Bathurst Quay - Neighbourhood Plan Progress
For more than two years now, we have been working hard together to create a new Neighbourhood Plan for Bathurst Quay. There have been more than fifty meetings with dozens of groups, including reaching out directly to every single co-op, condo, and apartment building in the neighbourhood. Public meetings open to the entire community were held in December 2014, April 2015, December 2015, and November 2016. Presentation materials from November 2016 are available here:
Bathurst Quay is a neighbourhood with great attributes. It has a wonderful diversity of people and housing options, the ambitious and inclusive Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre, first class parks like Little Norway Park and Coronation Park, a unique monument to Toronto's history at the Canada Malting Silos, and an enviable waterfront setting. We can build on these positive qualities to improve the neighbourhood and bring Waterfront Revitalizations west to Bathurst Quay.
The Neighbourhood Plan lays out an action plan for a successful Bathurst Quay, and identifies four important Big Moves to undertake in the short term, and see through for the next generation:
1. Creating a Remarkable Public Realm
We can stitch together the existing parks and open spaces with better streetscaping and by repairing all the crumbling portions of dock wall. There are also a few significant opportunities to create new public parks, such as the surface parking lot at the foot of Stadium Road. The City will construct improvements that are "Quick Wins" later this year.
2. Enhancing Community Services and Facilities
We need to be sure that the existing community facilities have the resources they need to serve the neighbourhood today, and in the future. A Facility Needs Assessment of the Waterfront Neighbourhood Centre is almost complete. And we are starting planning now for a new public aquatic centre in Bathurst Quay that will serve the waterfront communities.
3. Re-energizing the Silos Site
The Canada Malting Silos have sat unused, behind a locked fence, for too long. We will open up public access to the land around the Silos this year, and we will launch a process to find a partner organization who can bring the community vision for the Silos to life, which is focussed on arts, culture, open space, and community uses.
4. A New Focus on Movement
Today, airport traffic is a source of congestion, safety concerns, and parking problems in Bathurst Quay. Work is ongoing to resolve safety trouble spots, to appropriately manage the volume of vehicles, and to shift more and more airport traffic away from taxis and private vehicles, and toward walking, cycling, and public transit. The City is studying how to change Lake Shore-Bathurst-Fleet with a focus on pedestrian safety. In the long-term, the intention is to relocate the reduced volume of airport pick-up and drop-off traffic to an underground loop, reducing safety conflicts and freeing up space on the surface for the public.
We are already hard at work on implementation of the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Plan. You will being to see improvements this year and we are setting in motion the long-term projects that are vital to the future of Bathurst Quay, including securing full funding from the City for the new aquatic centre. Later this spring, City Council will formally endorse the principles in the Neighbourhood Plan, so these are on the books to guide all future City decisions affecting Bathurst Quay.
You will be hearing from my office and the City, beginning very shortly, for your comments and participation on many aspects of implementing the Neighbourhood Plan. There are still many details to work on together such as the design of parkland improvements. Please watch for updates in future issues of the Cressy Courier or stay involved with the Bathurst Quay Neighbourhood Association (BQNA).