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May 26, 2012
Community celebrates the reopening of Glen Stewart Ravine
  
Toronto City Councillor Mary-Margaret McMahon (Ward 32 Beaches-East York) today joined members of the community to celebrate the reopening of the Glen Stewart Ravine.

"This community understands that they are extremely fortunate to have this wonderful, natural asset at their back door," said Councillor McMahon. "What we also need the community and other trail users to understand is that the sandy soil and the steep slopes make this area extremely vulnerable."

The Glen Stewart ravine is an 11-hectare ravine with a wide diversity of plant and bird life. Fed by clean ground water from the Ames Creek, the ravine forest, dominated by red oak and red maple, is designated as rare by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and as an environmentally significant area in Toronto's Official Plan.

The City of Toronto closed the ravine in September last year to complete infrastructure improvements, including the construction of a new boardwalk and the reconstruction of two pedestrian bridges and the Balsam staircase. The City also installed retaining structures. The new boardwalk will improve trail conditions and trail drainage, which will help make the ravine more accessible.

The Parks, Forestry and Recreation division will be planting 800 trees and shrubs and more than 2,500 herbs and grasses to help restore the area.

Off-trail use in the ravine has caused the soil to become compacted, which means that the soil can no longer absorb water. When that occurs in a sensitive area like the Glen Stewart ravine, the result is plants and shrubs that grow on the forest floor, called the forest understory, die off. That causes the trees, in this case, red oaks and red maples, to suffer and leads to tree death - which eventually causes forest death.

Wooden fencing will be installed along the southeast portion of the main trail and the Balsam Avenue entrance while the planting is occurring.

The City of Toronto is urging the Glen Stewart community and all trail users to give these plantings a chance to get established and to nurture the forest by staying on the trails, respecting the fencing and keeping dogs on a leash.

Residents are reminded that the Glen Stewart ravine is not an off-leash location. There are three off-leash areas in the vicinity: Kew Gardens Beach, Norwood Park and Cassels Playground.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto's government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.



Media Contact
Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line
416-560-8726
pfrmedialine@toronto.ca

 

 

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