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Toronto Parks

DonValleyRainbow

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I want to start a new general thread about Toronto's Parks. I'm kind of shocked it didn't exist.

I have been mapping Toronto's Parks on Google Maps for the past couple years now, and have fixed/adjusted approximately 1200 out of almost 1500 (please save me the assertion I should contribute to OpenStreetMap, I've chosen my allegiance to the ginourmous Google machine).

Throughout the whole process I've seen many opportunities to expand park boundaries or create new parks. It has made me think about how the city classifies and defines a "park", and how it might not always have to be city land to do so. But my thoughts aren't organized yet. The revamped Toronto city map is a great resource to see how the land parcels are divided.

I like to hear about the parks near you guys, and what makes them great or not so much.

Also, if you are a park advocate (which is pretty much assured given this is UT), I encourage you to check out the Toronto Park People if you haven't already.

Cheers!
 

ehlow

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The ravines are great, one of my favourite things about living here is jogging, walking, or biking through the ravines. The Don is the one I use the most, although Humber seems nice as well.

On a hot summer day there's good tree canopy coverage for shade. Hopefully the storm didn't damage it too much.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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DonValleyRainbow

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The ravines are great, one of my favourite things about living here is jogging, walking, or biking through the ravines. The Don is the one I use the most, although Humber seems nice as well.

On a hot summer day there's good tree canopy coverage for shade. Hopefully the storm didn't damage it too much.
I read in a news article somewhere that the city's tree cover went from 40 to 20%, which to me seems outrageous. There was a lot of damage, but surely not enough to halve the entire city's tree cover right? Does anyone know of any other stats?
 

taal

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The ravines are great, one of my favourite things about living here is jogging, walking, or biking through the ravines. The Don is the one I use the most, although Humber seems nice as well.

On a hot summer day there's good tree canopy coverage for shade. Hopefully the storm didn't damage it too much.
By far and large I think this is one of the most unappreciated aspects of Toronto ... particularly if you live near midtown ... which has access to so many great ravine trails ... there are some really amazing ones you'd barely know about (I love the one right beside Yonge and St. Clair ... and it has some history apparently ; -) .. forgot the name).

I've been to a lot of other cities, that tend to have great manicured parks (yes, Toronto sucks for this ... maybe Edwards Gardens is our best in this respect but even then it pales in comparison to others) ... and every city has 'green spaces' but ravines seem somewhat unique to Toronto the 905 for that matter, but the ones within a 10km radius of the core are what amaze me always ?

Not sure if others can comment about that aspect, or do similar things exist ?
 

DonValleyRainbow

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By far and large I think this is one of the most unappreciated aspects of Toronto ... particularly if you live near midtown ... which has access to so many great ravine trails ... there are some really amazing ones you'd barely know about (I love the one right beside Yonge and St. Clair ... and it has some history apparently ; -) .. forgot the name).
I'm not sure of a ravine name, but Yellow Creek runs through there. Some good trails tbrough there for sure, but some sections between the cemetery and the railway bridge could definitely use some TLC.
 

ehlow

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I read in a news article somewhere that the city's tree cover went from 40 to 20%, which to me seems outrageous. There was a lot of damage, but surely not enough to halve the entire city's tree cover right? Does anyone know of any other stats?
It didn't seem that bad last weekend when I was in the Moore Park area.

By far and large I think this is one of the most unappreciated aspects of Toronto ... particularly if you live near midtown ... which has access to so many great ravine trails ... there are some really amazing ones you'd barely know about (I love the one right beside Yonge and St. Clair ... and it has some history apparently ; -) .. forgot the name).

I've been to a lot of other cities, that tend to have great manicured parks (yes, Toronto sucks for this ... maybe Edwards Gardens is our best in this respect but even then it pales in comparison to others) ... and every city has 'green spaces' but ravines seem somewhat unique to Toronto the 905 for that matter, but the ones within a 10km radius of the core are what amaze me always ?

Not sure if others can comment about that aspect, or do similar things exist ?
Totally agree with you, they make our city much better and pretty unique. We obviously don't have something as famous or scenic as the Golden Gate bridge or Brooklyn/Williamsburg bridges (or all the other bridges in NYC), but the ravines do give Toronto the opportunity to have some cool bridges and some scenic verticality, whether you're on the bridge taking a photo of the ravine downwards, or looking up at the bridge itself.

When you think of cities you have certain iconic images. When I think of Toronto, one of the images I think of is being in the ravines looking up at the rail & road bridges towering over.

Rosedale & north of Rosedale up Mt Pleasant near St Clair (Moore Park) are not only some of the most beautiful places in terms of the houses & streets, but also the amazing ravine access they have. They also provide plenty of uphill exercise opportunities, for example biking/running/walking up Milkman's Lane near Rosedale, or the many stairways.

Yonge-Eg to Lawrence is pretty good too, Sherwood park and the connecting trails are great.

