1. Background of the Present Submission
1.1. Concord West community residents are denied their rights of access to the Bartley Smith Greenway/Langstaff Ecopark, as well as to the Glen Shields community
Since 1954 the residents of Concord West have had a common right of easement across the ORC greenland property (marked in green in Figure 1) for purposes of pedestrian and bicycle access to what is now known as the Bartley Smith Greenway/Langstaff Ecopark, as well as to what is now known as the Glen Shields community. With the construction of highway 407, this access was effectively denied to the residents of Concord West, leaving them boxed in between Keele Street to the west, Highway 7 to the north, the CN railway to the east, and the 407 to the south and southeast. The railway-crossing bordering the community to the East was fenced in, and a small bridge over the Upper West Don River was torn down. Despite repeated and continuing efforts made, since 1992, by the Concord West community and its members to establish effective access, as is their right, the community remains without it. This has put an unacceptable burden on the quality of life of the residents of the Concord West community, especially on seniors who are unable to enjoy greenspace areas and nature trails traditionally available to them. Likewise, bikers, hikers and joggers do not have safe access to those public greenspaces. This is an intolerable situation that has now dragged on for over 15 years.