Final Phase 1 Update

Mayor Tory riding over Pottery Road bridge

This is the final post for the Lower Don Construction Blog related to the Phase 1 improvements on the trail, which are now substantially complete with the reopening of the trail on September 23, 2017.

Thank you for following and contributing.

Here are some final updates, forward-looking comments, and ways you can continue to follow trail news and interact with us…


Rail crossing at Pottery Road

Many of you have provided valuable insights into the rail crossing by the new Pottery Road trail bridge.

  • Thanks to your comments, this spring, new pavement markings will be applied to the trail leading up to the crossing as well as warning signage adjacent to the trail. The markings, saying “CAUTION [Rail symbol] CROSSING,” will alert riders to the crossing ahead.
  • We are also working with Metrolinx to re-examine the P-gate arrangement at the crossing to see if further improvements can be made at this location.
  • Pavement markings will also be added to the trail in both directions leading up to the new Belleville Underpass, to alert riders to the tunnel and slight trail curve.


Wayfinding Pilot

The new signs in the Lower Don Trail represent the first deployment of the new Parks and Trails Wayfinding system. Comments related to the new signs have been forwarded to project managers, who are evaluating this pilot phase over the winter. You can send additional comments to


Phase 2, Lower Don Trail improvements

Planned Phase 2 work on the Lower Don Trail includes:

Riverdale Ramp:

A new accessible ramp will connect the Riverdale footbridge to the trail below. Staff is in the final stages of completing design and feasibility studies on such issues as floodplain hydrology with our partners at Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. We’ll be providing project updates on our other communications platforms, see below.

Dundas Street staircase and Trail Improvements between Riverdale footbridge and Don Landing/Corktown Common:

Design work has been completed and tender documents prepared. Construction is currently not funded, though staff is working on securing funding for this important work. Announcements, including timing, will be made on our other platforms.


Sorry, we do not have a proposed Phase 2 construction schedule at this time, but we are working on it.  We anticipate updates to this blog with general information on Phase 2 timelines by spring.


Lessons learned

Lessons learned on Phase 1 projects will be incorporated into Phase 2 planning and sequencing. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • Working with other jurisdictions in the Lower Don to compress the permit application process, which added a considerable amount of time to Phase 1 projects
  • In common with other critical transportation infrastructure projects, working with contractors and stakeholders to improve timeline forecasting and set appropriate schedules that minimize inconvenience and the length of any necessary trail closures
  • Creating better detour options and more robust communications around those options and around project progress.


Maintenance, flooding, vandalism

The Lower Don Trail is located in an active floodplain and conditions change. Please report any flooding or maintenance issues, including vandalism, to 311. You can call 311, email or tweet @311toronto.


Toronto and Region Conservation Authority issues flood alerts. Visit for current conditions and alerts.


Keeping in touch

There are many other ways to stay in touch with us.

  • If you subscribed to this blog and supplied your email address, you’ll receive Phase 2 updates. You can opt out at any time.
  • Follow us on Twitter and Facebook to receive Lower Don Trail project and programming updates, along with news about the new Council-approved Ravine Strategy and other news from Parks, Forestry and Recreation.
  • You can call 311 with specific inquiries or concerns.

Thank you.

4 thoughts on “Final Phase 1 Update

  1. Hello J. Diceman,

    Thanks for the updates. We’re looking forward to getting back on our bikes in the spring. We ride to work at Yonge & Dundas (my wife) and Yonge & Wellesley (I) several times a week from Don Mills & York Mills. We REALLY enjoy travelling almost the entire way through the Don Valley (from Leslie & Eglinton). The northern part of our ride is along the marvellous path that runs along Leslie on the repurposed railway line. Selfishly, we hope future plans will address access from that path to Leslie Street, just north of Eglinton.

    In the meantime, thanks again to you and the Toronto “team” for all your hard work and success in improving biking for all of us.

    Happy, Healthy New Year to you and you loved notes.



  2. The “P-gates” at the railway crossing on Pottery Road are an annoying distraction. They don’t stop anyone from going onto the live tracks when a train is approaching and they provide for difficult riding – so I stay on the roadway where there is a gate and no obstacles. The bike route should have a proper crossing barrier and no obstacle course.


  3. In a previous comment I asked for a public opportunity to comment on the Phase One disaster to identify things that could be be improved. I see the City has talked to itself and come up with lessons learned.

    Continue to be frustrated. Election year is coming time for change at city hall!


  4. There was some earlier discussion about having a meeting with local reps (eg. from local Cycle Toronto groups , Walk toronto, TCAT) to review the ‘Lessons Learned’ with a view to initiate better procedures and communication strategies for Phase 2 and other projects. It will be disappointing if this is not part of the process moving forward.


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