Frequently Asked Questions
If you have any questions not answered, please watch the Q&A session that was hosted by the Project Team on December 8th here: Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail Project Virtual Open House Live Q&A Session. Any additional questions can be submitted through the comment form or to the Project Team directly at ScarboroughWaterfrontProject@trca.ca.
The Scarborough Waterfront Project is an approved plan for formal multi-use trail access along a currently inaccessible area of the Scarborough waterfront between Bluffer’s Park and East Point Park. The approved plan includes the development of appropriate shore protection works to address the risks to public safety and public property, and to support the placement of a multi-use trail. In addition, access to Bluffer’s Park will be improved with the development of a multi-use trail along Brimley Road South, starting at Barkdene Hills. All of these works are being developed to ensure minimal impact to the natural environment and, where possible, seeking to enhance aquatic and terrestrial habitats.
Yes, an Individual EA was completed for the Scarborough Waterfront Project and approved by the Minister of Environment, Conservation and Parks in November 2019. During the EA considerable public consultation and engagement was undertaken exceeding provincial EA process requirements. Consultation efforts and comments received are documented in Chapter 10 of the EA . The full EA document is available for download and review here.
The Scarborough Waterfront Projects covers over 11 km of shoreline, between Bluffer’s Park and East Point Park in Toronto. Due to the length of the shoreline and variation in shoreline conditions, the project area has been broken into three distinct segments to aid in the development and evaluation of alternatives during the EA process: the West Segment, the Central Segment and the East Segment. For detailed design and construction, the project will be phased by project area segment, and each segment is expected to be broken down into smaller sub-projects. For example, the Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail Project is a distinct sub-project of the proposed West Segment works as improvements to the road and development of the trail are required to provide safe pedestrian and cyclist access during construction of the West Segment Shoreline. The West Segment shoreline is the first part of the shoreline and multi-use trail to proceed through detailed design and corresponds with the West Segment defined in the EA.
Detailed design refers to the stage in the project development process that occurs after EA approval and before construction. Detailed design is the process of taking the preferred design approved in the EA and developing it in detail such that it is ready for construction. The City of Toronto and other authoritative agencies and stakeholders comment on and approve detailed design elements once the design reaches 30%, 60%, 90%, and 100% completion.
It is expected that Central Segment design works will begin after the start of West Segment construction, and that East Segment design works will be initiated after the start of Central Segment construction. Timelines for each phase will be dependent on project funding.
Brimley Road South Multi Trail Project
The Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail project includes improvements to Brimley Road South and the implementation of a multi-use trail to provide safer access from Barkdene Hills down to Bluffer’s Park for vehicles, pedestrians, and cyclists. This is the first component of the Scarborough Waterfront Project to proceed through the detailed design process, continuing to construction. This component is proceeding first as these improvements are required to permit construction access for implementation of the shoreline works in the West Segment.
The need for the multi-use trail along Brimley Road South has been apparent for a number of years given the congestion and conflict associated with accessing Bluffer’s Park. Brimley Road is the only vehicular access to the water’s edge and is a significant pedestrian and cycling access point. The existing trail along Brimley Road is discontinuous and requires pedestrians to use the road, creating unsafe conditions for all road users. Bluffer’s Park continues to grow in popularity; therefore, demand to access Bluffer’s Park continues to grow and this access point must be made safer to accommodate this demand, which is in line with Toronto’s Vision Zero objectives to provide safe, healthy, and equitable mobility for all road users. The need for improvements to Brimley Road South and the need to make the trail wider and continuous is further articulated in the EA.
The west side of the road poses a number of constraints for the location of the trail or realignment of the road. The construction of the multi-use trail on the west side of the road would require road construction on each side of Brimley Road South which would prolong the construction season, resulting in more construction nuisance and prolonged access disruption to Bluffer’s Park.
