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  1. #1
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    Idea! West end of Toronto(etobicoke/mississauga) trail building

    Hey everyone, I know season is almost done but if anyone is up to do some building of dirt jumps, maybe a few bridges and just taking care of a few trails please post here. I am always interested to do some trail work but would like some company, otherwise it gets boring rather quickly. The two major spots id like to do something in is Etobicoke creek trail near Centennial park or some place along Humber river( oh and actually there is another spot in a park which goes along Martin groove starting at eglington and martin groove). Anyone who is willing to build some jumps and other trail features is welcome. If you have access to some tools that would be a plus(such as shovel, saw, even chainsaw). If anyone has any other ideas don't hesitate to share them, about good spots build/ride.

  2. #2
    humber river advocate
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    Quote Originally Posted by wh1teruss1an View Post
    Hey everyone, I know season is almost done but if anyone is up to do some building of dirt jumps, maybe a few bridges and just taking care of a few trails please post here. I am always interested to do some trail work but would like some company, otherwise it gets boring rather quickly. The two major spots id like to do something in is Etobicoke creek trail near Centennial park or some place along Humber river( oh and actually there is another spot in a park which goes along Martin groove starting at eglington and martin groove). Anyone who is willing to build some jumps and other trail features is welcome. If you have access to some tools that would be a plus(such as shovel, saw, even chainsaw). If anyone has any other ideas don't hesitate to share them, about good spots build/ride.
    awesome that you want to build trails and jumps. I have two areas in mind and I know the city is looking for people to be involved. I suggest you contact:

    Karen Sun

    Parks Program Officer 1- Stewardship
    City of Toronto - Natural Environment & Community Programs
    ksun@toronto.ca
    416-392-1033

    the two areas are:
    marie curtis bike park

    and this


    Sunnyside Bike Park
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    Albion Hills Conservation Area Master Plan Public Advisory Committee

  3. #3
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    So is the sunnyside bike park, complete, underway or whats the status? That is pretty awesome. Will go scout that area today.

  4. #4
    humber river advocate
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    from a planning, permits, funding stand point sunnyside is well along and excavators should start work this spring. I also suggest you get in contact with the TORBA Etobicoke Creek https://www.facebook.com/torontooffroad

    and ride@oxygenbikes.com if you want to help out in a more timely fashion
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  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wh1teruss1an View Post
    The two major spots id like to do something in is Etobicoke creek trail near Centennial park or some place along Humber river( oh and actually there is another spot in a park which goes along Martin groove starting at eglington and martin groove). Anyone who is willing to build some jumps and other trail features is welcome. If you have access to some tools that would be a plus(such as shovel, saw, even chainsaw). If anyone has any other ideas don't hesitate to share them, about good spots build/ride.
    Building jumps & stunts on that section of Etobicoke Creek is going to end in tears, it's heavily used by runners, hikers, and dog walkers who do not look kindly on those things. I've been riding the creek for nearly 20 years and people have been building stunts in that section for as long as I've been riding, most of the stuff gets torn down within months, on rare occasions it lasts a season or 2. There's also been times when parents have gone in to tear down the stunts after their kids maimed themselves on them. It's just not going to end well until the trail is officially sanctioned by the city and an official trail plan has been implemented.

    As for the park along Mimico Creek near Eglinton, the same issues apply. Jumps have been built in there in multiple locations, in fact there was quite a nice BMX track with jumps and large berms built up in one place. Let's just say the local residents & frequent park users really didn't like it once they found out about it, and it got flattened and turned back into forest. I've been to the city of Toronto meetings concerning the Etobicoke & Mimico Creek trails and unsightly dirt jumps & stunts was one of the main complaints.

    Which is to say if fun stuff is going to be built, it's going to need to stay out of sight for the most part. There was a large set of jumps in an empty field on Etobicoke Creek and Eglinton which lasted for quite some time because it was tucked out of sight. There was another stunt section which is currently in disrepair if you know where to look, it can be freshened up nicely with some work.

    Overall, we're in that stage where public perceptions and not pissing off other trail users is key to further development of the trails. Right now the focus is on maintenance, rerouting washouts and keeping the trails in a passable condition. It's not sexy but it's what lays the groundwork for fun stuff in the future.

  6. #6
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    Thanks for all the info. Did stop by today at the sight where the sunnyside park will be built. Its really squished in there, but does have some nice older trees which offer shade(which I hope they will keep) and of course the view of the lake. Will be looking forward to help them out in spring in building.
    On the other note, had the hardest time finding mineral oil for brake bleed, went to 5 stores, not one had any available :|

  7. #7
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    Oxygen Bikes on Lakeshore & Brown's Line has a jug of Shimano oil. Bring a small container and the shop guys can set you up with enough to do a bleed for a few bucks.

  8. #8
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    Yeah I understand what you are saying. But considering trails got to be maintained anyways it doesnt really bother me if it gets ruined. A lot of the places in Etobicoke got leveled though by the city. At least at Etobicoke creek place it is pretty secluded and would be very difficult to get any machinery in. However the building is mostly limited to the top of the ridge since the bottom floods most likely, especially this summer i would assume.
    Another part to keep the trails open is not to dig huge holes in the ground to get dirt but to bring it from a dedicated spot(maybe even have a dedicated run off water area) as well as not just bring random junk to build things, those plywood sheets are very unsightly. There is ton of fallen trees which can be used for wood, just need someone with tools or chainsaw to speed up the process.

  9. #9
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    I just ordered a litre along with bleed kit. Will most likely sell the excess oil to other people who also need it and prefer to do bleeds on their own.

