Rail Deck Park – Public Meetings in September
As our community grows, we must focus on building neighbourhoods and not just condo towers – that's why we've been working hard together to make critical and worthwhile investments in community facilities in Ward 20, and continuing efforts to secure much-needed parkland downtown.
Last August, Mayor Tory and I announced Rail Deck Park: a new 21-acre public park over the rail corridor. The size of 16 football fields, it will be a new and critical resource for our neighbourhoods, and a new central park for all of Toronto. City Council has already approved taking the first steps to move this bold and ambitious plan forward. Along with detailed implementation plans, cost estimates, and funding options, we have initiated an Official Plan Amendment process to formally review re-designating the space above the rail corridor as parkland.
After the plans for Rail Deck Park were announced, the City of Toronto received a private application to change the Official Plan to allow a large new development above the rail corridor, including a parking structure for 1,225 vehicles and 9 buildings up to 59 storeys tall.
To be very clear, I completely oppose any private development over the rail corridor because it would diminish the size and usefulness of Rail Deck Park. We have plenty of other sites downtown for more towers, but there are no other sites for a new 21-acre downtown park.
The Ontario Planning Act legally requires the City to review, hold public meetings, and make a decision on every private development application, no matter how obviously inappropriate it is, which is why a meeting is taking place on this application. And we also have to be prepared to defend that decision if it is appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB), which has the power to overturn any of City Council's planning decisions.
These public meetings are a crucial opportunity to make sure your voice is heard in this process. Please attend and speak out in support of Rail Deck Park. We desperately need this major new park today and it will be a legacy we leave for future generations.
Rail Deck Park: City-initiated Official Plan Amendment
Date: Monday, September 25, 2017
Time: 6:00 pm
Location: City Hall – Council Chambers (100 Queen Street West)
Private Rail Corridor Development Application
Date: Tuesday, September 12, 2017
Time: 7:00 pm
Location: Renaissance Hotel, Northern Lights Ballroom, (1 Blue Jays Way)