Rail Corridor Parks Announcement

As our City grows, we must focus on building liveable neighbourhoods, rather than just adding density – this is my central focus as your City Councillor.  This past July, we announced our next step towards parkland acquisition in King-Spadina, to deal with the growing parkland deficiency in the neighbourhood.  Potential acquisition of 229 Richmond St. W represents a key community-building milestone for our continually growing King-Spadina community.

Today, I was proud to join Mayor John Tory to announce an exciting step forward for our collective work to build a liveable community.  We announced the intention to move forward to obtain the air rights over the Rail Corridor, between Bathurst St. and Blue Jays Way, for future development as city parkland. This 21 acre area, with air rights currently owned by CN, Metrolinx and TTR, would represent a significant area of parkland, in the fastest growing area of our city. The area would be "decked", essentially creating useable space over the rail corridor. Similar projects have been developed recently in Chicago (Millennium Park), Melbourne (Federation Square) and New York (Hudson Yards). It is an incredibly exciting opportunity to create, in the future, a legacy park in our very own backyard.

In 1996, the population of King-Spadina was 1,000 residents. Once all approved and potential development is constructed, more than 40,000 people will call this area home.  The numbers are staggering, and every week I hear from developers with even more proposals.

Over the coming months, a number of significant pieces of work to move this idea forward will begin. City staff will be bringing forward a report to the September meeting of Executive Committee, in order to be given formal authority to work on this initiative. With this approval, City staff will: begin negotiating to obtain the air rights, begin work on an Official Plan Amendment, and conduct extensive due diligence in order to move forward.

Securing the air rights over the rail corridor to protect the area for public use, and to prevent private development, is an exciting opportunity for our community. I look forward to continuing the conversation in the coming months!