The racecourse is in an urban ravine, and erosion from the constant running of water is a serious concern. The top of slope of this area is designated unstable by NPCA and there are known stability issues with its steep slopes. Most of the ravine faces north, resulting in wetter, muddier trails which mountain bikers acknowledge causes more environmental impacts.
NPCA staff commented that soil studies were not needed during their very first site visit on October 4, 2021. This was decided at a time when they had been told that all trails were existing, and when the new trails had not yet been used. There was no mention of any follow-up to determine how the new trails and resulting new water flow patterns, or racing use, might affect soil over time. We question if NPCA staff viewed the entire racecourse.
Sept 30, 2021 Email: NPCA Staff exchange:
– “we will have an incoming permit shortly for some updates to an existing trail network to be used for the Canada Games next year. ….see email chain below and attached document. Will either of you require any details for the permit, such as studies or technical memos? “
To other staff person:
– “do you require any slope stability memos due to the nature of the area?
To other staff person: The “clean up” of any brush along the trails should be fairly minor as the trail network already exists. Do you have any concerns or questions you would like addressed? “
Oct 1, 2021 Email: Staff response: “This is very minor. I’ve no objection to this. I will need no additional studies.”
At this early point in the permit process, NPCA did not yet have the correct Site Plan or the correct related information regarding the new trails, therefore the above decisions were premature.
The erosion issue in this ravine is an existing and well-known fact. It is not theoretical. Some homes here require retaining walls and further up Riverview Blvd. some have been demolished to prevent collapse into the ravine. Many resident properties in this area of the ravine are strictly regulated by NPCA for this reason. In our opinion the racecourse and racing events will accelerate erosion in this ravine, negatively impacting ecological function.
It should never be too late to cancel a permit if it is does not meet the required criteria and conditions.