Building the East Toronto Railpath

12th floor, West Tower, City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Toronto, ON M5H 2N2
Attention: Marilyn Toft

RE: MM35.4 Completing The Missing Link and Building the East Toronto Railpath – by Councillor Mike Layton, seconded by Councillor Joe Cressy  (Ward 10, 11)

Dear Mayor Tory and Members of City Council,

This is to express our strong support for the Members Motion to move forward with this exciting project to convert a disused rail line and bridge to an active transportation corridor in the Don Valley.  This will connect and expand the City’s trail system, dramatically expanding recreational opportunities for Torontonians, provide an opportunity to memorialize the historic railway story of Toronto, realise part of the Don Valley Park vision, and create a new tourism magnet for Toronto.   

The West Toronto Railpath and the Don Mills Trail serve as local models for how rail to trail conversions can provide low cost sustainable recreational opportunities provided other orders of government are willing to cooperate, and providing we (and they) are willing to make the upfront investment.  The East Toronto Railpath project is extraordinarily significant as a “place-keeping” opportunity, and we urge City Council to recognize the opportunities therein for Indigenous partnership.

We note a couple of possible “flies in the ointment” that the City needs to pay attention to as this project proceeds:

  • The route (undefined) of the VIA RAIL High Frequency Rail Toronto to Ottawa via Peterborough;
  • The site of the Metrolinx Don Valley Train Layover Facility north of the Bloor Viaduct (for which project FoNTRA has requested a federal environmental assessment be conducted).  

Finally, we acknowledge and commend the work of Sean Marshall (with the support of Chris Fraser) who have created the walkway story map that begins to describe the Missing Link – and the potential of the East Toronto Railpath.

Geoff Kettel
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

Cathie Macdonald
Co-Chair, FoNTRA

cc: Chris Murray, City Manager
Tracey Cook, Deputy City Manager, Infrastructure and Development Services  
Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division
Barbara Gray, General Manager, Transportation Services
Janie Romoff, Executive Director, Parks, Forestry and Recreation