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Ridge Trail Concept Design Plan

HOME FORUM RIDING GREATER TORONTO AREA THE DON VALLEY Ridge Trail Concept Design Plan

This topic contains 100 replies, has 29 voices, and was last updated by  BlurredLines 11 months, 1 week ago.

Viewing 11 posts - 91 through 101 (of 101 total)
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  • #814506

    jcitizen
    Participant

    The Zamboni example seems a bit flawed to me in that skating rinks are purpose built for skaters by the city, it’s not like the city has appropriated a pond that was used by skates, fishers(?), boaters etc. I think by far the biggest hurdle is that these trails have to be mixed use and bi-directional, which is inherently problematic . You will never build a trail that pleases MTB riders that can also safely accommodate less mobile users (children/elderly). I think people who frequent the ridge can attest to this. On busy days now you almost have to avoid the trail all together for the amount of 2 and 4 legged foot traffic. I imagine the trails at Sunnyside became a reality because it was a space that could be devoted to a single user-type and in that respect easier to manage. Also, the don in a way is nomansland and doesn’t really represent a constituency. Most riders/hikers don’t live there and the near by residents don’t represent the majority of the users.

    I do agree that any significant change will only be brought about by a champion on the inside, as the way risk is viewed by the city will mean the don will never get the kind of love that riders hope for. Luckily we have some die hard builders keeping our trails alive through the goodness of their hearts and backs.

    #814508

    fietser
    Participant

    Fair enough, @jcitizen. I guess what I mean is that why can’t we have MTB only trails? If the CoT has facilities that are purpose built for other recreational activities why not single track? You can’t toboggan on a City run ski hill, even if you did pay for the privilege – so why not have single track that is solely for mountain biking? I mean let’s face it, many trails in our ravines are used almost solely by riders as it stands right now. Want to hike on those trails? Go right ahead but understand that we are all sharing the space. Other jurisdictions highlighted in NETS (the CoTs own document) have dedicated riding trails, as well as directional trails (e.g. climbing only trails). Sadly, despite being an Olympic level sport, mountain biking is not a tradition ‘stick and ball’ activity and as a result does not seem to garner the same level or respect, priority or funding with the CoT.

    As for this: it’s not like the city has appropriated a pond that was used by skates, fishers(?), boaters etc. Technically it kinda has, or will be, https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/12/10/legal-skating-coming-back-to-grenadier-pond.html. To me this is a huge move forward by the City and a big risk hurdle that has been crossed. Perhaps, we should be looking to Councillor Doucette, who rides bikes, and was a champion behind Sunnyside (in her ward) as our MTB go to on Council.

    For the record, I don’t think the Ridge is a good candidate for an MTB only trail due the proximity to large groups of people. If the current design proposal becomes a reality there will need to be some serious user education/ etiquette (ahem – Trail Ambassadors) rolled out. But I am sure that is on the City’s radar.

    I agree with your notion of ‘nomansland’ and the issues it presents where constituents are concerned. I see that all the time here in the Etobicoke Creek where the trails straddles two municipalities and multiple wards – political and logistical nightmare.

    The Ridge isn’t my backyard but it is to many here, just trying to keep the conversation going – I hope local voices are being heard. If the Ridge is going to be one of, if not the first, ‘test cases’ under NETS it seems important for the City to get it right. One could suggest there are a lot of broken fences to mend, on both sides, between the riding community and the City.

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #814510

    jcitizen
    Participant

    Fair enough, @jcitizen. I guess what I mean is that why can’t we have MTB only trails? If the CoT has facilities that are purpose built for other recreational activities why not single track? You can’t toboggan on a City run ski hill, even if you did pay for the privilege – so why not have single track that is solely for mountain biking? I mean let’s face it, many trails in our ravines are used almost solely by riders as it stands right now. Want to hike on those trails? Go right ahead but understand that we are all sharing the space. Other jurisdictions highlighted in NETS (the CoTs own document) have dedicated riding trails, as well as directional trails (e.g. climbing only trails). Sadly, despite being an Olympic level sport, mountain biking is not a tradition ‘stick and ball’ activity and as a result does not seem to garner the same level or respect, priority or funding with the CoT.

