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Your Ride: Toronto

Glyn Bowerman is a Toronto-based journalist and theatre artist. He's a regular contributor to Spacing and writes about transportation issues in Metro every Tuesday.

The Green Line is an idea Toronto should get behind

Sure, I complain. In a way, complaining comes with the job.

But it's important to remember that this city, for all its subway debacles and car-centric planning, is one of incredible energy and ingenuity.

There are many organizations, engaged citizens and, yes, even some politicians who are constantly dreaming up ways to improve our city — ideas whose times have come.

When these ideas surface, it's important to rally behind them. The Green Line is one such idea.

The nonprofit group Park People is trying to build momentum behind a proposal to convert five linear kilometres of the Dupont hydro corridor, small parks and parking lots into a multi-use trail.

This Green Line would stitch together a portion of Toronto's west end from Earlscourt Park to Spadina.

Jake Tobin Garrett, the group’s manager of policy and research, said they are looking for people to show support for the overall vision and demonstrate a groundswell of community interest.

Garrett said people who want to see this project happen can let their local councillor and MPP know they stand behind it.

“There's actually a lot of political ward boundaries that surround the Green Line, so it's great for people in different communities to speak up about their support for this,” he said.

Hydro land throughout the city has been successfully converted into linear parks and trails, most notably along the Finch and Gatineau corridors. Very close to the Green Line's western starting point, portions of the West Toronto Railpath have already been converted into trails along the Junction Triangle, with plans to extend all the way south into Liberty Village.

Garrett said the east-west Green Line would be an ideal connection to establish north-south bikeways like the railpath or the Shaw St. bike lanes, which would then provide connections to the waterfront.

Taking a big-picture approach, projects like the Green Line could be scaled to create an important network for cyclists, almost a series of bike highways, that would make safe commuting easier. Plus, they would provide an enjoyable way to experience Toronto's many diverse neighbourhoods.

But these sorts of things rarely happen on their own, simply on the strength of the idea itself. Now is the time to throw support behind the Green Line and similar projects.

It will take capital – literal and political – to make this goal a reality.

On the Green Line website, you can become a friend of the project, and people are encouraged to join in future events, host their own, and let their friends and neighbours know about the project.

So, as the saying goes, the time is now. I say go do it!

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