By Eric Emin Wood
The Town Crier
January 12, 2014
Starting just south of York Mills Road and running parallel to Leslie Street, Don Mills Trail is picturesque, popular with nearby families and seniors, who use it as a walking trail — and is abruptly stopped by a fence surrounding commercial property north of Eglinton Avenue East.
Since being elected in 2010, Ward 25 councillor Jaye Robinson has been trying to extend the trail from York Mills to Eglinton, notably by negotiating with the commercial property owners to allow visitors through.
Robinson’s efforts may finally be coming to fruition, as the trail’s northern section is being put to tender this month, after which the city can determine development costs for extending the trail and plan a schedule around them.
The trail’s southern section is more complex: Robinson spent a year securing land use rights from the commercial property owners, after which city staff discovered the soil might be contaminated.
Following an environmental assessment, which was forwarded to the province, a city staff report outlining cleanup costs is expected soon.
“It’s not overly contaminated,” Robinson said, indicating clean-up is not expected to be extensive or expensive.
Once the report is delivered, Robinson’s staff will hire a consultant to design the trail.
Construction, which will include embedding soil, planting trees and laying paths, will begin in spring or summer.
“It’s all kind of good news,” Robinson said. “It’s just been unfolding very slowly.”