The City of Toronto announced plans for a park in the downtown core that will be part of a new development on City-owned property which also includes more affordable housing units.
“This represents creative smart and bold city building. It represents a new way of doing business in our growing city,” coun. Joe Cressy said at the announcement with Mayor John Tory.
The announcement includes a number of different moving parts such as the relocation of a fire station on 260 Adelaide Street to Metro Hall and the development of 196 affordable units alongside 456 market-rate units.
The 2,245 square metre park will takeover the surface parking lot at 229 Richmond Street.
The land of the old fire station will be sold to a developer for the housing units and the proceeds of that will cover the relocation of the station, as well as the park.
“We’re paying for this through the value of the land and funds collected solely for parkland. This is growth paying for growth with no new net cost for the city,” Cressy said.
The City also announced the creation of a new three-level underground parking lot underneath the new park which will be run by the Toronto Parking Authority and the City said it will also be covered from the sale of the Adelaide land.
“Right now, 260 Adelaide is home to an aging fire hall that needs structural upgrades, and 229 Richmond is a parking lot,” said Cressy, adding it would have taken at least $10 million to rebuild the fire station in the same space. “Under our plan, 12 City Divisions have come together to revitalize our downtown neighbourhood.”
Cressy went on to say the park will be the first in the King and Spadina neighbourhood in over 20 years, in which time the population will have grown from 230 residents to over 44,000 people (by the time this development is completed).
“We clearly need more greenspace and outdoor areas for people to exercise, enjoy and explore,” Cressy continued.
The new park is comparable in size to Berczy Park, bordered by Scott, Front and Wellington streets.