  10. #10
    humber river advocate
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    hey wh1teruss1an, not a good idea to use a chainsaw in an urban park. it kinda freaks everyone out. you have to be trained and authorized to use such a tool. you need what they call a bucking and felling certificate plus advanced emergency first aid. plus theres the whole permission thing, safety equipment, etc. the same holds true pretty much for any lands around southern ontario. i went through the trouble of getting all of these certifications a few years ago and do some chainsawing for various trail groups.

    try to find yourself a half decent portable buck saw to cut deadfall.
    works well and i have used them in the past. it also helps to hang around someone who has used such a tool. principles of compression/expansion apply when bucking and the use of wedges, etc.

    other than that it is awesome that you are taking stewardship and want to build jumps and features. i think the trails need more advanced features that get air beneath our tires. it is something i've been involved with for years and i'm advocating for.
    i would try to work with the city though, it really helps the mtb community in the long term.






    Quote Originally Posted by wh1teruss1an View Post
    Yeah I understand what you are saying. But considering trails got to be maintained anyways it doesnt really bother me if it gets ruined. A lot of the places in Etobicoke got leveled though by the city. At least at Etobicoke creek place it is pretty secluded and would be very difficult to get any machinery in. However the building is mostly limited to the top of the ridge since the bottom floods most likely, especially this summer i would assume.
    Another part to keep the trails open is not to dig huge holes in the ground to get dirt but to bring it from a dedicated spot(maybe even have a dedicated run off water area) as well as not just bring random junk to build things, those plywood sheets are very unsightly. There is ton of fallen trees which can be used for wood, just need someone with tools or chainsaw to speed up the process.
    Support TORBA
    Sunnyside Bike Park Working Group
    Albion Hills Conservation Area Master Plan Public Advisory Committee

  11. #11
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    It's really exciting to know that working through official channels helps "the mtb community." Obviously, things don't happen overnight. Just so another would-be helper understands... If I were to ping the city October 1st of 2013, and go through the proper channels involving proposals, permits, hearings, meetings and so forth, would I expect to be digging trails in Spring 2014? Late 2014? 105? 2016?

    There's a lot of talk and innuendo about wheels turning slowly, but what is a realistic timeframe to plan around?

  12. #12
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    Starting now? Probably around 2020. I can speak of Etobicoke & Mimico Creek since I'm part of the group that's involved in the meetings & planning. The initial contact took place 2-3 years ago and the public meetings started last year. Right now we're at the stage where trail use has been tallied with counters and a full survey of the trail system is about to begin. Then there's going to be more meetings where various proposals are put forth and we try to figure out how the trail system should be developed and come up with an overall plan, and finally we organize & plan the work and put shovels in the ground.

    While all this is going on, there are trail cleanup days taking place which are organized through the city (I believe there's one scheduled for Oct. 20th), and the local trail users continue to maintain the trails and keep them passable.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by raganwald View Post
    It's really exciting to know that working through official channels helps "the mtb community." Obviously, things don't happen overnight. Just so another would-be helper understands... If I were to ping the city October 1st of 2013, and go through the proper channels involving proposals, permits, hearings, meetings and so forth, would I expect to be digging trails in Spring 2014? Late 2014? 105? 2016?

    There's a lot of talk and innuendo about wheels turning slowly, but what is a realistic timeframe to plan around?
    I'd say it depends on the landowner. I just went and checked the Pinecones and Perseverance thread. We had our first "We should advocate for mountain bike trails in Hamilton" meeting in January 2010 and started trying to contact the Hamilton Conservation Authority shortly thereafter. One year later, we had full approval to build, and had our first big build day (and IMBA Trail School) in March 2011. So if you were similarly lucky, you'd be building by late 2014 or early 2015, depending on digging conditions.

    Having said that, we were flexible on where to build, and the HCA has a lot of land. We still aren't allowed to build in ecologically sensitive areas, even though there are unsanctioned trails there. Really though, now that we've proven ourselves, I think our biggest limitation is manpower. I bet we could get authorisation to build/maintain/repair all over the place, but we simply don't have enough eager volunteer bodies to follow through, while still finishing up our huge project in Christie.

    The hardest part with cities is figuring out who to contact. It isn't always clear who has the decision-making power. Parks and Rec? Tourism? Urban Forestry?

    Long story short - we've had tremendous success going the official route, but you do need to be persistent, be a champion, and it helps to have a cadre of enthusiastic helpers.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nerdgirl View Post
    The hardest part with cities is figuring out who to contact. It isn't always clear who has the decision-making power. Parks and Rec? Tourism? Urban Forestry?

    Long story short - we've had tremendous success going the official route, but you do need to be persistent, be a champion, and it helps to have a cadre of enthusiastic helpers.
    That's part of the problem we've had in our trails, it wasn't until we got a hold of the right people that things actually started moving. The other issue is the west end Toronto trails are unknown for the most part, heck, we still have trouble getting enough people together for a group ride, let alone regular group rides. We're still working on building the support base if you will for the area, myself and a few others are introducing people to these trails, leading them on rides, and slowly building up the numbers & support we need to get things rolling. It's a slow process, but sooner or later we'll hit a critical number of people and things will really speed up, we just don't know when.

  15. #15
    Evil Jr.
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    To add to what Nerdgirl said, we're already looking down the road to what our next project might be in about five years, once Christie Lake is complete.

    You really can't start these things too soon. Ideally, we'll have something cool "on deck" once we (hopefully) open the last piece of singletrack in 2018-ish ().
    Please enjoy seeing this terrible collection of me - something wonderful is about to happy.

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