Annual West Toronto Railpath Cleanup!

  • West Toronto Railpath Cleanup – 10AM April 21
    Meet at the Wallace Ave. entrance, 10:00am. Some bags and gloves will be provided, but bring your own too if possible. With enough people coming, we can spilt up and cover all parts of the path.
    Please RSVP below, if you can, or contact me via info@junctiontriangle.ca

“Not Far From The Tree” Teams With RP

Laurel Atkinson Program Manager "Not Far From the Tree" in front of RP garden shed

Railpath recently teamed up with  the wonderful and award winning “Not Far From The Tree” group. This year Rio Tinto donated a new garden shed to Railpath at the Wallace Station entrance and no group was a better choice to use it first that NFFTT. (http://www.notfarfromthetree.org)

“Not Far From The Tree puts Toronto’s fruit to good use by picking and sharing the bounty.

When a homeowner can’t keep up with the abundant harvest produced by their tree, they let us know and we mobilize our volunteers to pick the bounty. The harvest is split three ways: 1/3 is offered to the tree owner, 1/3 is shared among the volunteers, and 1/3 is delivered by bicycle to be donated to food banks, shelters, and community kitchens in the neighbourhood so that we’re putting this existing source of fresh fruit to good use. It’s a win-win-win situation!

This simple act has profound impact. With an incredible crew of volunteers, we’re making good use of healthy food, addressing climate change with hands-on community action, and building community by sharing the urban abundance.”

We were really happy to let them use the shed to help them harvest and share. They will be back next year for sure.

West Toronto Railpath honoured with Urban Design Award

Story courtesy InsideToronto by Lisa Rainford
West Toronto Railpath honoured with urban design award. Landscape architect Scott Torrance received an Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence at a gala event Monday, Sept. 19 at the Palais Royale for his West Toronto Railpath project.

Landscape Architect Scott Torrance’s Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence for the West Toronto Railpath was unexpected, he said, admittedly still a little groggy from the previous night’s gala event at the Palais Royale on the lakeshore.

“It was a total surprise. It’s great that this project was honoured in this way,” said Torrance, Tuesday, Sept. 20. “It’s a tough award that’s given out every two years – it’s quite an honour.”

Torrance received the award of excellence for his design of the West Toronto Railpath between Cariboo Avenue and Dundas Street West in the small open spaces category while a honourable mention went to the Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization – Podium Roof Garden at 100 Queen St. W.

“Nathan Phillips Square is also a fabulous project,” said Torrance. “They’re really too different to compare them to each other.”

The West Toronto Railpath is on the alignment of a former rail corridor, which has been transformed into a public linear space.

“It’s been completed for a couple of years,” said Torrance. “I think when we started the project and I was walking down the corridor, it struck me that it had a wonderful wild quality, which is a rare experience in Toronto. We saw hawks there, lots of insects and butterflies, beautiful views – we wanted to maintain that quality.”

Torrance is pleased the way the railpath functions, not only for cyclists, but on a daily basis for pedestrians and in-line skaters.

Monday night’s ceremony  brought together members of the design and development community. From 129 submissions comprised of a variety of built projects, visions and master plans as well as student works. A jury selected 23 projects for the awards of excellence and honourable mentions, including the Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge at 53 Strachan Ave. The project, which received excellence in the Visions and Master Plans category, was deemed too expensive and cancelled by the city. In the student projects category, an Award of Excellence went to Feed Toronto: Growing the Hydrofields.

University of Toronto graduate Drew Adams said Monday’s honour was “a big pat on the back” for him and his four colleagues, all of whom are landscape architects while Adams is an architect. The project’s main goal is to show how substantially the hydro fields could be transformed, he said.
Hydrofields are “just such a vast area, an ubiquitous element in North American cityscape, said Adams.

This year’s jury, a collection of renowned design professionals, included Christine Abe, principal architect at the MBTW Group; Ronji Borooah, town architect and head of urban design in the town of Markham; Ralph Giannone, founding partner at Giannone Petricone Associates Inc.; John Lorinc, a journalist specializing in urban affairs, municipal politics, development and public space and Greg Smallenberg, founding partner of Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg.

