Pottery Rd. Closed August 27-28 for New Trail Bridge Placement

The Pottery Road new pedestrian/cycling bridge is being placed the weekend of August 27-28.

Recreational trail users heading south from Don Mills will be rerouted back north to avoid the conflict with the cranes while they are placing the bridge. 

This bridge placement unfortunately requires that Pottery Road will be closed during the time required to place the bridge.  At Bayview Avenue intersection with Pottery Road expect a full barrel closure of both north and south bound turning lanes to Pottery Road.  From Broadview Avenue only local traffic travelling to Todmorden Mills and Fantasy Farm will have access to proceed.  Police will be on site to monitor the cranes from both sides, as well as at the Pottery – Broadview intersection.

Recreational trail users heading south from Don Mills will be rerouted back north to avoid the conflict with the cranes while they are placing the bridge.

As soon as the bridge placement is complete the roads will be opened, but please plan your routes to avoid this closure on the weekend of August 27-28

Here is an artist rendering of what the new bridge will look like. 160808_Bridge-Approach-web

Photos of the actual bridge in place will follow soon. Future photos may or may not include a kid with a yellow balloon.

Have a great weekend.


Trail to Remain Closed through August

The Pottery Road bridge project is progressing well however the Belleville Underpass reconstruction project has unfortunately had several challenges in construction.  These challenges include:

  1. A redesign and additional excavation caused by an unforeseen condition encountered during construction, and
  2. Engineering difficulties observed with the progress of the installation of the 26 caissons (supports) for the rail underpass.

Unfortunately this slower progress means that the trail will remain closed longer than first anticipated and likely an additional month until mid August or possibly September.

Fortunately  construction on the proposed detour route of Broadview Avenue is complete, with all lanes open now.

Please consider the long term benefits this underpass will bring as a major improvement when completed.  Your patience while we get there is much appreciated.

Remember that there is a Police presence on the trail to ensure cyclists are respecting the closure for their own safety.  Be safe and do not trespass through the construction site as trucks are not able to see cyclists safely as they progress in and out of the site along the trail.  Images above show the large equipment in process with very large shoring rigs, concrete trucks and other construction vehicles moving through the trail area between Belleville Underpass and the Pottery Road access.

We sincerely apologize again for this unforeseen and very unfortunate summer trail closure situation. We look forward to announcing the reopening of this section of the Lower Don Trail, with major improvements to be enjoyed for generations to come.



Do Not Enter Construction Zone, please

A serious and important update:


20160609_111703_resized_1Contractors have alerted the City that cyclists and joggers are still trying to navigate their way through the active construction zone.  They will be rerouted back.  The construction zone has very heavy equipment with limited visibility; including large caisson drilling cranes, concrete trucks, soil trucks.  This is a major infrastructure component and the construction zone needs to be secure for everyone’s safety.

Please respect the barriers and take the detour routes so this project can be completed ASAP.  Police presence will enforce these closures.

Thanks to all the cyclists and joggers for your cooperation and again, we apologize for this inconvenience and look forward to completing this project and opening an improved trail experience for you soon.

See new recommended detours in previous blog post.

Alternate Detour to Avoid Broadview

[Update: Broadview Avenue roadway construction is
now substantially complete and all lanes are now open]

Hi all.  Here are two cycling routes to avoid some or all of the roadway construction area on Broadview Ave between Danforth Ave and Pottery Rd. (On foot, you can just walk on the sidewalk using the main Broadview Ave detour)

See map below followed by text description.

Lower Don Trail alt detour1

Southbound: Turn right and climb up Pottery Rd on the right side trail. Catch your breath and curse about City construction. Continue through to Mortimer Ave, then quick right south (one-way) on Jackman Ave to Danforth Ave.  Turn right on Danforth Ave, westbound to Broadview Ave where you turn left, southbound. Continue on Broadview untill you see the St. Mathew’s Clubhouse at the south end of Riverdale Park East, turn right onto the the trail/driveway that connects to Riverdale Bridge. On the bridge you can go down the stairs in the middle of the bridge to reconnect with the Lower Don Trail (there are troughs for wheeling your bike on the stairs – sorry no ramps, yet!). High fives, you made it!

Northbound: At Riverdale Bridge, go up the stairs (there are troughs for wheeling your bike on the stairs – sorry no ramps, yet!).  Go right, eastbound up the trail to Broadview Ave where you turn left northbound. Continue to Danforth Ave, where you make a left and then a quick first right at Cambridge Ave, (before Bloor Viaduct bridge).  Be careful of southbound traffic at the narrowed entry to Cambridge ave, and also appreciate the planted bump-out, how nice.   Continue north on Cambridge Ave to the end, turn right on Chester Hill Rd (one-way) and then left back on to Broadview Ave (sorry construction area, you may want to walk your bike or take the whole lane with caution). At Potter Rd, enjoy the winding downhill shared lane (you may want to wait until there is less traffic behind you).  After passing under the DVP, turn right back on to the Lower Don Trail northbound, and Bob is your uncle.

And remember to say something nice to construction crews working hard to make Lower Don Trail safer for generations to come.

Be safe out there, and enjoy the sunshine.

[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

Spring is Here and The Trail Remains Open

Lower Don Trail Improvements construction work is continuing. While there have been some delays for unexpected required utility work, the new pedestrian and cycling bridge installation, rail underpass replacement, and other upgrades, are expected to be completed by the end of the summer 2016.

The trail will continue to remain open for your use and enjoyment until further notice.

Please take precaution in and around the work areas.

Construction Starting Soon – No Trail Closures Expected this Fall

Lower Don Construction Sign (24 inches wide)

Lower Don Construction Sign (24 inches wide)

After some minor delays with utilities and permits,  we anticipate the contractor, Soncin Construction, to be on site before the end of October.

Eight new trail construction signs (as shown at right) have been posted at highly visible locations.  Thanks to everyone who came to the September 14 public event and provided some useful feedback and suggestions for improving our signage plan.  These signs will be updated with bright and large notices when closures are planned.

Good news! The contractor is confident they can conduct all their initial site preparation and some major tasks for replacing the Belleville Rail Underpass without any ongoing trail closures.  That means the trail should remain open for the fall of 2015.

That said, do expect some narrowing of the trail, less stable trail surface, and delays from trucks being escorted to and from work areas along the trail, and with other minor disruptions.

Lower Don Construction Areas and Detour Map

Lower Don Construction Areas and Detour Map Click to view larger

Expect Tail Closures in 2016

We do expect there will need to be some extended trail closures to complete the work over the winter and likely into the spring.  We’ll publish closure dates and notices on this blog and on trail signs once dates are confirmed (so be sure to subscribe to this blog to get closure notices via email).

For more information about the project, view the information panels on the project web page.

And check out some answers posted in the comments section on our previous blog posts. Submit your new questions and suggestions in the comments here.

Have a great fall and Go Jays Go!

Lower Don Trail Public Drop-in Tonight! 4:30-8pm, St. Simons, 525 Bloor St. E.

Learn more details about the Lower Don Trail Improvements, and speak directly with staff and the consulting team about how construction will be carried out.

Date: Tuesday September 15, 2015
Drop-in Time: 4:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Location: St. Simons-the-Apostle Anglican Church, 525 Bloor St. E.

All information panels from tonight’s event are now online for viewing at toronto.ca/lowerdontrail (and embedded below).

Download PDF version of above information panels (12MB)

Read accessible text from information panels

We hope to see you there tonight!