Weston Family Foundation is Proud to Continue Supporting The Meadoway Through Its $25 Million Pledge
July 20, 2023, Toronto, Ontario – Stretching from the Don River in downtown Toronto to Rouge National Urban Park, The Meadoway is one of Canada’s largest urban linear parks.
The Meadoway is undergoing a significant transformation from a barren hydro corridor to become a vibrant expanse of urban greenspace and meadow habitat which will connect four ravines, 15 parks, and 34 neighbourhoods over its 200 hectares. This revitalization is helping to bring increased biodiversity to a degraded landscape supporting a rich ecological habitat for more than 1,000 diverse species of flora and fauna.
In April 2018, the Weston Family Foundation announced a pledge of up to $25 million to support the project and committed over $11 million of investment during the project’s first phase between 2018 to 2022.
This contribution catalyzed the completion of a multi-year, comprehensive planning and consultation program, realized the restoration of 80 hectares of native meadow habitat, the construction of approximately 1 km of multi-use trail with an additional 0.8 km underway, and the engagement of well over 10,000 community members through over 300 unique events.
Feedback from the public demonstrates the positive impact that the Phase 1 achievements have had on the community. Shauna Forbes, a Scarborough resident who regularly frequents The Meadoway noted that “The Meadoway was invaluable to my group of friends during COVID, for our physical and mental health, and has continued to be a great place, close to home, to exercise while connecting with friends and the great outdoors, seeing birds, deer, flowers, sunrises, and other delights it offers up daily.”
This partnership continues in 2023 with the Weston Family Foundation committing up to $6.3 million over the next three years to support the second phase of The Meadoway. With this generous support, the transformation of the corridor will continue, resulting in the full restoration and continued maintenance of 101 hectares of meadow habitat.
As part of The Meadoway’s second phase, TRCA has also leveraged additional funds to support trail connections and improvements.
Two priority trail connections will be supported by the City of Toronto through the Federal Natural Infrastructure Fund, and improvements to trail connections to Rouge National Urban Park will be supported by Parks Canada.
TRCA continues to seek new funding sources to advance this transformational city naturalization and community project.
Over the next three years there will be a focus on securing corporate sponsorship and private donations to support the remaining third phase of capital works and long-term maintenance and management of the corridor.
John MacKenzie, Chief Executive Officer, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA)
“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.”
Councillor Paul Ainslie, Chair of TRCA’s Board of Directors
“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 as a City of Toronto Councillor who has the privilege of having The Meadoway run through my Ward, it is an honour be a part of advancing this work for the natural environment and the citizens of the Greater Toronto Region.”
Garfield Mitchell, Chair of the Weston Family Foundation
“The Weston Family Foundation is proud to support The Meadoway, a pioneering hydro corridor re-naturalization project which restores biodiversity, connects people to nature, and creates a more livable and vibrant community. This transformative initiative sets the stage for other cities to embrace a nature-inspired infrastructure, and we envision The Meadoway becoming the blueprint for a greener future. We look forward to continued collaboration with our partners, and encourage others to join in and support the revitalization of one of Ontario’s most cherished urban natural features.”
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.
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.