[updated] Lower Don Trail Closed Through 2016

20160609_111703_resized_1Starting Thursday, June 9 at 7 a.m., the Lower Don Trail will be closed between Pottery Road and Riverdale Park Bridge.

We are aiming to reopen the trail for the spring of 2017

This closure is required to facilitate excavation work for an improved tunnel at the Belleville rail underpass.

A detour is possible  using Pottery Rd. and Broadview Ave. (see map below), although there may lane reductions due to construction on parts of Broadview Avenue.

Because of frequent construction vehicles, we cannot provide a detour within the narrow Lower Don park area. We realize this is not an ideal situation and we sincerely apologize again for the inconvenience.

Stay subscribed to this blog for updates.Lower Don Construction Areas and Detour Map

27 thoughts on “[updated] Lower Don Trail Closed Through 2016

  1. This is totally wrong. All biking routes towards north goes through this stretch.
    I suggest, a detour with safe bicycle path should be provided.


  2. There was no mention of the closure on the signs yesterday afternoon. I used the trail and checked once I got the notification. You’re going to have a lot of frustrated cyclists and runners today.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Please please Toronto arrange for a detour. This is a gateway trail between 2 very popular areas. Many people commute this route. Why is a bike path closure treated differently to road closure??
    Well had a similar situation when they closed the bridge over the rail line, have we learned nothing?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Good thing someone alerted me to this post, as I was planning to do my first-ever cycling commute to work tomorrow. It’s fantastic the City is making improvements to the cycling network, but please provide some information on safe alternative routes north from downtown. I’m new to cycling and am not confident enough to share the road with cars and motorbikes.

    It looks like I’ll be sticking with my car for the next month or so, as this is smack in the middle of the route I was planning.


  5. Broken promises! At the public meetings, I was told there would be no extended closings. What’s changed? Also, one day’s advance notice is just dysfunctional. Based upon past experience “closed until mid-July”, most likely, means all summer … this sucks.

    At Pottery Road intersection, there is detour signage showing directions Pottery Road and south on Broadview to Riverside Park bridge, down the stairs, return to pathway.


  6. Less than 24 hours notice was not sufficient. Also as of 8 am on June 9th there was no signage on the trail and the trail was open from Pottery to Riverdale. This inadequate and/or incorrect closure info happens with most projects down there & was a concern that I voiced at the meeting. Also 6 weeks closure in the middle of summer is way too long when we were promised minimal closures. And finally there is litter (1) at pottery as the garbage cans were removed & (2) there are 5 heavy duty garbage bags on the dirt road leading to area under bloor viaduct that keep getting moved to the side instead of picked up and (3) just before the area where the tunnel construction is there is a pile of garbage that has been there for weeks as the garbage cans were removed from that area as well.
    Finally , there is construction at the corner of Broadview & Mortimer so I hope that signage is in an area that everyone heading down the Pottery Rd bike/foot path can see.


  7. Hi all

    I’m so sorry about the last minute notice. Some big orange “trail closed” signs were posted yesterday afternoon and more construction posters are being updated today. See photo example in updated blog post at top.

    Our plan was always to provide multiple days advanced warning for closures, but in this instance City staff were only given 1/2 a day’s notice by contractors about a modified excavation activity that required a closure, (not an excuse, and our team is committed to do better next time). Hopefully this blog and City tweets helped some folks avoid the frustration, and for everyone who did get stuck at a dead end, my sincere apologies.

    A detour is possible using Pottery Rd. and Broadview Ave., although there may be lane reductions due to construction on parts of Broadview Avenue. See map added to blog post at top.

    Because of frequent construction vehicles, we cannot provide a detour within the narrow Lower Don park area.

    We realize this is not an ideal situation and we again sincerely apologize again for the inconvenience.

    While closures are a pain, they are sometimes necessary to construct important majors improvements to a tail like this. See imagery and details of the Lower Don Trail Improvements at http://www.toronto.ca/lowerdon

    P.S. I have heard of some unkind exchanges between trail users and construction workers. Let’s all please try to have patience and show respect for each other. Please take precaution around construction areas and vehicles. And remember the crews there are working to making your trail better. That said, feel free to send me any details of concerns you may have with on site conduct or situations: jdiceman@toronto.ca


  8. Interesting that you claim there was only 1/2 day’s notice from the contractor. According to a construction supervisor I spoke with this morning, the city was given 2 weeks notice by the contractor. Who’s telling the truth? This would never happen if it were cars being asked to find an alternate route away from a major commuting thoroughfare. There would be advance warning, and detour signs leading to the blocked section.


  9. There is a large orange sign saying TRAIL CLOSED at the south end of the trail just at the entrance to Corktown Common – via the tunnel under the rail line. (It adds, helpfully!, “see website for details”!!) If one did not know any better you would assume the trail was closed from there going north but you can still go as far as the King Street and Riverdale Park bridges.

    I certainly understand why the trail needs to be closed and look forward to the long-awaited better tunnel under the rail line but there really was very little advance notice and, from this example anyway, VERY poor signage!