The Brimley Road South Multi-Use Trail Project area is also a former landfill site, located predominantly on the west side of the road, that was operational until the mid-1960s. Excavation into the former landfill has a number of potential environmental risks and impacts, with the added potential for increased slope instability. Given the much steeper ravine slope on the west side of the road, significantly more slope cutting and excavation would be required to facilitate either a west-side trail or road realignment to the west, increasing the likelihood of landfill material exposure and potential slope failure. In addition, landfill monitoring infrastructure exists on the east side of Brimley Road South, just south of Barkdene Hills, that cannot be moved. This can be integrated into the trail design with appropriate hazard markings, whereas it could not be integrated into an active road lane or maintain the appropriate clearances required between infrastructure and the roadway.
Furthermore, significant slope cuts have greater impact on the ravine system, which is designated as an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA), provincial Area of Natural and Scientific Interest (ANSI), and is located within the City’s defined natural heritage system. As well, substantial slope cutting would remove significant portions of the tableland above, which is designated park land. Therefore, using the east side that is disturbed with pre-existing partial trail infrastructure has fewer or reduced slope cuts, less impact on the natural environmental, and minimizes the overall footprint of the trail facility.
For these reasons, the trail is being implemented on the east side of Brimley Road, accommodating existing utilities and infrastructure.
As a pre-existing sidewalk currently exists along the west side of Brimley Road between Kingston Road and Barkdene Hills, this area was not assessed for improvements as part of the EA process. Continuation of this infrastructure on the west side of Brimley Road, south of Barkdene Hills, in the form of a multi-use trail was assessed; however, due to the impacts and complications associated with this option, it was ruled out, with the preferred approach identified as a multi-use trail along the east side of Brimley Road, starting at Barkdene Hills.
As downhill cyclists will be directed to use the roadway, there will be no change to current activities. The City of Toronto will be reviewing the feasibility of a bikeway connection further north of Barkdene Hills as part of the City’s Near-Term Implementation Program (2022-2024). Please see the recent City report, as well as the associated area mapping. In the interim, northbound cyclists will be able to continue using Brimley Road, north of Barkdene Hills.
Legal access to the properties backing onto Brimley Road South is off of Larwood Boulevard and a secondary access would not be permitted. Rear access will not be accommodated once the multi-use trail is constructed.
The multi-use trail will provide safe pedestrian and cyclist access along Brimley Road South to Bluffer’s Park where it currently does not exist. Brimley Road South will also be improved through resurfacing of the roadway. Taken together, these improvements will provide safer access and reduce user conflicts along the roadway.
Yes, there is insufficient property within the road right-of-way to improve the road and provide a multi-use trail. As indicated above, the trail will be implemented to the east of the road requiring the acquisition of a small portion of the backyards from select properties.
It is anticipated that once the project has been constructed, noise from the roadway and trail use will be similar to what exists today. Management of litter issues will be similar to the surrounding sidewalk infrastructure in the community.
Construction of the multi-use trail and improvements to Brimley Road will impose the typical impacts associated with this type of work, including increased construction noise, dust and limitations to access along Brimley. Construction timelines continue to be refined through discussions with the City, ensuring appropriate construction windows have been established to minimize access impacts to Bluffer’s Park during peak season, while ensuring efficiency to minimize impacts to the surrounding residents. The City and TRCA will communicate construction timelines and activities to area residents and will work to reduce disruptions to local residents and park users, where possible.
A Soils Management Plan is being developed during detailed design to address what will happen should landfill materials (waste) be uncovered during construction. Provision will be made to manage all materials in accordance with all relevant regulations and policies.
During the EA a fulsome consultation and engagement program was completed which engaged with residents throughout the SWP study area. At that time, residents of Larwood Blvd were engaged and made aware of project plans, providing comments and questions which were addressed by the Project Team. The improvements to Brimley Road South and the new multi-use trail have been approved by the province and are now moving through the implementation process. During detailed design phase, TRCA and the City will continue to inform area residents and the general public of the refinements being made to the approved EA concept and will solicit and address resident concerns and questions.
TRCA will be working directly with the City’s Urban Forestry department to determine the required compensation for removed/injured trees along with necessary tree protection during construction, as part of the tree removals permit process (prior to the commencement of tree removals and initiation of any trail construction works). Tree compensation may include replanting and restoration with appropriate native species.