The Meadoway, one of Canada’s largest urban linear parks, is embarking on an exciting new phase of transformation. Stretching from the Don River in downtown Toronto to Rouge National Urban Park, this ambitious project is spearheaded by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) and the Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation in partnership with the City of Toronto, Hydro One, and the generous support of the Weston Family Foundation.

The Meadoway, covering an impressive 200 hectares, is undergoing a remarkable metamorphosis from a barren hydro corridor into a vibrant expanse of urban greenspace and Meadow habitat. This innovative initiative aims to connect four ravines, 15 parks, and 34 neighbourhoods, enriching biodiversity and supporting over 1,000 diverse species of plants and animals.

“The Meadoway is the kind of ecological-based community-building project TRCA is thrilled to be a part of. We are thankful for the ongoing generous support of the Weston Family Foundation and excited to advance this next phase of work collaboratively with partners like the City of Toronto, the Government of Canada through Parks Canada (Rouge National Urban Park), Environment and Climate Change Canada, local schools, and community organizations. We are also thankful for the efforts of Hydro One and Infrastructure Ontario to facilitate restoration and trail work on provincially owned and managed lands,” said Councillor Paul Ainslie, chair of TRCA’s board of directors

The Weston Family Foundation’s generous impact

In 2018, the Weston Family Foundation made a significant commitment by pledging $25 million to support The Meadoway project. The foundation’s initial investment of over $11 million in the first phase, which spanned from 2018 to 2022, proved instrumental in achieving crucial milestones. 

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These accomplishments included the restoration of 80 hectares of native meadow habitat, the creation of approximately 1 km of multi-use trails (with 0.8 km still underway), and the engagement of over 10,000 community members through more than 300 events.

As The Meadoway advances into its second phase in 2023, the Weston Family Foundation remains a steadfast partner, committing up to $6.3 million over the next three years. This financial backing will ensure the continued transformation of the corridor, including the full restoration and maintenance of an additional 101 hectares of Meadow habitat, nurturing the growth of diverse ecosystems.

“The Meadoway project is a ground-breaking initiative transforming a hydro corridor in Scarborough into a vibrant 16-kilometre stretch of urban greenspace. It would not be possible without support from the Weston Family Foundation. As Chair of TRCA’s Board of Directors and a City of Toronto Councillor that has the privilege of having The Meadoway run through my Ward, it is an honour to be a part of advancing this work for the natural environment and the citizens of the Greater Toronto Region.” Said Garfield Mitchell, chair of the Weston Family Foundation

To facilitate The Meadoway’s second phase, additional funds have been allocated:

  • Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) will be supporting trail connections and improvements
  • Through the Federal Natural Infrastructure Fund, the City of Toronto will be supporting two priority trail connections
  • Parks Canada will be making improvements to trail connections to Rouge National Urban Park

Looking ahead, the project’s organizers are determined to secure corporate sponsorships and private donations to bolster the final third phase of capital works and long-term maintenance and management of the corridor. This collaborative approach, with support from various government agencies, local schools, and community organizations, reflects the significance of The Meadoway as an ecological-based community-building project.

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As The Meadoway continues to pave the way for a greener future in the city, those interested in supporting the project’s vision can contribute through the Toronto and Region Conservation Foundation. With each step taken, The Meadoway project draws the community closer to the harmonious integration of urban living and thriving natural habitats, setting a remarkable precedent for sustainability and conservation initiatives nationwide.

About the Weston Family Foundation

At the Weston Family Foundation (formerly The W. Garfield Weston Foundation), more than 60 years of philanthropy has taught us that there’s a relationship between healthy landscapes and healthy people. That’s why we champion world-class health research and innovation with the same passion that we support initiatives to protect and restore biodiversity on our unique landscapes. We take a collaborative approach to philanthropy, working alongside forward-thinking partners to advance Canada and create lasting impacts. We aspire to do more than provide funding; we want to enable others to find transformational ways to improve the well-being of Canadians.

To learn more about the Foundation, visit westonfoundation.ca

About Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) 

Since 1957, TRCA, as enabled through the Provincial Conservation Authorities Act, has taken action to enhance our region’s natural environment and protect our land, water, and communities from the impacts of flooding and increasingly extreme weather events – Ontario’s leading cause of public emergencies. 

As the region’s first line of defence against natural hazards, TRCA maintains vital infrastructure and provides programs and services that promote public health and safety, protecting people and property. 

TRCA mobilizes a science-based approach to provide sound policy advice, leveraging its position as a not-for-profit operating in the broader public sector to achieve collective impacts within our communities and across all levels of government. 

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TRCA’s jurisdiction includes nine watersheds and their Lake Ontario shorelines, spanning six upper-tier and fifteen lower-tier municipalities and representing almost five million people, approximately 10% of Canada’s population. 

To learn more about TRCA, visit trca.ca

For more information on how to support The Meadoway, please visit: https://foundation.trca.ca/support/themeadoway/

Brownie Awards

The Meadoway is a Brownie Award-winning project. For further information, click here:

https://environmentjournal.ca/champions-in-brownfield-redevelopment-celebrated-at-2020-brownie-awards/

The 2023 Brownie Awards is currently calling for nominations. For further information, click here: 

https://brownieawards.ca/

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