Toronto is home to a vast network of ravines that play an integral role in providing environmental, health and recreational benefits to the public.
The City’s ravine system covers 11,000 hectares, or 17 percent of Toronto’s land area and includes forests and wetlands, and numerous species of plants and animals.
Last week City Council unanimously adopted the Ravine Strategy Implementation which will help revitalize and protect Toronto’s ravines.
The plan includes $2.7 million annually to address urgent needs related to managing invasive species and enhancing litter collection in ravines. Additionally, the plan also recommends $104.9 million in funding to upgrade 10 Priority Investment Areas in the ravine system.
The City has also teamed with Evergreen and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority on the Loop Trail, a project that will connect 81 kilometres of ravine trails across the City. Meanwhile, the new micro-grant ‘InTO Ravines: Nature at your doorstep’ aims to foster community engagement and help develop a deeper understanding of the goals of the Ravine Strategy, ravine ecology and Indigenous knowledge and heritage.
Although the Ravine Strategy Implementation prioritizes the ravine system outside of Willowdale, John moved a motion at Council on January 29 to consider additional projects where significant development is going on near ravines, and where development-related funds are available to improve access and enhance ravines.