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October 30, 2009
City opens two kilometre long West Toronto Railpath Park and four large art installations
Today, Councillor Adam Giambrone (Ward 18 Davenport), along with City of Toronto representatives, Scott Torrance Landscape Architect Inc.,artist John Dickson, Friends of West Toronto Railpath group and members of the community celebrated the opening of the Toronto West Railpath Park with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

This unique pedestrian, in-line skating, cycling and skateboard park pathway runs along 2.1 kilometres of land between Cariboo Avenue., (north of Dupont Street., west of Osler Street) to the Dundas and Lansdowne area to the south of Bloor Street.

"The new West Toronto Railpath Park is a welcome addition to the community. It was a privilege for me to be able to work with the community to make the Railpath Park a reality," said Councillor Giambrone. "The Railpath Park is an example of how outstanding design can be used to enhance our public spaces, and in so doing enhance the opportunities for fun outdoor physical activity for all the members of this community."

The City of Toronto acquired the land in 2001 to develop a multi-use trail for both recreational and commuter purposes. Construction began in June 2009 and was completed in September 2009.

The new railpath runs along abandoned railway beds which have been out of use for over 40 years. As the rail corridor is extremely wide, the Railpath will not interfere with existing train routes.

The land is a sanctuary for bird life, animal life, native tree and grass species, butterfly and insect life. During the project the City undertook an inventory of flora and fauna on the entire site to protect and enhance the array of wildlife which already existed. The City of Toronto also planted a wide variety of trees, vines, shrubs, grasses and perennials.

The new West Toronto Railpath Park features a system of wayfaring signs which indicate the access points along the trail. From north to south they are: Cariboo Avenue.; Osler Street.; Dupont Street. (access to trail via steps from south sidewalk only); Ruskin Avenue.; Wallace Avenue.; Ernest Avenue.; Randolph Avenue.; Bloor Street West (access to trail via steps from north and south sidewalk) ending at Dundas Street West with ramp access at Sterling Avenue.

The length of the path is 2100 metres. This translates to approximately 20 walking minutes or approximately five cycling minutes to travel the length of the park. Along the way path travellers will encounter a pedestrian foot bridge at Wallace Avenue and an entrance to the Bloor Go station. There are several bicycle stations at this location.

Bollards, small metal structures to control or direct Railpath traffic, were designed by Brown and Storey Architects and constructed by Stephen Richards who also fabricated the metal sculptures for artist John Dickson. There are approximately sixteen bollards along the way.

Toronto artist John Dickson's four sculptural artworks, collectively named Frontier, are inspired by the changing landscape of the Junction and Railpath Park area. These large industrial sculptural forms (each measuring between five and six metres high, four to six metres wide and one metre deep) are constructed of steel frames with perforated galvanized steel surfaces. At different locations along the southern portion of the Railpath Park area, each Frontier form simultaneously evokes the industrial frontiers of the site while also referencing the natural frontier states that existed before and after the area's industrial period. The Frontier forms alternately appear to be solid and transparent, creating a flickering effect when viewed from the trail as well as from the adjacent functioning rail corridor.

Canadian Art describes the artist, "John Dickson is one of the country’s leading contemporary sculptors. Over the past decade, whether in collective projects with Nether Mind, Persona Volare and hic, at outdoor venues like the Tree Museum or in his solo exhibitions, Dickson has developed a wide range of works and installations that interweave cultural histories with natural spaces into evocative meditations on collective memory." Dickson has had solo exhibitions at the Koffler Gallery, Mercer Union, Robert Birch and Archive Inc. in Toronto, Plug In Inc. in Winnipeg and Optica in Montreal. He has also exhibited in the Czech Republic, Copenhagen, Denmark and Paris.

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation media line, 416-560-8726,
Shane Gerard, Senior Promotions & Communications Coordinator, 416-397-5711,



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