West Toronto Railpath

Location
Toronto

Client
City of Toronto

Date
2013

Overview

The second phase of the West Toronto Railpath connects the existing Dundas Street West terminus with the new pedestrian and cycling bridge at the Fort York national historic site. It passes through a mix of industrial, commercial and residential neighbourhoods and will serve as the ‘missing link’ on a 7km network of trails that connects a diverse mix of Toronto neighbourhoods.

The project was completed as part of an Environmental Assessment process that involved an extensive range of stakeholder engagement excercises that included design workshops, public open houses, and a presentation at Toronto’s Design Review Panel. Seamless integration with the first phase was a key objective and was considered from all aspects including: trail design standards, branding, on-street gateways, and public art. Options for connections to the surrounding network – the Adelaide-Richmond cycletracks, the Wellington Street bike lanes, the Martin Goodman Trail, and the West District Cycling Master Plan – were prepared and evaluated. Maintenance and life-cycle design considerations were critical and led to the selection of a robust material pallette that required minimal maintenance.

SvN served as the lead urban designer on a multi-disciplinary team and was responsible for developing on-street connections – stairs, gateways ramps, branding, pocket-parks, wayfinding, and lighting – as well as integration with the public art, structures and landscape.

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Expertise

We have a long history of planning and designing the public realm of cities, including streets, building facades, public places, the space between buildings and open spaces. Our team has pioneered significant aspects of the “complete streets” concept, demonstrated through landmark projects like the St. George Street Revitalization, the Bloor Street Transformation and the Six Point Interchange Reconstruction.
We plan and design multi-modal transit hubs and corridors including station area plans, LRT corridors, transit stations and border crossings. We take a systems approach to the planning and design of infrastructure, integrating multiple development priorities while preserving and enhancing the quality of the overall landscape. Key projects include the Fort Erie Gateway Master Plan and the Allen District Urban Guidelines & District Plan.