“The number and quality of this year’s nominated projects demonstrates a high level of sophistication and excellence in the design and construction of structures throughout the city,” said Etobicoke Lakeshore Councillor Peter Milczyn, chair of the Planning and Growth Management committee, in a statement. “This enhances the livability, vibrancy and aesthetics of Toronto. Toronto can proudly boast of having one of the most talented pools of practicing design professionals, and sophisticated development companies anywhere in the world.”

Visit http://www.toronto.ca/tuda for further details.

Original story link here: http://www.insidetoronto.com/news/local/article/1109804–west-toronto-railpath-honoured-with-urban-design-award

RP2: “Future Construction Priority”

The new Bike Lane Staff Report released today on (page 20)  lists Railpath Stage 2 as a future construction priority. That is good news.

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2011/pw/bgrd/backgroundfile-38906.pdf

Railpath Stage 2 : Whats Happening?

Friends of Railpath have been working with the City Departments, Councillors, and Metrolinx to make Railpath Stage 2 a reality. There is a lot of activity in and around the Georgetown Rail Corridor these days so there is a fair amount of planning involved in seeing Stage 2 happen. (updated March 2013)

A Feasibility Study/EA has been commissioned by the City this year (2013) to specifically look at building stage 2 and will report later in the fall. Many people are contributing their expertise on this including Friends of West Toronto Railpath. There will be a series of public meetings hosted by the City to get feedback and collaborate on ideas for the next stage.

If you need more information about the process please contact the Sr. Public Consultation Coordinator Maogosha Pyjor:  mpyjor@toronto.ca or call 416-338-2850.

Where will Railpath Stage 2 go?

We see the stage 2 feasibility study dealing with a few main issues. First we want to get the Railpath as far south as we can. Originally we had hoped to get to Strachan but the rail corridor is very congested so our sights are set on getting south of Queen, how far we do not know. Second we would love to be bold and find a way to connect a ramp from Sorauren Park over the rail corridor and to Railpath. The Wabash Building Society has expressed their desire to see a bridge over RPas well. Any cyclist or pedestrian can see how this would totally change the West End and bring together communities that have always been separated by rail lines for over 150 years. Many people have sent us their own diagrams of how this could be done and some of us have done a site survey to see if its possible. Its a big idea but think about it, it would change the lifestyles of a massive amount of people in a positive way. (If you live along Sorauren get on the phone and  let Councillor Perks know you support him on this). And lastly, the existing Railpath ends at Cariboo Avenue north of Dupont and that is something we want to change. The reality here is both positive and negative. The negative part is that the rail diamond stops us from going straight north. The positive is that if Railpath were to become an on street bike lane for a few blocks the opportunity to become a linear park north of there exists. Its a geographic area that really is interesting and has not been explored. There could be some excellent opportunities. That’s the short version!

There is also a Rail Corridor Local Area Study underway by the City Planning Department that will help shape development along the corridor and Railpath 2 is a big part of that. There is info on their site about how you can take part in the study in person or via email. Get involved. This site will be updated to reflect some of the feedback that they have received. Planner Sarah Phipps is the contact person on this study and eager to get feedback.

Local Councillors are on board but it never hurts to let them know that you want to see Railpath 2 happen. These two are most involved in Stage 2.

councillor_bailao@toronto.ca

councillor_perks@toronto.ca  

Stage 1 of RP took 10 years to happen but now that people are seeing it and loving it we are very optimistic that Stage 2 will take way less time.

Thank You Cleaner Uppers !

Thanks to the volunteers who came out on April 2and for the annual Railpath cleanup. Yes Parks cleans the RP but this is a chance to meet, inspect the RP, and show community stewardship of this great path. Here is some pix of some of the crew, thanks to people who happened by and joined in and all those who took the time to stop and say thanks.

Railpath Cleanup Day April 2 Noon

Its time for the annual Railpath Cleanup and inspection

JT Railpath invites you to come out for an hour or so and help get Railpath off to a great clean start (although it never really stops). Meet under Wallace Bridge on April 2 at noon. Bring a garbage bag or two, some gloves, and a smile. The last 2 times we had a lot of fun rain or shine.

We split people into groups so that each person is picking recyclable or garbage and the best part is we leave the bags for Parks to come and pick up. Usually we get at least two people with bikes that have pull carts so that bags can be moved around.

Afterwards we can all head over to Angel’s Cafe for a coffee.

Railpath is an important part of the community so lets help take care of it; a little bit of time makes a big difference. If you are planning on coming out post here so we have an idea.