Following my recent post about cycling to the office, Richard Witt of BDP Quadrangle suggested that I do a post on the West Toronto Railpath and use the little influence that I have to try and encourage further expansion. I thought this was a reasonable idea and so here I am writing about it today.
For those of you who may not be familiar, the WTR is a multi-use trail that can be used for “human-powered activities” such as biking, running, or unicycling. And as the name suggests, the path runs on an old rail line on the west side of Toronto. Here is the current route map (we’re talking about the dark orange line):
And here’s what it looks like today:
It’s an incredible amenity and piece of infrastructure on the west side of Toronto, but it’s probably also a little underrated. I think of part of this has to do with it being somewhat hidden. And I think another part of this has to do with it being too short.
Right now the WTR runs from Cariboo Ave in the north — which is around the corner from Junction House — down to Dundas Street West & Sterling Road in the south. But according to the City of Toronto, an expansion phase has already been funded and construction will start next year. This will take its southern terminus down to Queen Street & Sudbury Street:
All of this is, of course, excellent news. But you and I both know that the WTR needs to be further extended to Union Station, then up north, and probably elsewhere too. So I am here today to advocate for that to happen. If we can find a few billion hanging around to rebuild the Gardiner East (ugh), then surely we can scrape together a few more million for this.
Images: Friends of West Toronto Railpath
Hear, Hear! (on the extension to Union). Also, really looking forward to that extension to Queen and Sudbury to get rid of an annoying stutter step in my daily commute that goes… Queen, Noble, Strickland, Earnbridge, Brock, Delaney, Wyndham, Northern, Shirley, Lansdowne, Dundas, Sterling…. It looks like a staircase on my GPS map.
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I believe that this could be helpful. Here is the official web for supporting the extension.
I used to commute along the path after getting in literal fistfights with angry drivers on Weston rd. Never looked back, it’s quiet, peaceful and empty in the morning. Would love to see it extended to Union. I would probably ride my bike more as a result.
One thing they should do is clearly separate pedestrians from faster users like they do on parts of the lakefront. Pedestrians walking 3-4 abreast without situational awareness is a big issue.
Further expansion sounds like one of many possible legacy projects for a somewhat popular third term mayor. Well, if only.