  10. Why is the trail closed 24/7? It only needs to be closed during construction hours (i.e., approx. 7am to 4pm), when it is unsafe due to construction equipment travelling on the trail to access the tunnel construction area. There may be short periods of time when the trail needs to be closed 24/7, for instance if the existing tunnel is completely removed while a new one is built, but efforts should be made to keep it open during the construction period (but outside of construction hours) to the extent possible. As many others have posted here, this is the only north-south trail that permits access to the downtown core.


    • Hi RC. Good question, as others have also asked.

      I spoke with staff and the plan is to maintain the closure through weekends and evenings.

      There are considerable hazards, including unreliable pathways and a lot of equipment and materials in the very tight work area. To avoid public risk, the site area will remain closed until the team is ready to reopen for an extended period of time, or hopefully for the long term, but no promises yet.

      Thanks for asking and sorry for the disappointing answer.

      Also, a reminder that the Broadview Ave detour does include a section with construction where you may need to take the lane or walk on the side walk. I know this is very frustrating and I wish it was not the case.

      I invite others to post their suggestions for alternate routes, noting that the City does not endorse any illegal cycling activity such as adult riding on sidewalks or wrong-way riding.


      • Alternative to hiking up Pottery Road to Broadview:

        While not ideal I’d suggest going south down Bayview as an alternative. As soon as you hit Rosedale Rd you can climb some steps to the cemetery beside Riverdale farm. Although the stairs aren’t bike friendly, and running or walking along Bayview isn’t either (biking should be fine) — this may be better for lots of folks who don’t want to hike up Pottery Road.

        Would be interesting to hear if work on Bayview could have been done in parallel to make this alternative a bit friendlier as I know many don’t enjoy the climb up Pottery to Broadview.

        PS. Is there a timeline for the new Bayview-Pottery pedestrian bridge?

        Liked by 1 person

  11. The timing could not be worse. Right during prime cycling season. And I find it hard to believe that the only way this work can proceed safely is with a total 24×7 closure. Human ingenuity sent a man to the moon, but apparently this task is beyond us.


  12. It is extremely aggravating that the trail is basically rendered useless for the summer. In addition to affecting bike commuters, it makes it very difficult for anyone who like to cycle down to the waterfront on evenings or weekends. And the lack of advance warning about the exact timing of the closure was unbelievably inconsiderate–would never have happened if we were talking about a road closure. I was one of the “lucky” ones who cycled south of Pottery Road last Friday morning, only to be turned back just by the Bloor Street viaduct. Had to cycle home, back up the Bayview extension hill, take a shower and drive into work in a panic since I was late for a meeting.

    Would have been nice if they had finished the Bayview extension piece of the project first, so cycling along the extension would be safe. Personally, I don’t feel at all safe cycling there at the moment. Being from the Leaside-Davisville area, we have an alternative route through Rosedale and down Sherborne, but that trail is extremely busy and slow because of all the lights. Not the same relaxing ride in and home as the Don Valley Trail.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Sequencing of the project could have been better, but here’s my suggestion for a quick fix:
    1. Improve detour marking and put in some way finding detour signs.
    2. Run detour along Bayview Avenue, from Pottery Road down to bottom of Lower Don Trail (near junction with MGT. See map at link https://ridewithgps.com/routes/14428449
    3. Place ‘jersey barriers’ along Bayview to create separated bike lane and use existing trail that will be part of the project improvements.
    A quick and easy solution. Please send my consulting cheque in the mail…


    • Hi Harris
      I really appreciate the thought and time you put into prepping your suggestion with map.
      I spoke with Transportation staff: Unfortunately Bayview is not a viable detour option. There is no way back into the Lower Don Trail once you have exited at Pottery Road. Our goal is to bring trail users off and back onto the Lower Don Trail around the construction and not trip plan ways for them to enter into the core, which may not be their destination. You cannot enter back into the Lower Don until you are down at Corktown Commons and for some sections there is no shoulder and we would not be able to put in barriers.

      That said, the City is working towards long term solutions for cycling connections on Bayview: We will be installing a multi-use trail on Bayview from Pottery Road to Rosedale Valley Road later this year, see panel 12 on the project web page (www.toronto.ca/lowerdon) for more details.

      A Functional Planning Study to continue a cycling connection on Bayview further south to River Street has been approved by Council but will take a few years to complete and hopefully implement. See details at http://app.toronto.ca/tmmis/viewAgendaItemHistory.do?item=2016.MM18.10

      Again thanks for the suggestion, and sorry for the continued frustration.


  14. Pingback: Trail to Remain Closed through August | Lower Don Trail Construction Updates

        • I agree. Contractors should be held accountable by project managers for delays. For all of us who are negatively impacted this appears to be a very badly executed operation. Why are trails treated with such contempt? Build a temporary bypass. We use these trails for commuting, to say nothing of all of us who use it for recreation. Do us all a favour and find a way to allow us to use this major commuting route


  15. Pingback: Trail Still Closed – Cement Work in Progress | Lower Don Trail Construction Updates

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