I am thrilled to have been asked to join the City of Toronto’s Leadership Board for the Toronto Ravine Strategy. The Leadership Board is a small group of Torontonians that will provide advice and guidance to the City on its development of a strategy that will act as a framework to guide policy, investment and stewardship related to the city’s ravines. The Board is led by Jennifer Keesmaat, the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning Division and Janie Romoff, General Manager, Parks Forestry and Recreation.

Toronto’s system of ravines are unique to this city – no other city in the world has as vast and integrated a system of ravines. They give us a unique identity and set us apart from other large metropolitan cities around the world. They also demand immediate attention in terms of conservation, maintenance, investment, use, protection, education and stewardship.

There are many stakeholders with an interest in the ravines. These include private and public individuals and institutions, utilities, aboriginal communities, landowners, community groups, and various levels of government. We must all work together to develop an effective strategy to meet everyone’s interests and needs.

As the Co-Chair of the Toronto Botanical Garden (TBG), which is now completing its conceptual plan for a major investment and expansion of the gardens to bring it up to the standards of a world-class botanical garden (with the help of the top-notch team of Lord Cultural Resources, Scott Torrance Landscape Architects, and W. Gary Smith Design), I hope to bring unique insights and creative ideas to this important endeavor. Stay tuned for more information on both the TBG expansion and the Ravine Strategy.

More information on the Toronto Ravine Strategy can be found HERE.