The Friends of the West Toronto Railpath is a volunteer group committed to expanding, protecting and improving the WTR, a 2-kilometre trail that connects Toronto’s West End.
The West Toronto Railpath is a 2.1 km multi-modal human-powered trail that runs north to south through Toronto’s Junction Triangle. Built on an abandoned rail line, WTR was designed as a safe, car-free, linear park. Since opening in 2009, it’s naturalized ecology has become a canvas for art, a lively community gathering space, and a catalyst for major neighbourhood changes and connections.
Friends of West toronto Railpath
The Friends of the West Toronto Railpath is a volunteer group who work with and advise stakeholders such as the City of Toronto, Metrolinx, resident groups and community organizations. The group is made up of cyclists, artists, planners, urban ecologists, landscape architects, fresh air fiends and avid walkers. Together, the Friends are committed to expanding, protecting and improving WTR.
The Railpath is a multi-modal trail that connects Toronto’s West End. It is a great place to safely cycle, rollerblade, run, walk, meander, skateboard, roll, etc.
The Railpath is a constantly evolving canvas for many types of art, including murals, sculpture and temporary installations, and is an inspiration for artists.
The Railpath is home to an ecosystem of plants that are well adapted to harsh urban conditions and which provide food and habitat to birds and insects, and beauty and colour along the path.
“The West Toronto Railpath is one of the most cherished locations in Ward 9 with residents of all ages and abilities using it to connect, commute, engage and meet. It has become the heartbeat of our community and I am proud to work with the Friends of the Railpath to make sure that it expands and its success continues for years to come.”
– Councillor Ana Bailão
Phase One of West Toronto Railpath runs 2.1 km south from Cariboo Avenue (one block north of Dupont Street) to Dundas Street West (at Sterling Road). Starting at the north end there are accessible entrances at Cariboo Avenue, behind the Osler Fish Warehouse, Ruskin Ave, Wallace Ave, Ernest Ave, Randolph Ave and at Dundas Street West at Sterling Road, There are stairs at Bloor Street West and Dupont Street. There will be additional entrances as Sterling Road is developed.
The West Toronto Railpath is a multi-use trail maintained by City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. WTR can be used for any human powered activity: cycling, walking, running or rollerblading. Besides authorized maintenance vehicles, there are no cars, trucks, motorcycles or electric bikes allowed on the WTR. The entire length of WTR is designated an “on-leash” zone for dogs. This is to respect the ecology of the trail and to protect its users who move at different speeds; we must all share the trail.
There are three Bike Share locations on the Railpath: at Dundas Street West, at Bloor Street West, and at Cariboo Avenue. Check here for map and bike availability.
The City of Toronto plans to extend WTR 2 km south from it's current termination at Dundas Street West to Abell Street (just north of King Street) as soon as possible, possibly 2020.
Detailed early design and public consultation materials are here.
This expansion shares a border with the Georgetown Rail corridor which is operated by Metrolinx. Metrolinx has expansion plans within the corridor and any WTR extension needs coordination between the City, Metrolinx and other stakeholders. This has made the process slower than we would like.
Metrolinx will be adding a new rail line within the Georgetown Corridor. Near Bloor Station they will need to take some of WTR’s land and move Railpath over. In some cases WTR has future proofed the route and has land available. Next to the station there will be a narrowing. Any land or trees removed to facilitate this new line will be replaced by Metrolinx.
Talks have been ongoing to continue a direct route from Abell Street over the corridor and into Liberty Village as part of Smart Track. There is a lot of support for this idea from residents associations, developers, advocacy groups and Councillors.
Friends has also been working with 8 other community groups and Metrolinx to create another multi-use trail along the Barrie line to the east from Davenport Avenue south to meet Railpath at Dundas. At the north end it could connect with the proposed Green Line and would pass the proposed new GO station at Lansdowne and Bloor. For more information on this project see the Metrolinx Davenport Diamond page.