Towards Implementing Landscape Connectivity Best Practices Along the Meadoway
Alexander Furneaux is a graduate of the Master of Planning and Urban Development program at Ryerson University, and a former research assistant at the Ecological Design Lab. His major research project highlights the importance of utilizing abandoned or underutilized utility corridors into greenways for the restoration of habitat, recreation, public transit, and art in cities. In Toronto, the recently announced development of the Meadoway in Scarborough represents one of such opportunities to [re]connect human and wildlife habitat to and within each other along its 16-kilometre length. He uses a mixed-methodological approach of case study and policy analysis paired with site observation, to provide recommendations to the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, the Weston Foundation, and the City of Toronto, all key development stakeholders of the Meadoway, to inform the implementation of the project’s goals and highlight key areas that should be considered given precedents from similar projects.
Overarching recommendations highlight the need to consider: the various physical, temporal, and social understandings of connectivity; the land use changes associated with the introduction of a new greenspace amenity; and the imperative to meaningfully consult and collaborate with communities along the Meadoway to understand how this space can support their growth and vitality. Ultimately, learning from these key areas may provide useful context to future development of other hydro corridors in the Greater Toronto Area.