Project History

Project History

It began in 2012 with an idea: Why not rethink the under-utilized space beneath a hydro corridor and repurpose the turf grass into a thriving meadow?

This would allow residents to connect with nature and contribute to the city’s eco-system. And so the Scarborough Centre Butterfly Trail (SCBT) was born.

The SCBT stretches from Thomson Memorial Park near McCowan Road and Lawrence Avenue East for 3.25 kilometres to Scarborough Golf Club Road.

Prior to 2011, this 40-hectare section of The Meadoway was mowed up to eight times a year, and lacked both habitat and biodiversity. Today, the SCBT site contains a healthy native meadow community supporting a variety of butterflies, pollinators, birds, and wildflower species.

pollinator planting event on Scarborough Centre Butterfly Trail

With success comes the desire to do more. The visionaries behind the SCBT project wondered aloud if the idea could be extended. Thanks to the generous support of The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, the answer was yes.

In 2018, The Meadoway was launched.

two women with stroller walk along Scarborough hydro corridor trail

THE MEADOWAY OVERVIEW

Ultimately, The Meadoway will feature a 16-kilometre multi-use trail for walking, cycling and other non-motorized uses, with potential for new and enhanced public spaces and gathering areas within and adjacent to the hydro corridor.

Currently, a total of 40 hectares of native meadow habitat has been restored within The Meadoway, and approximately 10 kilometres of multi-use trails have been constructed.

The objective now is to extend the existing trail network and meadow restoration program the full 16-kilometre length of The Meadoway.

Integrating The Meadoway with neighborhoods, parks, public access points, and other trail systems will promote community connectivity and augment the GTA’s bikeways network.

Restoration of the existing corridor with meadow habitat will contribute to the city’s urban greenspace and improve ecological diversity.

THE MEADOWAY PROJECT PRINCIPLES

The following principles will guide the transformation
of the hydro corridor into The Meadoway:

 

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CONNECTIONS
A seamless east-west connection should be created to link Rouge National Urban Park to downtown Toronto. The Meadoway will re-establish the original link between the region’s ravine systems that run north-south through the corridor.

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NATURAL ENVIRONMENT AND EDUCATION
Creation of meadow habitat will restore and enhance The Meadoway into a naturalized greenspace and provide for ecological diversity within an urban setting.The restoration and programming of The Meadoway should increase access for a wide range of users so that they can explore, learn and enjoy the urban greenspace. It will become a platform for stewardship, education and research on natural habitats.

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RECREATION
The Meadoway will encourage outdoor recreational opportunities along the trail network or adjacent spaces, for a wide range of users and communities or neighbourhoods.

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TRANSPORTATION
Increasing opportunities for alternative, non-vehicular modes of transportation within the Greater Toronto Area will reduce car dependency and promote equitable access. The corridor will advance the integration of a multi-modal transportation system.

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COMMUNITY AND PUBLIC REALM
Throughout the process and upon implementation, The Meadoway will serve as a model for how to successfully revitalize and repurpose hydro corridors in both a local and international context.

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BLUEPRINT FOR REVITALIZATION
Throughout the process and upon implementation, The Meadoway will serve as a model for how to successfully revitalize and repurpose hydro corridors in both a local and international context.