    As for this: <em class=”d4pbbc-italic”>it’s not like the city has appropriated a pond that was used by skates, fishers(?), boaters etc. Technically it kinda has, or will be, https://www.thestar.com/news/city_hall/2015/12/10/legal-skating-coming-back-to-grenadier-pond.html. To me this is a huge move forward by the City and a big risk hurdle that has been crossed. Perhaps, we should be looking to Councillor Doucette, who rides bikes, and was a champion behind Sunnyside (in her ward) as our MTB go to on Council.

    For the record, I don’t think the Ridge is a good candidate for an MTB only trail due the proximity to large groups of people. If the current design proposal becomes a reality there will need to be some serious user education/ etiquette (ahem – Trail Ambassadors) rolled out. But I am sure that is on the City’s radar.

    I agree with your notion of ‘nomansland’ and the issues it presents where constituents are concerned. I see that all the time here in the Etobicoke Creek where the trails straddles two municipalities and multiple wards – political and logistical nightmare.

    The Ridge isn’t my backyard but it is to many here, just trying to keep the conversation going – I hope local voices are being heard. If the Ridge is going to be one of, if not the first, ‘test cases’ under NETS it seems important for the City to get it right. One could suggest there are a lot of broken fences to mend, on both sides, between the riding community and the City.

    Oh man, if the city was open to an MTB only trail I would have new found enthusiasm for advocacy. I too think the city can handle at least a section of trail dedicated to proper MTB, but from my experience that seems to be a no-go on public paths from the city’s point of view. Maybe in the West end there is more potential?

    As for the Grenadier pond skating crisis that seems like a potentially huge loss of Toronto culture and history to take that away from skaters. I’m not big skater now, but skating on that pond is a significant winter memory for me.

    #814513

    repack
    Participant

    I hadn’t heard the year-old news on Grenadier pond, but indeed it’s quite fascinating. Get a load of this quote from the article:

    Staff estimated there will be safe ice only five to 10 safe days per winter. Councillors made it clear that confidential advice from the city solicitor states the city has increased legal liability if anybody goes through the ice.

    Although, I for one can’t imagine how it costs $25000 to test the ice for a season. What are we talking about, ground penetrating radar on board a quadcopter drone? I thought you could just use an auger to keep a hole open all winter and measure it every few days. For that kind of money, why not construct and deploy a sort of shinny-sized aluminum frame that floats below the surface and suspends a rectangular net beneath the ice.

    #814538

    Renegade Hardware
    Participant

    I hadn’t heard the year-old news on Grenadier pond, but indeed it’s quite fascinating. Get a load of this quote from the article:

    Staff estimated there will be safe ice only five to 10 safe days per winter. Councillors made it clear that confidential advice from the city solicitor states the city has increased legal liability if anybody goes through the ice.

    Although, I for one can’t imagine how it costs $25000 to test the ice for a season. What are we talking about, ground penetrating radar on board a quadcopter drone? I thought you could just use an auger to keep a hole open all winter and measure it every few days. For that kind of money, why not construct and deploy a sort of shinny-sized aluminum frame that floats below the surface and suspends a rectangular net beneath the ice.

    Our overlords can manage to spend $16 on a glass of orange juice, I think they have this covered 😉

    See PanAm games spending for reference….

    Also, it’s probably going to be $25,000 for a guy with a stick to come out once in a while.

    #820399

    Noremac11
    Participant

    What’s going on with this trail?

    Why are there no new TTF’s?

    Any news since 2016?

    #820400

    repack
    Participant

    Hahaha, I hadn’t caught your reply at the time @RenegadeHardware, but just saw it now. So I had my own little moment of discovery vis-a-vis the PanAm games this spring when I heard about the extension of the Gatineau hydro corridor trail to link up with the East Don and went out to see what it was. I was pleasantly surprised to find a very functional bikeway running from Vic Park out to Ellesmere, that probably dates back to the 1980’s or something. Then, come the PanAm games, it was rebranded as the PanAm trail, and, it was repaved. It was repaved, for about 50 metres on either side of each road crossing. The rest was left untouched. Classic white-wash! and probably didn’t cost too too much either, but a complete waste of whatever it cost. As for the ridge, I haven’t heard anything either.

