Sunday, June 22, 2008
Port Union Waterfront Trail Opens
They came out in their thousands to celebrate the opening of the latest section of the Trans Canada Trail. Mothers carrying infants in pouches and pushing carriages, fathers dressed for African safaris, skate boarders, dog walkers, police, serious joggers and children everywhere.
This new section stretches from Port Union 5 km along the shores of Lake Ontario to East Points Park in West Hill.
One of the big fire boats from Toronto Harbour sat off shore blowing huge streams of water high in the air, a great ferris wheel lifted excited children above the roof tops, local bands gave back to back concerts, a tipi had been erected on the high point of the park and food was being consumed at a furious rate. A splash pad was filled with screaming children and booths of every kind advertised local activities.
Linda and I walked the Trail to Highland Creek and back. Once we left Port Union Common, the crowds dropped away and we were able to enjoy the beauty of the new waterfront pathway, being passed frequently by dedicated joggers, bikers and the rush of roller bladers.
The Port Union section of Toronto's Waterfront Trail now connect this community with the West Hill Community where I live. It winds its way along the waterfront to Highland Creek and then climbs above the beach at the foot of the Scarborough Bluffs where it connects to the extensive trails running through Col Danforth and Morningside Parks..
The creation of a Trans Canada Trail, of which the Toronto Waterfront Trail system forms a part, was announced as part of Canada's 125th anniversary celebrations in 1992. At 18,078-kilometres (11,233 mi), it is expected to become the longest recreational trail in the world.
It has its counterparts in other greenway routes like the 12 EuroVelo routes and the USA's East Coast Greenway.
To date it has been funded largely by Canadian Federal, Provincial and Municipal governments. However, there have also been corporate donors and individual donors.
Linda and I walk the path beside the waters of Lake Ontario, the ground beside us beginning its slow rise to become the Scarborough Bluffs as a stream of pretty girls on roller blades glide past us, laughing and excited and full of life.
The Trail is now 70% complete
Something very special is being born across this country. And today we are part of its celebration.
Our thanks to City Councilor Ron Moeser and the Port Union Waterfront Committee for a job well done.