On January 5th, 2017 John Mason, President of Friends of Guild Park and Gardens presented a deputation at City hall and letter from the Guild Park Stakeholder group in support of a Trail Master Plan for Guild Park. On January 27th it was confirmed Guild Park and Gardens Trails Master Plan capital project will be included in the City of Toronto 2017 Parks, Forestry and Recreation Capital Budget and Plan.
Key design considerations for trails at Guild Park identified in Trails Master Plan Report compiled by Friends of Guild Park and Gardens:
- Environmental protection – relating to designated Environmentally-Sensitive Areas (ESAs), the waterfront and Scarborough Bluffs
- Public safety – preventing falls along the Bluffs/injuries along unimproved trails; protecting against poison ivy, harmful vegetation, tree/branch falls
- Cleanliness – easy public access to waste containers; routine servicing/maintenance of waste containers and public areas.
- Maintenance/responsibility issues affecting trails – given the many jurisdictions within the park)
- Relate to the attributes/legacy of Guild Park – wildlife/ First Nations/pioneers/ artists etc.
Recognizing the range of interests/abilities of park visitors – international tourists, first-time guests, frequent visitors, local residents, neighbouring students. It is important to recognize that trails, pathways, sidewalks, walkways and the grounds at Guild Park are under near constant use for both “active” and “passive” pursuits – from early morning walks to nighttime special events. Examples of these uses include:
- Heavy foot traffic by pedestrians – especially between parking areas and key park attractions during daylight and after dark.
- Regular use by trucks/service vehicles – park maintenance/solid waste pick-up/ special event activities/first responders
- Specialized accessibly for people with disabilities
- Dog walkers
- Recreational walkers
- Parents using strollers/carriages with children
- Seniors using walkers/mobility scooters
Consider four distinct trails/pathways areas:
- West Trail – with two new boardwalks (in process)
- Monument Walk linking to “formal” Garden Path area (includes vehicle parking areas)
- Waterfront Trail – including public access from Guildwood Parkway
- East Trail – adjacent to Jack Miner School
Common elements for each trail – with consistent design/signs/markers
- Noticeboard/Map of park and trails
- Welcome & Trail Information – visitor responsibilities/ notable highlights/ identification
- markers for trees/flower / interpretation
- Info hot-line for improvements/repairs/emergencies
- Dog poop bags /waste pick-up
- Possibility of video monitoring for security
Accessibility of trails – location, material, edging, - determined by:
- environmental constraints
- traffic volumes/location
- types of users (pedestrians, bicyclists, service/emergency vehicles (TRCA jurisdiction)