The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) says plans to build a parking lot in the city’s Eglinton West neighbourhood have been put on hold indefinitely while staff take another look at the proposal.
The decision comes after the TPA board met at Toronto city hall Tuesday morning.
Toronto Mayor John Tory sent a letter to TPA board chair Hartley Lefton asking that it back down on the plans.
The lot, which is located at 2204-2212 Eglinton Ave. W. and includes a neighbouring property on Caledonia Road, was acquired by the agency around five years ago.
“Due to the construction of the Eglinton Light Rapid Transit (‘Eglinton LRT’) line, the TPA is actively pursuing new acquisition opportunities to help offset any anticipated losses of on-street parking spaces along Eglinton Avenue,” the parking authority said in a report on the project at the time.
“TPA staff is also looking for suitable sites that would accommodate the longer-term demand for public parking in the area.”
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However, Tory said he wants to see the land, which holds both commercial and residential properties, used for affordable housing.
“I am committed to building more affordable housing in the City of Toronto and I have made it clear that our priority should be building more of that housing close to transit — especially when we are making investments in new transit construction,” Tory wrote.
“Given the proximity of the Eglinton Crosstown construction underway right now, I believe 2204-2212 Eglinton Ave. W. would be a prime location for transit-oriented development.”
A parking lot could still be preset on the site, but the “principal focus” should be on affordable housing units, Tory added when speaking to reporters Tuesday morning.
The mayor said he has also been in touch with Coun. Mike Colle, who oversees the area and supports deferring the issue pending consultations.
— With files from Jamie Mauracher and Nick Westoll