How The Green Line Will Benefit Toronto’s Cycling Community

Photo by Kyle Baptista for Park People

How The Green Line Will Benefit Toronto’s Cycling Community

By Taylor Moyle 

Toronto’s Green Line, a 5-km linear park in a hydro corridor that connects communities may finally become a reality this year.

The interconnected series of parks runs from Spadina to Lansdowne and will feature green space for pedestrians to relax in. Not only that, the linear park will create a new way for cyclists to travel between communities in Toronto’s west end core

Within the City’s 2017 budget, $275,000 has been dedicated to the 5-km linear park for it to finally come to fruition after three years of community lobbying.

According to Councillor Joe Mihevc, Ward 21, the budget boost means The Green Line can instantly become a cohesive park that connects communities rather than connecting pieces one-by-one, a year at a time.

Mihevc of Ward 21 said it’s great for citizens to use for leisure, but it’s also great “in terms of it being a mobility corridor.”

In addition, the trail is a much safer option for cyclists since they won’t need to worry about cars during the sweet 5-km ride. And, if the 4-km long West Toronto Railpath is any indication, cyclists will love it -- even if it doesn’t really connect them to a grid of bike lanes (yet). Both off-road bike paths are welcome additions to the piecemeal bikeway system that is slowly building up across Toronto.

Janet Joy Wilson, a cycling advocate who is member of the Cycle Toronto Ward 13 cycle group, said that people in Toronto choose not to bike because they’re afraid. Wilson thinks this is because the majority of bike lanes in Toronto aren’t protected. She sees The Green Line as an important addition to our city’s growing network.

Wilson is also the co-founder of The Reading Line, an event that brings literature and biking together to areas of Toronto. In 2014 The Reading Line held an event at The Green Line -- back when it was just an idea. The event helped raise awareness for the ambitious green space plan to help interconnect a patchwork of parks for cyclists and citizens in communities who lack greenspace.

Photo by Kyle Baptista for Park People

Wilson thinks that The Green Line is a huge step for Toronto cycling, but also said that in order for the cycling community to truly grow the city needs an interconnected bike lane network.

“It’s okay to have 5 km here and there but if they’re not connected then people won’t truly want to bike,” she said. “That’s the key to expanding, is connecting all of these lines,” said Wilson, adding that this is much more than just a linear park, it’s another step for Torontonians to have safe biking routes.

Beyond bikes, Mihevc said, “Torontonians need a place to walk their dogs, grow their gardens, rest and relax and basically just stay green.”

The councillor noted that for people in condos or apartment buildings, parks and green spaces have become replacements for traditional backyards, and that “places like The Green Line play an important role in any other green spaces that can be built.”

“It’s  is a clever way to present nature to the city,” he said.

Wilson also said it’s important to embrace nature in the city. “We desperately need green space… it’s so important for your peace of mind,” said Wilson.

More from dandyhorse magazine:

Coldest Day of the Year 2017

Bikes and Belonging

Bike Count on Bloor

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