, institutional and commercial properties within the community.

It will include the development of spaces within these properties that celebrate culture and history and that allow the community to gather and connect.

residents tend to a community garden in the outdoor space of a multi-unit residential building

 

Gallanough Park Redevelopment

Gallanough Park was identified as a signature project based on feedback received from the community and given the City’s capital plans to construct a stormwater management facility in the park to alleviate localized urban flooding, as well as the availability of capital funding through the Parks Delivery division to help revitalize the park infrastructure and amenities.

As such, all proposed elements will need to be reviewed in light of the underground stormwater facility and any associated restrictions (e.g. weight restrictions, maintenance access, etc.).

the revitalization of Gallanough Park is one of the signature projects identified for the Thornhill SNAP neighbourhood

The Park revitalization recommendations feature an abundance of activities and experiences for residents, through adaptation and enhancement of the existing park functions. The goal is to create well connected and cohesive spaces, provide comfortable, enjoyable, safe and continuous experiences, as well as enhance biodiversity for wildlife.

Each designated space has its own unique function that addresses the community’s feedback and coordinates with the future underground stormwater management facility.

VIEW THE CONCEPTUAL PLAN
Select the thumbnail image below to view the full-sized plan.

Gallanough Park redevelopment conceptual plan

View the Draft Action Plan Report for more details.

York Hill Park Redevelopment

York Hill Park was identified as a signature project based on feedback received from the community and given the City’s capital plans for renovations at the Garnet A Williams Community Centre as well as the availability of capital funding through the Parks Delivery department to develop a revitalization plan for the Park.

The vision for the Park is a cultivated wilderness, which interprets and integrates the rich cultural heritage of the neighbourhood with Vaughan’s natural landscapes and diverse ecologies, as well as adapts and enhances the existing park amenities and programs through low impact development (LID) for stormwater management and other innovative technologies.

the vision for the redevelopment of York Hill Park is described as a cultivated wilderness

The recommended concept plan includes a series of activity zones, each with their own unique characteristics and interest, to provide for engaging and diverse experiences for visitors.

Opportunities for community events, as well as proposed park elements to help provide contact with nature are also proposed, including pollinator gardens, tree groves, and community gardens.

VIEW THE CONCEPTUAL PLAN
Select the thumbnail image below to view the full-sized plan.

York Hill District Park redevelopment conceptual plan

View the Draft Action Plan Report for more details.

Complete Streets

The province of Ontario defines “complete streets” in the 2019 growth plan A Place to Grow as streets planned to balance the needs of all road users, including pedestrians, cyclists, transit-users, and motorists.

The Thornhill SNAP Complete Streets signature project identifies areas of opportunity on three collector roads in the Thornhill SNAP neighbourhood, including Centre Street and Atkinson and Hilda Avenues.

an architectural rendering of the complete streets project planned for the Thornhill SNAP neighbourhood
Rendering courtesy of Ryerson University.

These roads were selected based on alignment with the City of Vaughan’s Pedestrian and Bike Master Plan. The plan recommends these streets as part of the priority cycling network and based on community feedback, which generated numerous suggestions for these streets, including improved walkability and traffic flow, reduction in traffic congestion, implementation of cycling facilities, beautification and planting additional street trees.

The objective of the Complete Streets project will be to create safe, inviting and vibrant streets and streetscapes that will attract both residents and visitors alike, while addressing the sustainability objectives identified for the community, including urban forest and habitat and sustainable stormwater management.

VIEW THE CONCEPTUAL PLAN
Select the thumbnail image below to view the full-sized plan.

Thornhill SNAP complete streets conceptual plan

View the Draft Action Plan Report for more details.

Residential Retrofit Program (RRP)

A conceptual design has been developed for a Home Retrofit Program tailored to the Thornhill neighbourhood. This proposed program will offer educational activities to help homeowners decide on key actions to be implemented at their homes, as well as support services to make the renovation process easier.

The RRP will support actions across multiple sustainability and resiliency themes (including energy, water, stormwater management, eco-landscaping and flood prevention), as well as social themes such as aging in place.

In addition, the proposed program will help homeowners access existing incentive programs and the City’s planned Local Improvement Charges financing program for energy retrofits.

View the Draft Action Plan Report for more details.

 

Click on or touch the image below to see a full-sized PDF version. The PDF will open in a new browser tab. Use the plus symbol (+) on your desktop or double-tap/pinch on your mobile device to zoom in and view details.

Thornhill SNAP action plan map

 

Working goals and targets were developed across various sustainability themes (see the Sustainability Framework) based on technical neighbourhood conditions and community interests.

These goals and objectives were customized to the neighbourhood, but also respond to bigger-picture municipal, regional, and TRCA strategies.

A complete list of the goals and targets can be found in the Draft Action Plan Report.

As implementation of the Action Plan progresses, the SNAP Team will monitor and evaluate actions and initiatives to track progress toward meeting these goals and targets.

An online monitoring dashboard is also being developed that will allow residents and community stakeholders the opportunity to share individual actions, which collectively will help the community meet these goals sooner!

THORNHILL SNAP SUSTAINABILITY FRAMEWORK

Thornhill SNAP sustainability framework diagram displays core and complementary themes - community resilience is a consideration for all themes

NEXT STEPS

Phases 1, 2 and 3 of the Thornhill SNAP planning process are now complete and we welcome your feedback!

Read the full Thornhill SNAP Draft Action Plan Report and let us know what you think by completing our feedback survey on or before June 21, 2021.