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Toronto plans to create a paddle-friendly Waterfront

Toronto’s Parks and Environmental Committee approved a plan late February to install five paddling nodes from Etobicoke to Scarborough. A continuation of a 2016 initiative that saw the creation of two recreational nodes on the Toronto Island at the Outer Harbour and at Silver Birch, five additional nodes are proposed that will allow residents with non-motorized boats such as paddleboards, kayaks and canoes to easily access the water. Read the full report here.

One of the nodes is scheduled to be installed in Humber Bay Shores, a short walk from our Eau Du Soleil community. This means water-loving residents will enjoy easier, safer and consistent access to the shoreline for water-related recreational activities.

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The plan still requires council approval at an upcoming meeting in March, but if approved, the $500,000 investment will begin installation this summer. These nodes offer a safe place for non-motorized boats to launch from, as most of the current access points to Lake Ontario are dominated by boating clubs, which can block access for other users and pose a safety risk to smaller boats.

The idea of an accessible waterfront for recreational activities like canoeing, fishing or kayaking opens up the opportunity for canoe and kayak sharing programs, similar to the popular bike share programs around the city, says Committee chair Mary-Margaret McMahon. “We have this glorious lake and beach, and we should be encouraging people to use it more.”

 

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WHERE WILL THE NEW PADDLE NODES BE?

From right to left on the map above, the new nodes are proposed in the following locations:

  1. Marie Curtis Park (Lakeshore Blvd West and Forty Second St.)
  2. Prince of Wales Park (Lakeshore Blvd West and Second St.)
  3. Humber Bay Park West (Lakeshore Blvd West and Parklawn Rd)
  4. Coronation Park (Lakeshore Blvd West and Strachan Ave.)
  5. Bluffers Park (near Kingston Rd. and Brimley Rd.)

 

The creation of these nodes and the understanding of the need for a more accessible shoreline is a wonderful stepping stone to open up the waterfront. The paddle nodes bring awareness to the potential for water-related recreation that most people don’t associate with Lake Ontario. We’re keeping our eye on the outcome of this proposal.