Rail Deck Park Update
Earlier today, the Province's Local Planning Appeal Tribunal (LPAT) issued an order approving the private development proposal for the railway corridor south of Front Street between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way. This reflects the flawed process whereby the Provincial LPAT can overturn the City of Toronto’s ability to plan for our future.
I am deeply disappointed by this decision. The rail corridor is one of the last remaining large site for a new signature public space serving our rapidly growing downtown population or residents, workers, and visitors – Rail Deck Park – while there are plenty of other places to build condo towers. The 21 acres here, the size of 16 football fields, should be a new central park for all of Toronto.
While the City Solicitor is reviewing the decision to inform our next steps, I want to be clear that this decision will not stop my work to create new parkland and public spaces in our rapidly-growing city – projects like the South Stanley Park extension, Ordnance Triangle, Bathurst Quay Public Realm, St. Andrew's Playground expansion, David Crombie Park revitalization, the Bentway, Love Park, and much more.
I have long believed in the importance of parks and public spaces to the liveability of great cities. If anything, the experience of COIVD has affirmed the critical importance of parkland in dense urban neighbourhoods where not everybody has outdoor space of their own.
While today’s decision is a set-back, my determination and resolve to build a more liveable city is undiminished. In the days, weeks, and months ahead we must all work to create the expanded and new parks and public spaces Torontonians need and deserve.