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Don Valley Gondola

HOME FORUM RIDING GREATER TORONTO AREA THE DON VALLEY Don Valley Gondola

This topic contains 27 replies, has 14 voices, and was last updated by  repack 4 years, 9 months ago.

Viewing 15 posts - 1 through 15 (of 28 total)
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  • #809222

    veggie cyclist
    Participant

     

    Hot off the press

    http://www.thestar.com/news/gta/transportation/2016/02/19/don-valley-gondola-could-lift-toronto-tourism.html

    Maybe they will add a few bike racks… but I doubt it 🙂

    #809225

    micah356
    Participant

    Straight from the article: “complete with bike rack”!

    #809226

    FastTimes
    Keymaster

    Thanks for sharing this @veggie-cyclist I started a dedicated thread for you as I am sure it will be an interesting discussion.

    Certainly an great tourism concept. Didn’t see that in the NETS document though 😉 Anything but trails right.

    #809232

    veggie cyclist
    Participant

    Thanks Micah for noticing… I skimmed 🙂
    Considering that this would actually transport people /cyclists to a destination, yes, it is cool

    Here’s more info:

    http://www.donvalleycablecar.com/

    To learn more about the proposal, here’s the website http://www.donvalleycablecar.com/

    The group is hosting a kiosk down at the Evegreen Brick Works this Saturday (Feb 20) and two Saturdays after that (Feb 27, Mar 5) to engage the public, and receive feedback. (9am-5pm)

    Other cities (eg NYC) have similar concepts

    #809233

    fietser
    Participant

    Saw this too. Interesting and novel proposal – beats the giant Ferris Wheel notion that was bandied about not too long ago, I’ll give it that.

    I love the Brickworks – As a family we attend a variety of excellent programming there on a regular basis, year round (Pizza and Bike nights, Farmer’s Market, Backyard Brewers and of course, Cask Days – not so much as a family that one.) Increasing the ability to access Brickworks, which, especially for an West Ender, can be tricky is a noble idea.

    However…

    Going to suggest that this is not a great idea for our Ravines, or at least not without some serious forethought.
    For a couple reasons:

    1. Our natural surface trails are not at a point where they can handle the increase in potential traffic. Simply put, the trails are already in a precarious situation due to lack of any kind of formalized maintenance and now we are inviting more people to come use them? Is there is a plan in place for the increase in traffic on the trails?

    “We’re trying to come to grips with what kinds of ways we can provide people greater access to the ravines without being too obtrusive… The concept of a cable car that goes through some land that is beautiful and scenic is very appealing,” said the mayor.

    Heading out on a limb here Mr. Mayor, but a gondola in to the Ravine seems pretty intrusive to me. While I am all for increased use of our beautiful natural areas with this increased access we also need increased user education and enforcement. Will this be part of the plan? Who will be taking this on – the CoT? Private Company funding the project?

    2. Trail location, let alone the kind of infrastructure necessary for a Gondola, in the Don are already a touchy subject due to many Environmental Sensitive Areas (ESAs). So, new trails (and heck the existing ones) are a no-no due to environmental reasons but we can string up a Gondola?

    From the Star article and the FAQs for context:

    The cable car infrastructure would be minimal. Three cables would be strung between three to six towers. The highest would rise about 50 metres from the valley floor and wouldn’t be visible from Danforth Ave.

    Will trees and parkland be removed for the cable car?
    No. The proposed cable car stations and towers have been strategically located adjacent to public park lands in areas such that removal of park space and old-growth trees will be unnecessary. Further studies on this matter will be conducted.

    Phew, no old-growth trees. But it will certainly impact something of the green variety – unless these are new-fangled floating towers. Funny how these things can be spun.

    3. Perhaps most troubling for me is this:

    Who will pay for the cable car?
    The cable car will be financed by the private sector. Financing for the cable car is being led by Collins Barrow Toronto Corporate Finance Inc.

    Why you may ask? Well, because I have a hard time believing that any of the funds generated by this Gondola will make it back to the Ravines themselves. Our community has constantly been told that ‘funding’ is the reason why our trails do not receive the maintenance etc. they require (deserve). Now, if the Gondola does as it is supposed to ‘provide people greater access to the ravines’ according to the Mayor, with no plan, or funds, to mitigate this increased use are we further ahead? This doesn’t sound very sustainable to me. Nor does it seem to fit many of the current views on protection of the Ravines. You wonder if the left hand has actually talked to the right hand.

    I hate to sounds so cynical but I have a hard time hearing from one dept. of the City about how we want to maintain the ecological integrity of our Ravines, which are already being abused regularly through dumping and other forms of misuse etc. While hearing from other factions about turning the Ravines into a tourist attraction. Don’t get me wrong – I love our Ravines – they are an integral part of our City. BUT, we need some sort of transparent plan when it comes to their use.

    Other cities have gondolas, this is true, but perhaps it is a better fit for them given their locations and circumstances.

    Proposal:

    If there is going to be a Gondola built to bring more people into our Ravines – fine. But a percentage of the profits should be redirected back to the ravines themselves for infrastructure maintenance and improvement (please read: all those unfunded recommendations in NETS). If you are letting in Private Sector money great, just make sure the benefit is more than just THEIR bottom line. I hope that the Partnership Office has this in mind when they are reviewing the proposal. My hope is that the many members of this community (MTB) are consulted during the process as this project will have a direct impact, if successful, on the trails we ride and many maintain.

