A massive Toronto park is in its preliminary stages, and the City is looking for public input on the matter.
The Rail Deck Park was first proposed last summer, running over the railway tracks from the Rogers Centre to Bathurst. With a comprehensive planning study underway, Mayor John Tory and city staff have been working on an implementation strategy for the 8.5-hectare (21-acre) park in downtown Toronto. The project has the opportunity to transform this unused airspace into an iconic green space for recreation, culture and celebration, according to the City, and has a project cost of $2.423 million.
Last month, during his visit to Chicago for a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Tory had a site visit to Millennium Park saying that the Chicago Park serves as great example of what can be done with Toronto’s proposed Rail Deck Park.
The Toronto park plan was approved by Council in 2016, and it involves two main components: a planning study to update the existing planning framework for the rail corridor, and an implementation strategy for the proposal. Since then, the City has held a public consultation meeting, and has also launched an online survey for public feedback on the project.
“There is a significant park deficiency in the downtown, where 75% of parks are less than half a hectare, and where we are seeing a significant amount of growth. In order to ensure we are creating complete communities, we need to respond to the park deficiency that exists today,” said Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, in a meeting back in April. “The rail corridor is the last opportunity to secure 21 acres of contiguous space. This is a once in a generation opportunity.”
The Rail Corridor Official Plan Amendment is the City’s public survey, which describes the project and asks for your opinion on what is
While it is unclear when the survey will go offline, the next steps on the project involves another update on the implementation strategy, including Council recommendations for the next phase of work, which is targeted for late 2017. Another public meeting is also anticipated for that time.