The trails follow routes that were spared development, primarily the GTA's many ravines. Toggle the trails on/off with the button below to see the ravines more clearly.
Hydro corridors are an important but under-utilized part of the trail network. Note on the map where the trails follow the hydro corridors. The Meadoway and the Finch Hydro corridor trail are good examples.
Railways are both an opportunity for trail building and a barrier. The popular Beltline trail follows an abandoned old railbed and the West Toronto Railpath runs alongside one of the busiest railways in Canada. On the Humber trail, the combination of a rail bridge and Weston golf course forces trail users onto Weston Rd, which is a deathtrap for cyclists.
Dozens of golf courses have been built in the GTAs ravines. Turning riparian zones into lawns is an environmental disaster, but it is also a major issue for the trails. In most cases golf courses span the entire width of the ravines. Note on the map that where trails encounter golf courses they often end abruptly.
It is an exciting time to be a cyclist in the city! Lots of new trails are being built, the most impressive of them in the stunning East Don. Eventually, though it's still in the distant future, the Don trails will connect with the Meadoway, giving cyclists the chance to ride all the way from the downtown to Rouge Park in the East.
Where the trail is broken, on-road "connections" are required to link up the trail. Note on the map what exactly is the reason for the break in the trail- often golf courses are the culprit, though it may also be highways or railways.
Highways are a barrier to the trails. The Don Valley Parkway is especially bad and never should have been built so close to the river. The good news is that some improvement is in the works and this time around public access to the restored natural areas will be prioritized.
"Major routes" highlights some of the longest, more or less unbroken sections of trail.
"Wishful Thinking" is all the trails that could be feasibly built and would connect trail fragments.