With plans for a cable car system announced today, Toronto's Don Valley could be the site of the city's next major tourist attraction. The privately funded $20-25 million gondola would run from the edge of Playter Gardens near Broadview and Danforth down to the Evergreen Brick Works.
Spanning what is arguably Toronto's most famous ravine, Bullwheel International's Don Valley Cable Car would be entirely funded by private investment. A scenic link to the popular Evergreen Brick Works, the gondola is designed to fill a gap in Toronto's transit network, providing access to a popular destination that—given the area topography—isn's very easily accessible from nearby subway stations at Castle Frank and Broadview.
Running from Playter Gardens near Broadview Station, the line would stretch a kilometre northwest to the Brick Works, facilitating an easier transit connection from the subway. While elements of the project—including costs and station alignments—remain subject to change, the Don Valley Cable Car's official website provides an overview of the plans so far. Featuring Monocable Detachable Gondola (MDG) technology, the the 1-kilometre route would include 3 to 6 towers and some 40 8-passenger cars. A 4 to 8 minute ride time is estimated, while the website cites an average ridership projection of 500 to 1,500 passengers per day.
Though station locations are also cited as approximate, the site states that the proposed alignments would not interfere with old growth trees or nearby private properties. Although Bullwheel International's proposal for a Don Valley gondola has been vaguely floated since at least 2011, more concrete plans are only now beginning to take shape, with an approximate 4-year completion timeline cited.
Like many cable car systems throughout the world, the Don Valley Cable Car proposes a dual fare structure for locals and tourists, potentially making the service a viable occasional travel option for Torontonians. A base two-way fare of approximately $10 has been targeted, though this figure is also understood as a preliminary estimate. More definitively, however, dogs will be allowed on board.
While the extent of the tangible public benefit is uncertain, the privately funded project has been met with enthusiasm by City Hall. According to the Toronto Star, Mayor John Tory called the project "novel" and "exciting," adding that the City should not be inclined to "reject any means of getting people around." At a press conference for another matter, Tory stating that he would be interested in taking a ride in the gondola.
A public meeting to review the project has been scheduled for March 8th, to be held at Estonian House at 958 Broadview Avenue (just west of Broadview Station). The community information session will take place from 7-9 PM. More information is available on the project's official website. Want to share your thoughts about the project? Leave a comment in the space below this page, or join in the conversation on one of our associated Forum threads.