TORONTO, Sept. 19 /CNW/ - Waterfront Toronto, together with the Governments of Canada, Ontario and City of Toronto, officially opened the newly revitalized Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place today. The new 1.3 kilometre, tree-lined trail section is a critical new link in the 56 kilometre Martin Goodman Trail which provides opportunities for alternative modes of travel across the waterfront in a safe and attractive environment.
Designed by leading landscape architects Janet Rosenberg and Associates, the newly created stretch of multi-use trail runs parallel to Lake Shore Boulevard through Ontario Place from Marilyn Bell Park to Coronation Park at Strachan Avenue. It creates a new "front door" to Ontario Place and it also enhances the everyday function of the major destination by providing a safe and direct route through the park for cyclists that is separated from car traffic.
"Martin Goodman Trail is a great resource for the people of the GTA and our government is proud to contribute to this project. It will improve both access to the trail and safety for the general population's use of it," said Federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. "This revitalization helps improve the beauty and quality of life in our already great region."
Safety for users has been enhanced by visually separating pedestrian crossings from designated bike crossings using state-of-the-art bicycle signals. The attractive and functional trail is barrier-free and accommodates a wide range of recreational activities.
Waterfront Toronto's redesign of the trail has converted 8,000 square metres of Ontario Place parking lots into green space for The Martin Goodman Trail. The new trail is 4.5 metres wide and framed by 161 newly planted native, hardwood trees.
"Today's opening of the Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place marks another significant milestone for the redevelopment of Toronto's waterfront," said the Honourable George Smitherman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Energy and Infrastructure. "We are reinvigorating a new gateway to one of Ontario's most popular tourism attractions and at the same time, linking Torontonians to another avenue for active living. It is smart design with environmental benefits."
Sustainability plays an important role in the new Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place. A storm-water management system was incorporated to allow run-off rainwater from the trail to irrigate adjacent green space and aid in the support of the growth of mature trees. Mature trees help to create the desired park-like setting and reduce the heat island effect of adjacent paved roads and parking lots.
"Almost a quarter-century after his death at just 46 years of age, Martin Goodman's name on this waterfront trail is synonymous with green and healthy urban amenities," said Mayor David Miller. "This 1.3 kilometre upgrade will bring the western and eastern ends of the Trail together and will allow the City and Waterfront Toronto to ensure the Trail continues to be one of Canada's premier public recreational and waterfront destinations."
Waterfront Toronto has also enhanced access to Ontario Place for parking and passenger drop-offs, thereby improving safety for both users of the Martin Goodman Trail and vehicular traffic by constructing a new signalized entrance to Ontario Place and revamping two existing entrances.
"As part of our revitalization strategy, this project contributes to the beautification and greening of Ontario Place's main entrances along Lake Shore Boulevard," said John Tracogna, Ontario Place General Manager. "The expansion supports healthy and active living, while providing pedestrians, cyclists and joggers with safer routes that connect to the Martin Goodman Trail."
Giving people more access to the waterfront is a key priority for Waterfront Toronto which has already made a number of improvements to the Martin Goodman Trail. Earlier enhancements include extending the trail from Lake Shore Boulevard to Commissioners Street and significant improvements through Marilyn Bell Park from Jameson Avenue to Ontario Drive.
"The Martin Goodman Trail is a great way to see our city and to experience the outdoors," said Waterfront Toronto President and CEO John Campbell. "The trail creates a pathway for people to enjoy access to the parks and public spaces along Toronto's waterfront."
Waterfront Toronto's plans include an additional 3,179 metres for the Martin Goodman Trail from Spadina Avenue to Parliament Street as part of the Queens Quay revitalization. Future plans also include extending the trail all along the revitalized waterfront.
The Martin Goodman Trail is part of the 730 kilometre Waterfront Trail that connects 41 communities from Niagara to Quebec along the Canadian Shores of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. It was named in memory of the former President and Editor-in-Chief of the Toronto Star who passed away in 1981.
Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has completed several parks and public spaces projects. This year, the organization opened the Simcoe and Rees WaveDecks. Construction started on Sherbourne Park in July and will start on Canada's Sugar Beach later this month. Construction is also underway to support new communities in the West Don Lands and East Bayfront.
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto's waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.
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SOURCE Waterfront Toronto
For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Sheri DeCarlo, Waterfront Toronto, (416) 214-1344 x279 or (416) 414-1577; Chisholm Pothier, Department of Finance Canada, Minister's Office, (613) 996-7861; Amy Tang, Ministry of Energy and Infrastructure, Minister's Office, (416) 327-6747; Stuart Green, Office of the Mayor, (416) 338-7119