If you’ve ever explored the green corridor in the Don Valley, you’ve probably been pleasantly surprised at the abundance of parkland and trails. Adjacent the Don River, the area is mostly used by cyclists, runners and urban hikers. But the lower part of the Don Valley has been neglected for over a century, environmentally abused as a dumping ground and waste sink for industry.
All of that could change for some 480 acres of parkland, according to a recent Globe and Mail feature.
City officials and non-profit group Evergreen have been hashing out a revitalization plan to transform a massive swath of the valley, from Pottery Road down to Front Street near the river’s mouth, into a super park.
Part of the ambitious idea — dubbed the Don River Valley Park — includes trail enhancements and restoring neglected green spaces. Proposed bike lanes on Bayview Ave. would, frankly, make it less terrifying to access the area on two wheels. The old rail lines would become pedestrian paths. Highlighted gateways and entry points would allow easier access for residents of nearby neighbourhoods like Corktown, Regent Park, Riverdale and Cabbagetown, not to mention future Port Lands zones.
Longer-term goals envision a reconfirguring of the DVP ramps for Bloor and Bayview, Metrolinx rail corridors, and the reclaimation of a city works yard in the valley.
Connecting Brickworks with the emerging Port Lands, and revitalizing the city's key ravine system and water channel, will be a rich legacy for generations to come.
To find out more about the master plan, proposed timelines, plus information on the landscape and how to get involved in the future of this green space, visit donrivervalleypark.ca