Councillor Josh Matlow

Protecting our Natural Heritage: Vale of Avoca Masterplan moves forward

The Yellow Creek and Vale of Avoca are important parts of Midtown’s natural environment. They allow us to escape the hustle and bustle of our big city without ever leaving it. Unfortunately, due to spills, degradation of the ravine slopes, and the natural course of time, Yellow Creek is in urgent need of maintenance.

Working closely with local residents, led by representatives of both the Summerhill Residents’ Association and the Deer Park Residents’ Group, Councillor Wong-Tam and I have written in the past to the City’s Parks & Environment Committee, requesting a masterplan be created to support the restoration of Yellow Creek and the Vale of Avoca.

Councillor Wong-Tam and I put forward recommendations that were approved by Council to direct City Staff to evaluate the status of the ecological integrity of Yellow Creek and include an inventory, including the state of good repair, of existing facilities and features – including the trail network, invasive species and the health of the tree canopy, and identification of the departments or agencies responsible for implementing and maintaining these assets. This will be done in coordination with the Geomorphic Systems Master Plan Environmental Assessment and the recommendations of the Ravine Strategy.

Council also directed staff to do this evaluation in consultation with a working group comprised of relevant community stakeholders. Staff have also been directed to establish a timeline for the major works required, with the hope of also identifying immediate projects that the City, along with the community, can address immediately.

This push forward has been due in large part to the active stewardship by local residents, again led by the Summerhill Residents’ Association and the Deer Park Residents’ group. It has been my absolute pleasure to work with them, along with my colleague Councillor Wong-Tam.

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