    #820404

    BlurredLines
    Participant

    What’s going on with this trail?
    Why are there no new TTF’s?
    Any news since 2016?

    Hey @noremac11 This kinda sums up what the hold up is on more progress to a large degree.
    https://www.ridingfeelsgood.com/topic/the-ridge/

    Additionally the Ridge as we know it is on the low priority end of the spectrum with the overall design. It is a trail, it runs well, and requires relatively minimal maintenance. From my understanding the initial work to develop the path system accessed at the top of the ridge from Thorncliffe/Leaside Park (priority one to introduce the community there to the ridge so that it can become less of a dumping ground) unearthed something potentially historically significant. I’m certain that will have slowed things down (read: Red Tape and more reports/studies) up top and as a result pumped the brakes for the whole project. I’d imagine better information can be had by contacting that wards councillor (lets not start that topic, just figure it out and contact them) or potentially Parks, Foresty, and Recreation.

    If we play our cards correctly and continue to show support we may end up in a better position to see more TTF’s.

    While it’s hard to believe Sept 8th saw the first (to my knowledge) community build event on the ridge in ages and while lots of work got done in a few small areas and many thanks came from the passers by it’s pretty easy to completely miss the work done even though the outcome was a reformed berm (made of soil and stone not wood) allowing extra clearance on the nearby trees and a much better run in on a tabletop nearly the size of a small car. The “unfortunate” part of good trail work is that when it’s done it looks like it was always there…

    That said if there’s something particular that you’re looking for or an addition you’d be keen to see shoot me a line. If I can throw some weight behind it and get more of the communities voice and desires in front of the folks that call the shots I’m happy to do so.

    Cheers!

    1 user thanked author for this post.
    #820476

    Noremac11
    Participant

    Hey @blurredlines , sorry for the late reply. Thanks for taking the time to inform me of the its current status.

    The main thing I’d like to see is the re-creation of the old log ladders and skinnies that were littered throughout the trail, and/or some new design ideas. It’s worth mentioning to those who oversee this project at The City of Toronto that some of these features were only 12 inches off the ground, which made them excellent for beginners to safely progress their skills on. Years ago, The City also removed a number of TTF’s from neighbouring trails, (Pottery Road to 3 Rocks, 3 Rocks, Sanitation Plant, The Flats) do you know if there is a plan to replace those TTF’s or do any building? If there is, I’m sure it’s even lower priority haha.

    I’d also like to see the addition of a few small, optional, beginner friendly, jumps/drops on The Ridge and neighbouring trails. I’d be more than happy to help build all of these features.

    Here’s a specific request, incase that’s more helpful. Near the end of the trail, ” Sanitation Plant to The Ridge”, there is a rotten log on the left side of the trail, just before the small rock drop. This was originally used as a beginner friendly log ladder that was less than 18 inches off the ground. I’d like to see this spot recreated with a different log or a different design in its place. This section of the trail is especially wide, so there’s tons of space to build an optional TTF without obstructing the main trail. I’d love to help out on this project!

    Does anyone here have pictures of the old TTF’s on The Ridge, Sanitation Plant, Pottery Road to 3 Rocks , 3 rocks, and neighbouring trails? I’ve found quite a few pictures of them on google, but far from all. There was a ton of inventive work and certain features evoke a strong feeling of nostalgia from me. Some of my fondest childhood memories include my friends and I challenging ourselves on progressively tougher obstacles.

    Thanks again, I really appreciate all of your hard work @blurredlines

    #820568

    Noremac11
    Participant

    @blurredlines Did you see my reply? I really appreciate your offer to share my hopes with those in charge.

    #820592

    BlurredLines
    Participant

    @blurredlines Did you see my reply? I really appreciate your offer to share my hopes with those in charge.

    You bet. I’ve got some time scheduled to go through a season debrief later this week and I’ll be sure to express the continued and growing desire to see more TTF’s. I’m certain the ladder skinnies of old are thoroughly out of the question between their maintenance requirements and the nightmare that bruce county went through with theirs, but never the less I’ll make sure the message is clear.

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