Q: What is The Meadoway?
A: The Meadoway is the name given to a new initiative in Scarborough to revitalize the 500 acres and 16 linear kilometers of hydro corridor between the Don River Ravine and Rouge National Urban Park.
Q: Where exactly is The Meadoway in Toronto?
A: The Meadoway is in the east end of the city and will run across Scarborough, within the hydro corridor between the new East Don Trail in the Don River ravine to the main trails in Rouge National Urban Park while also connecting to the Highland Creek ravine system in Morningside Park. A map of The Meadoway can be found HERE.
Q: Who owns the land that The Meadoway is on?
A: The Province of Ontario owns the land; it is managed by Hydro One Networks Inc. (HONI) for power transmission.
Q: Isn’t there already a path along the corridor?
A: The City of Toronto has been developing the trail in sections along the corridor, but it is not connected. The Meadoway will utilize these sections of trail and build a full connection across the 16-kilometre, 500-acre area, enabling users to travel all the way from downtown Toronto to Rouge National Urban Park. A Class Environmental Assessment is currently underway to determine the preferred trail route that will make up the full 16-kilometre connection. More information on the process can be found HERE.
Q: Who will oversee the maintenance of The Meadoway?
A: Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will work with City of Toronto staff to lead the maintenance of The Meadoway, including aspects that relate to the trails, meadowlands, urban agriculture sites and litter removal in these areas.
Q: Will I be permitted to walk in and explore the meadows?
A: Meadow habitats are sensitive to disturbance and may contain a wide range of delicate plants and animals. In addition, the restored meadows will take several years to take hold and establish a successful root, which can be impacted by plant tissue damage and soil compaction associated with trampling.
Because of this sensitivity, it is recommended that people using the corridor enjoy the meadow habitat from a distance and remain on the trails whenever possible.
Q: Will the meadows draw wild animals such as coyotes to the area?
A: As with any healthy functioning ecosystem, there may be a wide range of animals found in The Meadoway, including birds, frogs and mammals such as chipmunks, rabbits and even deer.
While uncommon, it is possible that larger mammals such as coyotes may be spotted in The Meadoway; however, they are generally timid and do not pose a danger to people.
You can participate in the City of Toronto’s Coyote Response Strategy by calling 416-338-PAWS (7297) or by filling out an online form at toronto.ca/animalservices if you spot a coyote.
Q: Will off-leash dogs be allowed in the area once the trail is constructed?
A: Dog owners will be required to comply with the City of Toronto’s Animals Bylaw within The Meadoway, which requires all dogs to be leashed unless within a designated off-leash dog park.
Q: Will the trail be accessible for people with mobility issues?
A: TRCA and its partners will work to ensure that the preferred trail alignment determined through the Class environmental assessment process will meet the design standards of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), where possible. The AODA and its standards ensure that recreational trails allow for people of all abilities to move through and enjoy the natural environment.
Q: Are there health risks to being in the hydro corridor?
A: The City of Toronto conducted a comprehensive study in 2008 that focused on the human health impacts of transmission corridors. The results of the study indicated that conducting typical recreational activities in the corridor is safe.
Q: What will happen to the hydro towers?
A: The hydro towers will remain in The Meadoway, as they deliver essential power requirements for the City of Toronto. The multi-use trails, high-functioning meadow habitat, and urban agriculture opportunities will transform what was once known as an area used for energy transmission into a place that connects natural areas and redefines the connection between the built structure of a city and natural spaces.
Q: Will The Meadoway have ticks or other biting/stinging insects?
A: As with all Toronto Parks, there is the possibility of coming across biting/stinging insects in The Meadoway.
Due to the recent effects of climate change, ticks have begun to make their way into the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and it is possible that some may be found in The Meadoway once restored.
As with all outdoor activities in the GTA, taking precautions is important: stay on the multi-use trail; check for ticks following a hike; wear long pants tucked into socks; and carry an epi-pen if needed.
Q: What is the total amount of funding that the project requires? Has it all been raised?
A: The project has a total estimated budget of $85 million, with nearly 40% pledged to date.
Q: How much investment has The W. Garfield Weston Foundation made to the project?
A: The W. Garfield Weston Foundation has pledged up to $25 million in support, with an initial commitment of $10 million announced at the launch event on April 11, 2018. Previously, the Foundation supported the first two pilot projects in The Meadoway with a contribution of $400,000.
Q: How much has the City of Toronto invested in the project?
A: The City of Toronto has committed $6.3 million in its capital budget to continue advancing the connection of the trail.
Q: Can I donate to help with the implementation of The Meadoway?
A: Yes! Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation works with TRCA to raise funds to help support The Meadoway. You can make a donation HERE.
Q: How can I stay updated on the progress of The Meadoway and get involved?
A: To learn more about the next steps for implementing The Meadoway and receive updates about upcoming community participation opportunities, you can join our mailing list
Questions About The Meadoway Class Environmental Assessment
Q: What is an environmental assessment?
A: An environmental assessment is a planning and decision-making tool applied to a variety of projects in order to minimize or avoid adverse environmental effects before they occur.
An environmental assessment incorporates environmental factors into the decision-making process and ensures opportunity for meaningful public and stakeholder feedback.
Q: What are the benefits of an environmental assessment?
A: By considering environmental effects and mitigation measures early in the planning process, an environmental assessment can support better decision-making and result in many benefits, such as:
- Avoidance or minimization of adverse environmental effects
- Opportunities for public participation and Indigenous consultation
- Increased protection of human health
- Reduced project costs and delays
- Reduced risks of environmental harm or disaster
- Increased agency accountability
- Informed decisions that contribute to responsible development
Q: What is a Municipal Class environmental assessment?
A: A Municipal Class environmental assessment, often referred to as a Class EA for short, is a standardized planning process for classes (or groups) of activities that are carried out on a routine basis and have predictable environmental effects. The Class EA process “Schedule C” is being undertaken for The Meadoway.
Q: Why is an environmental assessment being undertaken for The Meadoway?
A: A Class EA process is being undertaken for The Meadoway in order to complete the planning and design of the multi-use trail for the approximately six kilometres that remain to be constructed.
The Class EA process is also a critical planning tool for the five potential pedestrian bridges that will span the various rail lines and river valleys, as well as the potential pedestrian road crossings.
Q: Outside of the main trail within the corridor, will connections to adjacent trail systems be explored as part of this process?
A: Yes. Identifying the potential to expand the multi-use trail beyond the footprint of the hydro corridor will be a key component of the Class EA process.
As we plan the potential multi-use trail alignments for each incomplete section of the corridor, existing as well as future trails within The Meadoway study area will be identified as possible connections.
Q: What opportunities will the public have to be involved in The Meadoway Class EA process?
A: Consultation and engagement are key to The Meadoway Class EA process. It provides an opportunity for individuals, groups and Indigenous communities to contribute to the decision-making in a meaningful way.
During the course of the Class EA, three public events — called Public Information Centres — will be held for the members of the community to learn about the project and provide input at key stages of the process.
In addition, regular project updates will be added to this website and be sent out to our mailing list (click HERE to subscribe).
If you have any comments or questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Q: How long will The Meadoway Class EA take to complete?
A: Based on current timelines we anticipate the final report for the environmental assessment, the Environmental Study Report (ESR), will be ready for formal public comment in December 2019.
Pending public and agency review, the ESR is scheduled to be filed in January 2020.