Friends of Raymore Park got its start in late 2012. It is (for now) one person’s way of celebrating and promoting the park’s natural beauty while encouraging and supporting good stewardship on the part of users and the various agencies that manage the park.
Many people use the park for recreation; walkers, dog owners, cyclists, runners and nature lovers. Atlantic salmon are being re-introduced and are expected to be self-sustaining in a few years. A footpath runs the length of the park roughly following the west bank of the Humber River and is used by some simply as a short-cut to get from one place to another. There has been a footbridge across the Humber at the northern end of the park since 1995. This replaced a suspension footbridge that was swept away during Hurricane Hazel in 1954. The footbridge allows access to and from Weston and its shopping and transportation links. The path links to a cycle/pedestrian network that when complete, will allow access to all parts of the city of Toronto and beyond.
Hurricane Hazel was the tragic event that gave life to the park and indeed to parks all over Toronto. This huge extra-tropical storm caused the collapse of a dam upriver and the resulting flood smashed through the many small communities living on the flood plain. There was a particularly large grouping of houses at the lower end of Raymore Drive and this small subdivision was directly in the path of a huge surge of water on the night of October 15. By 1:00 am, police began to receive calls that rising water levels were creating a dangerous situation. The old ‘swing bridge’ was inundated but held together for a while and may have acted to divert a violent torrent onto the homes and gardens of the residents. Dozens perished when houses floated free of their foundations and were swept downriver. In the years following the storm, flood plain homes were purchased and demolished, leading to the creation of agencies managing the extensive park system enjoyed by Torontonians today.
There is motor vehicle access to the park from Raymore Drive in Etobicoke between May and November. The park ends near Eglinton Avenue some 1.4km from its northern beginning.
I have been living in the area since 1993 and have visited the park on an almost daily basis since then in my capacity of dog owner, photographer and occasional cyclist. It is my goal to share my enthusiasm for this small corner of paradise.
Contact Friends of Raymore Park
Copyright © 2012-16 by Roy Murray, all rights reserved.