The Leslie Spit is also an amazing scenic trail that we are lucky to have.
 

junior43

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By far and large I think this is one of the most unappreciated aspects of Toronto ... particularly if you live near midtown ... which has access to so many great ravine trails ... there are some really amazing ones you'd barely know about (I love the one right beside Yonge and St. Clair ... and it has some history apparently ; -) .. forgot the name).

I've been to a lot of other cities, that tend to have great manicured parks (yes, Toronto sucks for this ... maybe Edwards Gardens is our best in this respect but even then it pales in comparison to others) ... and every city has 'green spaces' but ravines seem somewhat unique to Toronto the 905 for that matter, but the ones within a 10km radius of the core are what amaze me always ?

Not sure if others can comment about that aspect, or do similar things exist ?
I believe the ravines are relatively unique to Toronto. The melt/water runoff from the last ice age caused the ravines. Since TO was a former lake bed (sand, clay, etc), the runoff cut deep making the valleys a lot deeper than normal.
 

DonValleyRainbow

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By far and large I think this is one of the most unappreciated aspects of Toronto ... particularly if you live near midtown ... which has access to so many great ravine trails ... there are some really amazing ones you'd barely know about (I love the one right beside Yonge and St. Clair ... and it has some history apparently ; -) .. forgot the name).

I've been to a lot of other cities, that tend to have great manicured parks (yes, Toronto sucks for this ... maybe Edwards Gardens is our best in this respect but even then it pales in comparison to others) ... and every city has 'green spaces' but ravines seem somewhat unique to Toronto the 905 for that matter, but the ones within a 10km radius of the core are what amaze me always?
Totally agree with you, they make our city much better and pretty unique. We obviously don't have something as famous or scenic as the Golden Gate bridge or Brooklyn/Williamsburg bridges (or all the other bridges in NYC), but the ravines do give Toronto the opportunity to have some cool bridges and some scenic verticality, whether you're on the bridge taking a photo of the ravine downwards, or looking up at the bridge itself.

When you think of cities you have certain iconic images. When I think of Toronto, one of the images I think of is being in the ravines looking up at the rail & road bridges towering over.

Rosedale & north of Rosedale up Mt Pleasant near St Clair (Moore Park) are not only some of the most beautiful places in terms of the houses & streets, but also the amazing ravine access they have. They also provide plenty of uphill exercise opportunities, for example biking/running/walking up Milkman's Lane near Rosedale, or the many stairways.
I believe the ravines are relatively unique to Toronto. The melt/water runoff from the last ice age caused the ravines. Since TO was a former lake bed (sand, clay, etc), the runoff cut deep making the valleys a lot deeper than normal.
I never thought of the ravines as being unique for a large city, but it's a bit mind-blowing thinking about it on an international scale.

So my interest is piqued now, does anyone know of other major cities with ravines?
 

taal

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I never thought of the ravines as being unique for a large city, but it's a bit mind-blowing thinking about it on an international scale.

So my interest is piqued now, does anyone know of other major cities with ravines?

I'm trying to find this out my self, its not obvious, of course there are 'ravines' in every city, but to the same scale, and as close to the core ?
 

dt_toronto_geek

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I want to start a new general thread about Toronto's Parks. I'm kind of shocked it didn't exist.

I have been mapping Toronto's Parks on Google Maps for the past couple years now, and have fixed/adjusted approximately 1200 out of almost 1500 (please save me the assertion I should contribute to OpenStreetMap, I've chosen my allegiance to the ginourmous Google machine).

Throughout the whole process I've seen many opportunities to expand park boundaries or create new parks. It has made me think about how the city classifies and defines a "park", and how it might not always have to be city land to do so. But my thoughts aren't organized yet. The revamped Toronto city map is a great resource to see how the land parcels are divided.

I like to hear about the parks near you guys, and what makes them great or not so much.

Also, if you are a park advocate (which is pretty much assured given this is UT), I encourage you to check out the Toronto Park People if you haven't already.

Cheers!
I started a Toronto Parks thread and spent three or four months photographing them a few years ago, but I only covered much of the downtown area. I'm pretty sure it's under the Architecture & Urban Design forum.

Edit: Oops, I jumped the gun! As junctionist noted, you can see what I started here with lots of photos - http://urbantoronto.ca/forum/showthread.php/9123-Toronto-Parks
 
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junior43

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I never thought of the ravines as being unique for a large city, but it's a bit mind-blowing thinking about it on an international scale.

So my interest is piqued now, does anyone know of other major cities with ravines?
Can't think of any direct comparisons. But maybe Pittsburgh or Minneapolis? They're more river based parks and not ravines though. Same with Calgary and Winnipeg - even Ottawa. Without doing a whole lot of work, I'd think we are very unique in this respect.

Also, found this article from three years ago - It appears we're definitely unique.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/toronto/ravines-a-defining-aspect-of-toronto/article579001/
 
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