17 per cent of T.O. is ravines; city plans new strat­egy

Pro­tected ravine lands ac­count for 17 per cent of the city’s to­tal land area. The need to attend to a slew of safety and en­vi­ron­men­tal is­sues and grow this nat­u­ral re­source for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions has be­come a top pri­or­ity at coun­cil

Thornhill Post - - Contents -

Toronto’s com­plex and mas­sive sys­tem of ravines is the lifeblood of our neigh­bour­hoods: our play­grounds, our cre­ative in­spi­ra­tion and our recre­ational out­let.

An in­cred­i­ble 17 per cent of to­tal land area is pro­tected ravine, and 60 per cent of that fig­ure is pub­lic land. New York City may have Cen­tral Park, but we have in­cred­i­ble and wild na­ture snaking through the city. Neigh­bour­hoods such as Rosedale, For­est Hill and Lea­side have ac­cess to some of the most beau­ti­ful park­land in the city.

With a new ravine strat­egy ap­proach­ing the mu­nic­i­pal fin­ish line, the city is fi­nally rec­og­niz­ing how im­por­tant this green space is and is tak­ing steps to make it even bet­ter for fu­ture gen­er­a­tions to en­joy.

“Toronto’s ravines are crit­i­cal to our iden­tity and well­be­ing,” said Jennifer Keesmaat, as part of the draft ravine strat­egy the city is fin­ish­ing. “We need to take nec­es­sary steps to en­sure that th­ese spa­ces can be en­joyed and con­tinue to func­tion and flour­ish for the next 100 years and be­yond.”

In Toronto, ravines are the back­drop for ev­ery­thing from dog­gie off-leash zones in ar­eas such as Sher­wood Park to the mas­sive pic­nic ar­eas of Sun­ny­brook. Toronto can look for­ward to bet­ter sig­nage, nat­u­ral link­ages for easy ex­plo­ration, more art, more recre­ation and even new parks such as the mas­sive Don River Park an­nounced by Mayor John Tory last fall. (Some im­ages pic­tured cour­tesy of a new book An En­dur­ing Wilder­ness, with pho­tos by Robert Bur­ley)

Clock­wise from far left: A well-loved ravine tree, John Tory makes Don River Park an­nounce­ment at Ev­er­green Brick Works, a makeshift shel­ter and a na­ture-lov­ing dog

L–R: A run­ning event snakes through a cen­tral Toronto ravine, a ten­nis court in the East Don Park­lands and a lit­tle af­ter­noon fish­ing on one of the city’s rivers

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