    Lots to think about here beyond the initial glitz and glam of a gondola above the Don for viewing the beautiful fall foliage, this after all is what is being marketed on many of the posters.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #809235

    ghettocruiser
    Participant

    I saw “bike rack” and “monthly pass” and was going to add this to the “Is there any DH in the GTA?” thread.

    I personally have no opposition to this, because (1) there is a low chance that they really plan to build it and (2) even if they do, the actual damage to the ravine from 20 years of this thing operating will, IMO, be marginal compared to a single unannounced hydro clear-cut or a week of “railroad-right-of-way-maintenance”.

    Or for that matter, whatever mass extinction of native tree species we’ll be serving up next.

    If that guy seriously thinks he won’t have any NIMBYs because it’s “not passing over anyone’s backyard”…. well, he’s been spending too much time in Switzerland and not enough in Hogtown.

    But it’s certainly not unreasonable that for-profit enterprises operating in the Don be asked to kick in a bit to sustain the resource they are basically selling access to.

    #809236

    mikester
    Participant

    Kinda cool – I like it when our sleepy little town thinks a little bigger.

    My initial thought was that this Gondola was going the way through Crothers maybe up to Sunnybrook – thinking that’s not going to be well received.

    Discovering that it goes from the bridge to the Brickworks seems benign – it’s not going to “harsh the mellow” on the Ridge/Boo Trail etc etc

    Agree that a portion of proceeds must go back to the Don somehow.

    PS – Love the art!

    #809239

    singlesprocket
    Participant

    I’m all for it. Really don’t see any down sides. If anything it can be used as a point of leverage. I wouldn’t count on getting any money for trails though from it. In the hierarchy of trickle down bureaucrat budgets, trails are in the basement.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #809240

    jcitizen
    Participant

    If a whole new crowd starts being transported to the Brickworks that place will become a zoo and a victim of its own success. Nice days on the weekend are already over crowded if you ask me, and not sure how well that valley system can handle more people, especially people attracted by a ride and uber convenience who couldn’t be bothered to frequent the area before by car/bus/bike/foot etc.

    Worry about the gondola being stopped regularly for wind etc. Gondolas derail sometimes too, which would be happening at points over the DVP which just feels wrong. This is a private company. If profit expectations aren’t met then what? Does the city own it and maintain it, or does it just get left abandoned?

    Also, did they mention how it was powered? If it’s a giant diesel then I see this has having more environmental impact than the free bus that only works when needed.

    If this happens I hope it works out to be a positive addition to the valley, but right now I’ll be honest, I’m feeling concerened.

    Maybe they could build a bridge across bayview and then expanding the walking trails along the river to help offset the addition of more vistors.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #809241

    fietser
    Participant

    Excellent points @jcitizen. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Not exactly sure what this means regarding how it will be powered but it comes from the FAQs:

    Are cable cars environmentally-friendly?
    Cable cars operate in environmentally-sensitive areas around the world with systems regularly winning eco-tourism awards. Cable cars use less electricity than all other forms of fixed link transit and produce no point-source emissions.

    #809244

    Whynot
    Participant

    At first I thought this would be the start of mass ruin for Don trails. But I suspect this will become an alternate method of access for people who are already active users of the area. And if privately run, who’s gonna pay the stupid price they will charge to use it? Even if does bring more people, are they going to likely be the type who will climb out of the Brickworks and get into the greater valley? likely not.

    #809246

    singlesprocket
    Participant

    they are not going to roll coal to power it. electric motors are so efficient nowadays… they run gondolas up/down mountains all the time all over the world in all kinds of weather. your odds are greater in getting into an accident on the dvp then derailing on a gondola. i think the extra people traffic at the bricks would be positive, good for the small biz that are there and adds more value to historical/natural features.

    frankly i always found it fun riding the alpine way at the cne back in the day.

    #809247

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Excellent points @jcitizen. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Not exactly sure what this means regarding how it will be powered but it comes from the FAQs:

    <em class=”d4pbbc-italic”>Are cable cars environmentally-friendly?
    Cable cars operate in environmentally-sensitive areas around the world with systems regularly winning eco-tourism awards. Cable cars use less electricity than all other forms of fixed link transit and produce no point-source emissions.

    Thanks for this Jeremy. I hope it does end up being electric, not that it doesn’t pollute, but does have the best potential for being “green”

    However this works out I hope you will still be able to find peace down there. Even now when the market it bustling you can walk up the hill and look over the city, or sneak onto Milkman’s Lane (path in the woods – wrong name?). If there are lots more visitings going straight to the Brickworks things could be very different.

    #809249

    jcitizen
    Participant

    they are not going to roll coal to power it. electric motors are so efficient nowadays… they run gondolas up/down mountains all the time all over the world in all kinds of weather. your odds are greater in getting into an accident on the dvp then derailing on a gondola. i think the extra people traffic at the bricks would be positive, good for the small biz that are there and adds more value to historical/natural features.

    frankly i always found it fun riding the alpine way at the cne back in the day.

    Still happens: http://www.reuters.com/article/uk-west-virginia-ski-idUSKCN0VT0X2

    I’m sure electric motors work really well, but no one should think thing energy neutral by any means. That’s a lot of gondolas & people to move 100s of meters, regardless of how many people are actually riding it. It’s a mode of transport, it’s just more fun. Plus they’re heated.

    #809251

    sumskillz
    Participant

    What would be cool would be a Gondola from the Distillery district to the Brickworks.

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