What is the scope of the West Toronto Railpath (WTR)?
When completed, WTR will run diagonally from Cariboo Avenue (just north of Dupont) south across Bloor, Dundas, Landsdowne, Brock, Queen possibly to King and to Strachan Avenue (possibly using an “on-street” section). The Railpath is being built on abandoned railway beds which have been out of use for over 40 years. There will be a hard-surface path, extensive landscaping, lighting and numerous well-marked access points.
What is the current status? Can I see it for myself?
Yes you can: Phase One was completed October 2009. It’s about 2.1 km long, running from Cariboo Ave to Dundas Street W (near where College Street merges with Dundas). Enjoy it on foot, bike, stroller or any other means of non-motorized transportation!
How is WTR affected by Metrolinx and the Union-Pearson Rail Link?
Phase 2 of the Railpath (eastern segment) is awaiting further planning and investigation concerning GO Transit service enhancements on the Georgetown line, as well as a proposed express rail service to Pearson Airport. Find out more from Metrolinx (http://www.metrolinx.com/gsse/). There is a feasibility study for RP Stage 2 underway and a planning study for the entire rail corridor too. They both will report Fall 2011. Metrolinx has met with Friends on more than one occasion and has stated they will do everything in their power to help Stage 2 happen.
What happens east of Strachan Ave? Will the path continue into downtown?
Ideally the linear park would someday run all the way to Union Station. In the foreseeable future however, WTR will end just south of Queen. From there the route is still being figured out but would use the bicycle lane network, on street travel, and hopefully connect with Toronto’s waterfront park system.
What about the existing mature trees, butterfly and bird habitat?
The abandoned rail lines which run diagonally across the western part of Toronto are an incredible sanctuary for bird life, animal life, native tree and grass species, butterfly and insect life. Before construction began, community members and landscape carried out a flora and fauna inventory in order to protect the incredible array of wildlife which exists on the site. Many of the seeds were replanted during construction of Phase 1.
I like what I’ve seen so far. Who designed the park?
What’s the story with the metal sculptures?
The WTR park project includes four site-specific sculptures by renowned Toronto artist, John Dickson. The artwork series, Frontier, is inspired by the changing landscape of the Junction Railpath area. John Dickson was selected to work collaboratively with Scott Torrance Landscape Architects through an open competition coordinated by Toronto Cultural Services’ Public Art Office.
How can I help see this project to completion?
Contact us, and let us know your area of interest and availability to volunteer.