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My Sustainable Day-Cation in Pickering: Part 1 of 5

One of the things we will be doing here on the blog is focusing in on our partner municipalities for a week-long, 5-part series which aim to explore some of the sustainability highlights throughout our region. This week, we’re proud to present the first of these Day-cations as I head to Pickering, Ontario.

Part 1 – The Pickering GO Station

It’s a clear, crisp morning with the promise of a warm day ahead when I board the Eastbound Go Train at Union Station heading towards Pickering. I’m excited; I’ve never ventured very far East of Toronto other than to head to Kingston or Montreal on one of my various excursions. The 10:17 train departs promptly on time, and my trip to Pickering begins.

One of the things I like most about taking Go Transit is the relaxing nature of it once you’re on your way. Whether it’s a train or a bus, I find the journey very calming. I can pull out a book, read a newspaper, do some work on my laptop or just play silly games on my phone, the choice is mine. If you ask me, it sure beats slogging through traffic focusing on the road, the other drivers and often little else. The train also gives you an opportunity to appreciate some of the beautiful views of the Lake as you cruise along the shoreline, something that is difficult to do when you’re driving. But I digress.

My train arrives in Pickering at the Go Station on time almost to the minute. I gather my things and prepare to take my first steps into Pickering proper, and what impressive steps they are.

The Bridge from the Eastbound Train Platform: the first thing I see when I step off the Train in Pickering. Very impressive indeed!

A rendering of what the bridge will look like when it is completed. No word on when we can expect the crazy future-trains though.

Pickering is a City that embarked on its sustainability journey just a few short years ago, yet they have made tremendous strides in moving towards a more sustainable way of life. A key area of making a community more sustainable is providing residents with options for transportation. Knowing this, the City of Pickering has worked closely with Go Transit to construct an integrated pedestrian bridge from the Pickering Go Station that goes right into Pickering Town Centre. This bridge allows people to cross the Highway of Heroes safely and quickly, thus eliminating a significant barrier to walking or cycling to the Go Station from areas of the City north of the highway.

How's that for a view? Trains departing Pickering for Oshawa and Toronto.

Looking South after crossing the Bridge

The bridge serves the vital purpose of connecting the Go Station to the myriad of services just north of the Highway. A newly constructed, LEED silver office building (Pictured below) will be directly connected to the bridge. Included in that office building are teaching facilities for a partnership between Durham College and Centennial College, which will see its first student come through the door in September 2012, paving the way for new students enrolling in 4 programs offered in Pickering. Pickering Town Centre is a shopping hub that will be well served by virtue of being immediately accessible from all over the GTHA, and you barely even have to step outside in the winter to get there! Other amenities and, more importantly, a number of high-density housing developments, are now easily within walking or cycling distance of the Go Station, providing residents with more options for transportation than ever before.

The Black Office Tower on the left is connected to the bridge, is LEED certified and houses a campus for Durham College in partnership with Centennial College

Seriously, when all the LED Lights get put in, wouldn't this be a fun place for a Go Train Dance Party?

Right now the bridge is almost fully functional, but construction of the finishing touches like the metallic exterior and nifty colour-changing lights are still to come. I still like the idea of hosting a dance party on the bridge once the lighting is all done. I mean, think of how easy it would be to get home once you had danced yourself tired!

Rendering of the Pickering Bridge at night. I'll only say it one more time, but seriously. Dance Party?

The vista from the centre of the bridge is truly impressive. Standing 30 feet above 14 lanes of fast moving traffic definitely puts into perspective the challenges ahead, but knowing that these kinds of projects are going on all over the GTHA makes me believe that we are more than up to the task.

Tomorrow, we look at Pickering’s City Hall and the green innovations in place there.

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. My Sustainable Day-Cation in Pickering: Part 3 of 5 | Clean Air Partnership - March 28, 2012

    […] takes a lot more than a fancy bridge and an energy-efficient city hall to make a City more sustainable. And while the things that I […]

  2. My Sustainable Day-Cation in Pickering: Part 2 of 5 | Clean Air Partnership - March 28, 2012

    […] I talked about Pickering’s new Go Station and the way it connects the City to fast, accessible public transit.  Today, I take you across the […]

  3. My Sustainable Day-Cation to Pickering: Part 4 of 5 | Clean Air Partnership - March 29, 2012

    […] that is making Pickering a more sustainable place to live. The great addition of the bridge to the Go Station, Pickering’s City Hall retrofits and the great sustainable place-making that is going on all […]

  4. March 31 – Earth Hour and Sustainable Pickering Day | Clean Air Partnership - March 31, 2012

    […] Today is a big day if you’re a sustainability booster like me.  Nation-wide, at 8:30 pm, the collective lights will go out as Canadians celebrate Earth Hour.  But more on that in a bit.  On a more local scale, Pickering is celebrating their Sustainable Pickering Day, an annual, day-long celebration of all things green in Pickering.  This year, the focus is on local food, so you can find out how to grow vegetables in small spaces, learn new ways to use herbs, buy some local produce at the indoor farmers’ market and even try your hand at milking a cow!  It runs until 6 pm, so if you’re reading this and are in the Pickering area, I recommend that you go and check it out.  It’s in Pickering Town Centre, which is a short walk from the Pickering Go Station. […]

  5. My Sustainable Day-Cation in Burlington Part 1: Cycling! | Clean Air Partnership - April 16, 2012

    […] the great time I had in Pickering for my first Sustainable Day-Cation, I was really excited to figure out where I would be going to next.  But I wasn’t sure where […]

  6. My Sustainable Day-Cation in Halton Hills Part 5: Leadership at Every Level | Clean Air Partnership - November 23, 2012

    […] been blown away by how dedicated and hard-working the municipal staff is. So for all the staff in Pickering, Burlington, Oakville and Mississauga, I want to say a big THANK YOU for all your hard work, and […]

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