Scarborough Greenway Community: a path system that may ‘truly be a helpful option to get round’ | Information

Scarborough’s newest massive concept is a community connecting its huge suburban areas collectively whereas getting individuals out of vehicles.

The Scarborough Greenway Community takes the previous borough’s massive outlay of off-road trails and finishes connections to succeed in almost all space residents: 93 per cent could be inside one kilometer of a greenway path.

Scarborough individuals might use these multi-use trails to stroll or cycle to transit station, malls or downtown.

“It’s going to truly be a helpful option to get round,” mentioned Andre Sorensen, a College of Toronto Scarborough Geography professor who launched the proposal this month.

Because it’s all on public land, Sorensen thinks the Greenway must be simpler for drivers to swallow than the Scarborough Alternative, a community of arterial street bikeways Sorensen launched final 12 months.

When completed — and the community is already 51 per cent constructed — Sorensen mentioned in an interview, a world-class set of trails will appear an unimaginable amenity; it could even turn out to be a vacationer attraction, “one thing individuals come to Toronto to do.”

The dream of linking completely different elements of Toronto with inexperienced infrastructure has been round for many years.

The Pan Am Path, an 84-kilometre path community that was generally billed as a motorbike path from Scarborough to Toronto’s downtown, was presupposed to be prepared for Toronto’s internet hosting of the Pan Am/Parapan Am Video games in 2015, however wasn’t.

Pan Am Path, in a means, “is the grandparent of this proposal,” mentioned Sorensen, as a result of Pan Am grew to become the Meadoway, a Toronto and Area Conservation Authority challenge which, in levels, is connecting trails within the Don Valley with Rouge Nationwide City Park throughout Scarborough.

The Greenway Community says, “Let’s have six extra Meadoways; that is what we have accomplished,” mentioned Sorensen.

The challenge was researched and mapped over the summer time by 4 metropolis research undergraduates and a grant from the Suburban Mobilities Analysis Cluster.

A part of the proposal requires finishing trails alongside Highland Creek, in tandem with re-naturalizing a Scarborough watercourse whose higher tributaries are in concrete channels, “degraded and neglected waste areas” which can be sometimes fenced off. Sorensen mentioned releasing these parts of Highland Creek from concrete ought to occur anyway, as a result of throughout storms they shoot water downstream, inflicting hundreds of thousands in erosion harm.


The West Scarborough Railpath, hiked by supporters in September 2022, is one instance of an offroad pathway community which might hyperlink completely different Scarborough neighborhoods. Mike Adler/photograph

The West Scarborough Railpath, hiked by supporters in September 2022, is one instance of an offroad pathway community which might hyperlink completely different Scarborough neighborhoods. — Mike Adler/Metroland

Finishing the community will not be straightforward. Many Scarborough trails are nonetheless given no winter upkeep or will want enhancements. The plan requires 4 new crossings of Freeway 401, bridges or tunnels, to deal with strolling and biking journeys.

There’ll most likely be some native opposition too, from individuals who contemplate public lands close to their houses theirs, and don’t desire strangers touring by. Sorensen, nonetheless, believes help for such inexperienced infrastructure is rising.

So is authorities help for initiatives that struggle local weather change. That is why Sorensen believes governments will chip in for the community.

Till then, residents should take care of pathways that all of the sudden cease, even with potential connections not distant. In mapping the community, college students generally famous “want traces” worn areas exhibiting how individuals journey additional than current trails allow them to.

In an emailed assertion, the Metropolis of Toronto mentioned it’s “all the time taken with exploring methods to develop its path community” and has lately made some enhancements and connections by its Ravine Technique.