The City's ravine system is one of Toronto's greatest assets, and providing access to them for all Torontonians is critical. Properly managed, they offer biological diversity, recreational opportunities and help protect us from disastrous extreme weather events. In Rosedale, a decaying trail connects between Chorley Park and the Evergreen Brickworks offered the city an opportunity to both provide a safe and accessible connection while protecting endangered butternut elm trees. Through collaboration with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, the City sought to replace what had become a series of fractured desire paths with a new paved trail.
Accessibility became an issue that I firmly defended, despite limited opposition that focused on minimizing the size of the trail and providing a more natural pathway. While these criticisms were well-meaning, the city has both a moral duty to ensuring that our most vulnerable residents can enjoy the same City amenities that our most able can, as well as a legal duty under the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA). This project went through significant consultation, including a working group process and review by accessibility advocates. The project was substantially completed in 2018, with new tree plantings and shrubs that will replace invasive species that were removed as part of the project.