Completion of one of Canada’s largest linear parks takes big step in Toronto

Toronto took another step towards completing the Meadoway off-road trail system that would run from the downtown Don Valley trails all the way to Rouge Park at the easter end of the city.

A significant trail connection in the Meadoway at Highland Creek celebrated its grand opening, recently. This two-kilometre multi-use trail, surrounded by 16 hectares of restored meadow, provides a scenic link between Military Trail and Neilson Avenue in the east end of the city.

Visitors to this picturesque trail will encounter several notable features, including an iconic pedestrian bridge that offers views of the annual salmon run, an elevated boardwalk traversing a significant wetland, and a winding switchback that showcases the beauty of the surrounding community and valley.

“The opening of the new trail connection in The Meadoway marks a significant milestone for our city. It not only offers a beautiful and accessible space for residents and visitors to enjoy but also demonstrates what can be achieved through strong partnerships and a shared commitment to our environment,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie. “The trail will unite neighbourhoods and promote a deeper connection between our communities and the natural world. Congratulations to TRCA, the Government of Canada and the Weston Family Foundation for their contributions towards creating a vibrant and sustainable future for Toronto.”

Newly constructed Highland Creek trail system

The trail is particularly significant as it addresses the challenges posed by rapid urban expansion in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) by providing a safe and ecologically rich connection for pedestrians, cyclists, and nature enthusiasts. Additionally, it plays a crucial role in safeguarding natural habitats and preserving biodiversity.

This trail connection is part of The Meadoway project, a transformative initiative aimed at converting an underutilized hydro corridor in Scarborough into one of the region’s largest greenspaces. Upon its completion, The Meadoway will stand as one of Canada’s largest linear urban parks, bridging the gap between Rouge National Urban Park and downtown Toronto.

“Biking from the heart of Scarborough to downtown Toronto via entirely green space was made possible by the Meadoway, and today, we’re connecting even more communities,” said Gary Anandasangaree, Member of Parliament for Scarborough-Rouge Park, when the Highland Creek connection opened. “The Meadoway is a great example of the power of community.”

The Meadoway also offers a wide array of recreational opportunities, promoting physical and mental well-being for the surrounding communities. The project is aligned with TRCA’s Trail Strategy (2019) and was made possible through collaborative efforts between multiple stakeholders.

The project shows the power of community-driven projects, transforming an under-utilized hydro corridor into an ecologically rich greenspace and vital recreation and transportation corridor. It also creates a haven for local wildlife, offers recreational and educational opportunities, and strengthens community ties.

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