An opportunity for a major accessibility improvement for the Lower Don Trail will be coming up at tomorrow’s Parks Committee meeting. The City is planning to install two staircases linking the bridges at Gerrard and Dundas Streets to the Lower Don Trail. While this will provide welcome additional access points for able trail users, people using wheelchairs, strollers, bike trailers and other wheeled devices will not be accommodated. They will continue to have no accessible entry points to the Lower Don anywhere on the 4.5 km. stretch of the Lower Don Trail between Corktown Common and Pottery Road.
Walk Toronto is proposing that an accessible ramp be installed at Gerrard, Dundas (or perhaps at Riverdale Park, though this involves hillier terrain). When the TTC brings new accessible streetcars to its Carlton, Dundas and King lines, people with disabilities will be able to take transit to stops close to the bridge. We want them to be able to use a ramp and not face stairs, which can be a barrier. The same applies to patients at the large Bridgepoint rehab facility, which overlooks the trail.
Thanks to contributions from condo developers in Toronto’s three downtown wards, the City has accumulated $37 million in alternative rate reserves that can be used to improve existing parks. Let’s tap these funds in order to improve access to one of the largest body of green space in the city’s inner core. Toronto doesn’t have a big downtown park like Mt. Royal or Central Park. Instead, we are known for our ravine systems and river valleys. We must ensure that all Torontonians have access to them.
Councillor Fletcher has kindly added this item to the agenda of the Parks & Environment Committee’s meeting on Aug. 15. If you act quickly, you can send a letter of support to the committee before the deadline of 4:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 14. Click on “Submit Comments” at:
To view Walk Toronto’s “Lower Don Trail Accessibility” report, see: