The Cressy Courier October 2 - Exciting City-building updates
Over the last 5 years, we have worked hard together to find new and creative ways to build our communities as they grow and change. Ensuring that we invest in the infrastructure and services we need to truly build vibrant, equitable, and sustainable neighbourhoods is one of my highest priorities as your City Councillor.
Below are some exciting city-building updates on projects happening across our Ward 10 community. After years of work, I am thrilled to be able to share these exciting updates with you.
Please be in touch if you have any questions about the updates below or any other issues in our community.
Garrison Crossing bridges - Now open!
After 10 years of work, the new Garrison Crossing bridges opened yesterday! Crews were able to finish the final work on Monday night that was necessary for safe public access, and the City moved rapidly to remove the barriers without delay.
These bridges are a critical new connection across two rail corridors, providing a safe and accessible pedestrian and cycling connection between Stanley Park, Fort York, Liberty Village, and beyond. It will be easier for residents and visitors to leave the car behind and visit The Bentway or the waterfront, go to the park, and travel to school and work.
This could not have happened without the dedicated advocacy and continued hard work of community members, former local Councillor Mike Layton, and City staff over more than a decade. Thank you.
In addition, we are looking forward to starting a comprehensive master planning process for the Stanley Park South Extension, the new park in the Ordnance Triangle (between the rail corridors), and improvements to Garrison Common around the south bridge landing. Funding has already been secured to design and build community-led park improvements. Please sign up for my email newsletter to receive notice when the public process begins in the spring.
Over the coming weeks you might see some continued work to finish details on the bridges and their landings that were not critical before opening to the public. Access across is not expected to be interrupted.
If you have any questions, please send me an email at [email protected] or call my office at 416 392 4044.
Restoring public control of St. Patrick's Market
As our downtown grows, it is vitally important that our publicly-owned properties and buildings are used for the public benefit, to provide the vital services and facilities that our vibrant and dense communities need. Yesterday, we announced that the City of Toronto has just taken a critical step toward restoring public control, for public benefit, of one of these vital assets in the downtown - St. Patrick's Market.
Situated on bustling Queen West at 238 Queen St. W, St. Patrick's Market is a heritage structure visible in the backdrop of television programs produced from the iconic 299 Queen Street West across the street, and broadcast across Canada. Bequeathed to the City of Toronto in 1837 to become a public market benefitting residents of Toronto, St. Patrick's Market has the potential to be an iconic, city-wide and local destination.
Regrettably, St. Patrick's Market has been underutilized since 1989 when a 50-year lease was signed with a private operator. In court documents released yesterday, the City is asking the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to terminate the lease on grounds that the private long-term leaseholder has not complied with key terms of the lease that require a publicly-accessible food market to operate in the building, and the building has been chronically vacant. To the deep frustration of the City, local neighbours, and many others, St. Patrick's Market has effectively been vacant for more than year now, accumulating litter and graffiti.
It is unacceptable that St. Patrick's Market has been left derelict by a long-term tenant, and I strongly support the City of Toronto's legal action to terminate the private lease.
The court's decision is expected in winter 2020. Following what we hope to be a decision in the City's favour, we will undertake a robust public process to decide on future uses of St. Patrick's Market. We will consider its original intention as a public market, our plan to revitalize the adjacent public park, and other community and cultural uses that are so critical to support in our downtown communities.
Our legal action to terminate the private lease and restore public control of the property is a necessary and critical step toward a future for St. Patrick's Market that all Torontonians can be proud of.
Planning a Dynamic Community Hub at the Wellington Destructor
On Monday evening, it was my pleasure to be joined by members of the Wellington Destructor Community Stakeholder Group to talk about the future of the Wellington Destructor site, a former garbage incinerator built in 1925 and vacant since the 1980s. In 2017, former local Councillor Mike Layton hosted a public meeting on future re-use of the Destructor building. And this past year, the City of Toronto started a procurement process for a long-term private partner to help bring the Wellington Destructor back to life according to principles determined with the community, including:
- Creating a local community hub with a vibrant mix of activities
- Preserving the heritage building
- Implementing design excellence and environmental sustainability
Our Community Stakeholder Group came together to talk about what the potential private partners are proposing to bring to the project, and help guide the direction of ongoing decision-making and future negotiations.
This is an important step forward but there is still much more work ahead for the community and the City. We anticipate that City staff will make a recommendation to City Council in early 2020 on the best private partner to help revitalize the Destructor, based on the feedback that was heard from the community in 2017 and earlier this week. Then, we will hold additional public meetings and workshops to determine the detailed plan for a dynamic community hub at the Wellington Destructor.
Please sign up for my email newsletter to be informed of the next opportunity to be engaged about the future of the Destructor.
Get in Touch with Trustee Stephanie Donaldson
Municipal Ward 10 (Spadina-Fort York) is part of TDSB Ward 9, Davenport and Spadina-Fort York. Stephanie Donaldson is the School Board Trustee for TDSB Ward 9. Stay up to date and get in touch with her here.