New Park Coming to the King-Spadina Neighbourhood

I am delighted to announce that on July 26, Toronto City Council endorsed my motion approving funding to transform the parking lot at 105 Spadina Avenue (Spadina and Adelaide) into a new public park

For too long, development was not accompanied by the growth in services and spaces needed to make our downtown neighbourhoods liveable. Building a park in the heart of the Entertainment District is a crucial step in our work to catch up and build the greenspace our communities need.

The parking lot at the corner of Spadina Avenue and Adelaide Street West is currently owned and operated by the Toronto Parking Authority. It is 1,358 square metres (one third of an acre) in size. My motion directs City staff to use funds from a local development to turn this into a park.

Downtown is currently the most underserved area of the City from a parkland provision perspective. In 2016, the Downtown parkland provision (residential and employment population) was 1.8 m2 per person, compared to the city-wide parkland provision of 18 m2 per person. Taking into account growth projections, in 2032, Downtown residents and employees will have a projected 1.3 m2 of parkland per person, compared to the city-wide projection of 15 m2 per person.

The Downtown Parks and Public Realm Plan identifies "Acquire and Expand" as one of the leading objectives of the Plan. This objective identifies that as the Downtown population continues to grow, creating new parkland and making existing parks bigger, where possible, is required. Acquisitions and expansions will be undertaken to address the notable gaps in the inventory of parks Downtown. In particular, this will include park spaces that are large enough to accommodate a range of programming and functionality and which are critical infrastructure needed to support Downtown's continued growth.

The King-Spadina neighbourhood is an area of the City that has experienced extraordinary growth since the adoption of new Secondary Plan policies in April 1996. The population grew from 945 people in 1996 to 8,645 people in 2011; based on proposed, approved, and completed development applications, as well as projects and buildings under construction, it has the potential to increase to 40,000 people.  Employment has also grown in the area from 24,992 employees in 2001 to 35,373 employees in 2011; based on proposed, approved, and completed development applications and buildings under construction, it has the potential to increase to 57,000 employees.

In addition to our work to create new parks on Adelaide Place (Adelaide and Bathurst), Wellington Street West, Draper Street, Grasset Park (Adelaide and Widmer), and Rees Street, expansions at St. Andrew's Playground, work to implement Rail Deck Park, and more, the future park at 105 Spadina Avenue will be an important space for residents in the Entertainment District, and the hundreds of thousands of people who work in and travel downtown every day.

As part of the work, City staff are pursuing opportunities to replace the public parking in an underground location.

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