This Pottery Road Crossing is the first component of a larger scheme to provide interpretation, accessibility, and environmental control for the Lower Don Recreational Trail in Toronto. Designated an Environmentally Sensitive Area (ESA) by the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, this site is part of the City of Toronto’s Terrestrial Natural Heritage System along the East Don River Valley.
Pressured by its urban location, the site’s heavy usage by cyclists and pedestrians had resulted in numerous unplanned and unsustainable trails, including a widely used but extremely unsafe crossing at Pottery Road. With the fast flow of traffic and a narrow crossing that forced pedestrians and cyclists to cross the road at a dangerously slow pace, users were at risk of serious injury.
We addressed these and other safety and environmental issues by designing a new controlled crossing and reconfigured road-island with visual graphics and laser-cut signage to direct and control traffic. The aim was to encourage safe and accessible multi-modal transportation, increase public understanding and appreciation of the Don Valley’s urban ecology, and enhance stewardship of this vast urban wilderness.