Park regulars excited at prospect of Don River Valley super park

Mayor John Tory addresses crowd at press conference Tuesday, at the Evergreen Brick Works, where he detailed the newly proposed Don River Valley park.
Mayor John Tory addresses  press conference Oct. 18, at the Evergreen Brick Works, where he detailed the newly proposed Don River Valley Park.

A local cyclist and avid Toronto-park user believes the  proposed Don Valley super park is just what the city needs.

Mayor John Tory announced details Tuesday, during a press conference at the Evergreen Brick Works, regarding the Don River Valley Park. The project, also referred to as a “super park,” will span from the Brick Works south to Lake Ontario and will cover 480 acres.

Mindy Nguyen, a self-proclaimed bike enthusiast and East York resident, is excited about the prospects of the super park.

“The Don Valley and the Evergreen Brick Works (are) two of my favourite areas to bike,” Nguyen said. “The only problem is getting there; the current trails just don’t measure up. That’s why this new park is so appealing to me.”

Tory described plans for the proposed park, including new cyclist and pedestrian paths, as well as outdoor art exhibits along trails. Private donors have contributed $3.5 million so far.

“It’s what (the city) is missing,” Nguyen explained. “We need to care as much about our parks and trails, as we do our condo market. This park will definitely better Toronto in my eyes.”

Tory mirrored Nguyen’s thoughts about access to the park.

“These preliminary steps are things that stopped me as a boy … from going down there. … There was no way to find your way around down there or even get out,” Tory said.

Tory admitted improvements to Toronto parks have not come quickly enough, and that the city has some catching up to do.

“This project allows us to celebrate our ravines, talk about the important role they play for our residents, our resilience and our quality of life,” Tory said.

Project organizers hope to complete the Don River Valley Park’s north entrance by the winter of 2016/2017.