April 03, 2020

Etobicoke Creek Trail Update

Good afternoon, folks! Hope everyone is coping with COVID-19 to the best of their abilities. Earlier this week, I biked along the Humber River, Eglinton West, and Etobicoke Creek Trails while maintaining physical distancing and found some useful updates.
For something to lift your spirits, one of the trees on the Humber River Trail was decorated with Easter eggs. Something much needed during these unprecedented times.
While I biked the Humber and Eglinton trails several times before, I am pleased to report the short trail gap from Spectrum Way / Rakey Court to Etobicoke Creek has finally been paved! The trail switches from the north side (alongside the Mississauga Transitway) to the south at this intersection.
The trail goes further west into Mississauga which I found out from Brian via the Biking Toronto Facebook group goes all the way to Fieldgate Drive. Again, along the Transitway.
Etobicoke Creek at Eglinton looking south
Regarding Etobicoke Creek, I biked the part north of Eglinton before, but have yet to check out the trail between Derry Road in Mississauga and Kennedy Road in Brampton. You can read Lisa Stokes’ take on this gap here. Once the closure under Highway 401 can be reopened (hopefully by the end of this year), long distance riders can enjoy a safe and continuous ride from Downtown Toronto all the way to Brampton! 😊
However, I never did the section south of Eglinton which was under construction when I biked towards Brampton in 2018, so I rode south this time. The trail is very good quality and takes you to Ponytrail Drive between Burnamthorpe and Bloor on the Mississauga side. A wayfinding sign points you left to get towards the Waterfront Trail.
Ponytrail gives the impression there are painted bike lanes, but are really urban shoulders given motorists are allowed to park there.
Just past Bridgewood Drive lies a hydro corridor where the City of Mississauga plans to build a trail to at least Dundas Street.
This would effectively serve as a continuation of the Etobicoke Creek Trail, given the Markland Wood Golf Club occupies the lands along Etobicoke Creek from Burnamthorpe to Dundas.
The line in orange represents the hydro corridor where a trail is being considered
I took Bridgewood to get to Bloor Street and The West Mall to find the Sherway Trail. Parts of The West Mall give you the false impression there are bike lanes and the road is certainly wide enough to accommodate them while keeping four traffic lanes. The two areas where this could be tricky include the bridge at Dundas Street and the rail underpass north of The Queensway, though it may be worth taking inspiration from Ajax by narrowing the traffic lanes and then widen the sidewalk to accommodate people on bikes for only those short stretches.
The West Mall can become a quick win for cycling in Etobicoke to help people on bikes get to jobs in that area. Bike lanes on Bloor, Dundas and The Queensway – all of which are being planned or already exist in Mississauga – can help build the grid in Etobicoke.
Once at Sherway Drive, I noticed some bad news. Sherway Trail – despite it being recently completed – is closed under the Queen Elizabeth Way until 2021. Once reopened, it would act as an extension to the southern Etobicoke Creek Trail from the QEW to the Waterfront Trail. Until then, taking Evans and Bisset Avenues is needed to continue south.
I did the southern part of the Etobicoke Creek Trail from the Waterfront two years ago, which had some nice waterfalls and natural features as per the below pictures.
This time around, I got off at Horner Avenue. That – along with Judson Street – would be a good candidate for bike lanes to connect Etobicoke Creek with the Royal York bike lanes; not to mention go through employment lands.
Etobicoke Creek Trail at the Waterfront Trail as of July 2018
While this 51 kilometre trip could be considered extreme given COVID-19, Toronto Public Health has not given guidelines regarding time limits on exercise at this time. As long as physical distancing is maintained, I don’t feel longer rides should be a problem, though I suggest limiting use of the Martin Goodman Trail to a minimum given the increased difficulty in maintaining a safe distance there.
Along these busier routes, Toronto should reconsider their decision not to close traffic lanes given increased space is needed to allow physical distancing. Even with the calls from public health agencies to stay home, getting exercise by bike should be encouraged and something I would do over taking the TTC.

Flatten the curve!
Rob Z (e-mail)

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this! I'll have to try riding this route. I usually stick to the Waterfront Trail and Don Valley with only a few forays up the Humber.