Waterfront Revitalization Nov. newsletter

Martin Goodman Trail Improvements Update

Work is now underway on trail improvements between Marilyn Bell Park and Ontario Place. The trail here is being widened to 4.5 metres, the Bailey Bridge which connects Exhibition Place to the waterfront, is being improved and more than 60 new trees are being planted. About 80% of the tree planting is now finished. Utility adjustments and grading are currently taking place and will be complete in the next two weeks.

The trail will be paved by the end of the month after which the rest of the trees will be planted. New foundations for the bridge will be installed by mid-December.

This past summer, TWRC completed trail improvements through Marilyn Bell Park. The road besides the lake was transformed into a four-metre car-free trail and a new trail was constructed along the north edge of the park.

Port Lands Sport Fields Update

In September, TWRC held an open house and public meeting to provide information and receive input on plans for new sports fields in the Port Lands which will be located on a nine-acre site on the south side of Unwin Avenue just west of Regatta Road. Since then, TWRC has issued a tender for site preparation work which is scheduled to start at the end of November. In addition to meeting an important recreational need, the sport fields project also has strong environmental benefits.

Doubling the Number of Trees

The clean-up of the site and construction of the sport fields require the removal of the existing trees. About 800 new native trees, double what is currently there, will be planted as part of the project. And, the new trees will be longer-living and more diverse. The existing stands of mature trees at Cherry Beach are not impacted by the sports field project.

Clean-up of Contaminated Land

Like much of the Port Lands, this site is contaminated from previous industrial use. Lead levels here exceed Ministry of Environment standards for park and recreational uses. The sports field project will bring the site up to acceptable standards through a clean-up strategy that has been discussed with public health and environment officials.

The widely accepted process for managing lead is to add a cap of clean soil. This cap of clean soil will kill the roots of the existing trees on the site which are being replaced at a rate of 2 to 1.

Storm-water Management

A ditch currently provides drainage on the site. A culvert will be installed to protect site users from contact with existing contamination in the ditch and to allow surface drainage from Unwin Avenue underneath the sports fields. An effective storm-water management system will also be installed as part of the project and runoff will be monitored on a continual basis.

Site preparation work will run from November to March 2007. The new landscaping and tree planting will start by April and be complete in May 2007.

Leslie Street Greening Phase I Complete

Phase I of the Leslie Street Greening Project is now complete. Leslie Street is one of the major gateway’s to the Port Lands and the future Lake Ontario Park. Phase I of the project includes landscaping and Martin Goodman Trail improvements on the eastside of the street between Lake Shore and Commissioners Street and on the west side south of Commissioners.

TWRC has started work on the design of Phase II which includes the eastside south of Commissioners Street. TWRC continues to meet with community stakeholders to obtain input on the design.