By Rosemary Corbett
Have you ever felt like you were breathing in toxic fumes when walking along Yonge, Mt Pleasant or Bayview or cramped when trying to get past all the sidewalk restaurant patios? Or perhapse you’ve found the long east-west blocks cumbersome when you only need to go north or south a few blocks? How do you feel about your children getting safely to and from school? These are some of the questions we kept in mind when we participated in the recent Midtown in Focus consultation sessions.
The Midtown in Focus study is a detailed document which will be used as a guideline by the City Planning Group to help shape the growth of the Yonge-Eglinton apartment and mixed use areas. It will result in updates to the Yonge-Eglinton Secondary Plan and include important information about required infrastructure, parks and public realm, water, transportation, community services and facilities.
Related to our green initiatives, our special interest is in ensuring that Pedestrian Networks are created in these high growth areas of the MIF plan. The plan includes some pathways between developments which will allow long blocks to be more pedestrian friendly, by providing shortcuts and connect blocks. In addition to these connected pathways, we have also identified a number of hidden, north/south “greenways”, or informal neighbourhood passage ways to get you from Eglinton to the Beltline or the Cemetery. We would also like to see easy access to a pedestrian “loop” via the Beltline Bridge over Yonge to Oriole Park.
We believe it would benefit residents if these pathways were formally recognized with signage and proper lighting (maybe even snow cleared). Formalizing these pathways and making them safer, will help residents get easy access to frequent travel destinations; either to carry out their day’s business or to seek recreation activities, while avoiding busy thoroughfares.
Below ia a map of the SERRA Pedestrian (Network) Walkways, created by Terry Mills (Arris Strategy Studio). This illustrates the pathways or ‘Davisville Village Pedestrian Network’.
We have had several meaningful discussions about these pathways with the city planners (MIF) and are also looking for your feedback. What do you think about these pathways / pedestrian walkway ideas? Would you use them more if they were formalized? How would you like them to be maintained? Do you have any other ideas to share? Email us at email@example.com with your comments and input.
Many thanks to the MIF planning group for all of their hard work in creating this plan. We appreciate the MIF document’s scope, comprehensive nature and attention to maintaining and improving the parks and open spaces in the area. Our greenspace is worth protecting and enhancing, so that the residents of today and future generations living in Davisville Village will benefit for years to come.