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Humber Bay Recreational Concept Plan to be unveiled

West End Beaches Stakeholders Association to host meeting Nov. 25

Community 11:00 AM by  Cynthia Reason à  Bloor West Villager|

The West End Beaches Stakeholders Association will unveil its recreational concept plan for the Humber Bay area during a special public information session this weekend.

The open house-style meeting will take place on Saturday, Nov. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m. at the Argonaut Rowing Club, 1225 Lake Shore Blvd. W., and is open to all, said West End Beaches Stakeholders Association (WEBSA) chair Geoff Clarke.

“It’s all about the western waterfront from the area just west of Ontario Place, right over to the Humber River area,” Clarke said of the Humber Bay Recreational Concept Plan — a long-term vision that addresses a broad range of concerns relevant to Toronto’s western beaches and Humber Bay waterfront, as well as the Parkdale and Swansea neighbourhoods.

“The driving force behind it is that the community is quickly growing and changing, and there are a lot more people interested in the waterfront and sports. Our concept includes people that are using the waterfront in terms of boating, but it also includes people on land, as well.”

To those ends, WEBSA’s concept plan proposes: increased water- and land-based recreational activities; extensions to the Martin Goodman and Waterfront trails; protection of the shoreline from erosion and loss; replacement of the badly deteriorated western beaches breakwater; integration with Ontario Place’s west island renovation; wildlife habitat generation and protection; improvements to the Humber Bay beaches; and facilities for launching and docking nonmotorized watercraft.

The aim of the Nov. 25 meeting, Clarke said, is to gain input from local residents — including feedback from community groups.

“So far, we’ve been working fairly hard with the city, provincial government, and, to some extent, the federal government in terms of looking at funding for this,” he said, noting that the group has neither the funding, nor the necessary approvals to bring the project to fruition — yet.

“At this point, we’re looking to get some feedback from the community. This is the first time we’ve actually gone into the public arena, so we’ll have some concept pictures people will be able to see and give us their input on.”

Commissioned in 2015 by WEBSA — a coalition first established by the Argonaut Rowing Club, Boulevard Club, Sunnyside Paddling Club and Toronto Sailing and Canoe Club — the Humber Bay Recreational Concept Plan was initiated to build upon the Toronto city council-approved Western Waterfront Master Plan, Clarke added.

Its initial focus was directed at protecting community water-based recreational and sport opportunities in the western beaches by replacing the century-old breakwater.

“We’ve got this 100-year-old breakwall that we know there are problems with — we’ve had failures over the last 20 years ... and basically, over the next five to seven years, the deterioration of that breakwall is going to accelerate and cause all kinds of problems,” said Clarke, a longtime member of The Boulevard Club.

“So, it’s not a matter of repairing it — we feel very strongly that it needs to be replaced, and that’s addressed in our concept plan.”

For more information on the Humber Bay Recreational Concept Plan and/or to register for the Nov. 25 meeting, go to www.humberbayforall.com.

Cynthia Reason

by Cynthia Reason

Cynthia Reason is a news reporter for the Etobicoke Guardian. She can be reached at creason@insidetoronto.com. Follow her on Twitter @icreason and the Guardian on Facebook. Email: creason@insidetoronto.com Facebook Twitter

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The Humber Bay For All (HBFA) Vision started in 2014 with four committed members and the support of TRCA.  It has since grown to over fifteen passionate and committed members. Humber Bay For All is a sub-committee of the West End Beaches Stakeholders Association (WEBSA). WEBSA is a coalition formed in 2005 by the Argonaut Rowing Club, The Boulevard Club, Sunnyside Paddling Club, and Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club to work with government agencies and non-governmental organizations to address the interests of persons who regularly use Toronto’s western beaches waterfront and waterways. Its members represent a broad range of organized local waterfront users, including paddlers, rowers and sailors. WEBSA’s members have a long history of developing and delivering amateur and recreational water-based sport along Toronto’s western beaches waterfront.

Argonaut Rowing Club (1872)

Toronto Sailing & Canoe Club (1890)

Boulevard Club (1905)

Sunnyside Paddling Club (1989)

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