Ward 10 Updates - October 13

Dear friends,

In our rapidly growing city, it’s critical that our buildings, streets, and public assets continue to meet residents’ needs. That’s why in this newsletter, I wanted to share updates on a number of projects to bring new services – including affordable housing, a community hub, and safe cycling infrastructure – to our Spadina-Fort York community. 

City-building is about creating affordable, liveable, and inclusive communities. It’s also about using City-owned properties and public assets to create new spaces that can serve everyone. With that in mind, I look forward to hearing your feedback at the virtual public meetings on the following initiatives. 

Sincerely,

Joe


In this Edition

  1. New Report on the Revitalization and Transformation of the Wellington Destructor 
  2. Building More Affordable Housing at 150 Queens Wharf Road 
  3. Palmerston-Tecumseth Cycling and Road Safety Improvements
  4. St. Patrick’s Market and Grange Precinct Plan Virtual Townhall

New Report on the Revitalization and Transformation of the Wellington Destructor 

Located south of Wellington Street, against the rail tracks, halfway between Bathurst Street and Strachan Avenue, the Wellington Destructor is a heritage building that was built in 1925. For 50 years the building served the city as a garbage incinerator, providing jobs and playing an important role in Toronto's industrial growth. When restrictions on burning garbage were introduced in the 1970s, the Destructors' operations ceased.

The Destructor property at 667 Wellington Street West sat vacant for over three decades. In 2005, it was designated as a heritage site. While the Destructor's original neighbours were Fort York and industry, it’s now squarely within one of the fastest-growing areas of our city.

Seven years ago, City Council directed staff to explore opportunities for the Destructor, and in 2018 participants in a public engagement process said they wanted to see the site readapted to serve as an arts, recreation, and community hub.

Now, we have an opportunity to finally turn this vision into a reality: to create a vibrant community hub in the Destructor's historical building, with employment and commercial opportunities to serve the surrounding neighbourhood. 

A new report from CreateTO and City staff outlines the next steps for moving this work forward, through a proposed active partnership between the City and the head lease participant (TAS). The partnership would transform the Destructor into a new cultural and community hub, home to a variety of education, creation, and innovation uses, with programming partnerships with the non-profit, community, and commercial sectors. Like the Brickworks or  Distillery District, it would be a destination for residents and visitors alike.


Design images courtesy of TAS and SvN Architects + Planners

The report and recommendations will be considered by the City’s General Government and Licensing Committee at their next meeting on October 20, 2021. 

On Monday, I will be joining CreateTO to host a Community Meeting to discuss updates on the plan for the Wellington Destructor and next steps: 

Monday, October 18, 2021
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Log-in details: Online Via Zoom
Please register for the meeting here 


Building More Affordable Housing at 150 Queens Wharf Road 

150 Queens Wharf Road is the last block of undeveloped land in CityPlace. This vacant site is located immediately north of the Fort York library branch. Since 2015, I have been working to ensure that affordable housing is built at this site. 

Fixing Toronto's housing crisis will require building more housing options that people of all incomes can afford. Earlier this year, I worked hard with CreateTO to add 25% more affordable housing units to the proposed development for 150 Queens Wharf Road, through additional height to the building. 

Now, City staff have recommended the same approach, in their report to the City’s Planning and Housing Committee. If the report and recommendations are approved, the building’s design will now include 141 affordable rental units, as well as a new EarlyON child and family centre, providing access to programming and activities for children 0-6 years of age and their caregivers.

The report will be considered at the next Planning and Housing Committee meeting, on Monday, October 18. More information on the project is available here


Palmerston-Tecumseth Cycling and Road Safety Improvements


Artist Rendering: Proposed Contra-Flow Bike Lane on Palmerston Avenue Facing South

Building safer streets at every opportunity must be our priority across the city. It is critical that we plan and invest in our infrastructure to ensure that our streets are safe for everyone, no matter how they get around.

Work is underway to implement cycling, pedestrian, and road safety upgrades on Tecumseth Street and Palmerston Avenue. The proposed bike lanes, contra-flow bike lanes, cycle tracks, and wayfinding markings would expand the local cycling network and connect to the bikeways on Wellington, Adelaide, Richmond, College, Harbord, and Bloor. 

Upgrades on Tecumseth and Palmerston will:

  1. Improve safety for people walking, cycling, and driving.
  2. Encourage cycling by connecting and improving bikeways.
  3. Maintain City services and access to driveways.
  4. Minimize impact to on-street parking.

Join the public meeting to learn more about the Palmerston-Tecumseth Cycling Connections project, provide feedback and ask questions:

Wednesday, October 20, 2021
6:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m.
Login Details: Register in advance for the Virtual Public Meeting
Call-in Details: Please dial in five minutes before the meeting starts at 416-915-6530 and enter access code 2458 805 5775

Learn more at the project website here


St. Patrick’s Market and Grange Precinct Plan – Virtual Townhall

As our downtown grows, it is vitally important that our publicly-owned properties and buildings are used to provide the vital services and facilities that our vibrant and dense communities need. For the last few years, I have been working to ensure that the historic St. Patrick's Market in the heart of downtown Toronto is returned to public control, for public benefit.

Join us for a virtual townhall to learn more about the proposed changes for St. Patrick’s Market and the Grange Precinct Plan, and provide your feedback:

Thursday, October 14, 2021
7:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Register here
View event flyer