It’s was almost a year ago the City of Toronto announced their intention to create the Rail Deck Park. Movement is now underway in addressing the proper funding plan and proposal of this new green space in the urban Toronto area. The park is expected to be a sprawling 21-acre green space in the heart of the city, built above pre-existing transit lines that stretch from Bathurst Ave. to Blue Jays Way.
Over the past few years, Toronto has seen a rise in condominium construction and with that construction comes a thirst for public spaces where families can play and enjoy the sunshine. In other words, a little oasis in the downtown core. Mayor John Tory’s support of the park is something he has been open about and he hopes to see this project become a reality.
Speaking at a statutory public meeting on Sept 25 at City Hall, the mayor said, “I believe this is a bold idea and I’m going to tell you with every ounce of determination that I have: It will be built.”
This November, an official funding plan will be presented at City Hall. The funding and construction plans for the park so far is unclear. The mayor is, however, confident that a big portion of the private sector will cover the cost. So far the estimated cost of the park is approximately $1.05 billion.
The official funding plan will make the steps clear to the public. The park represents the challenges of living in an urban space and making use of city building. This structured city planning will help for future developments that will arise in the city. The unused air space above the park is, however, owned by a mix of private firms. Procurement of these air rights will be negotiated or expropriated by the City of Toronto if necessary.
The mayor has previously compared the Rail Deck Park to places like Central Park in New York City, Millennium Park in Chicago, and other global parks under construction — including the 26-acre Hudson Yards public plaza in New York City. These sites of inspiration imply the park can be a major tourist spot while making the downtown area more appealing and liveable for residents.
This park will add trees, water features, public art, relaxation space, and more. Residents in the city will finally have a space within Toronto’s concrete jungle to connect and relax. So it’s time to sit back and relax as the city is on the path to adding this snazzy new addition
What we know so far:
- Twenty–one acre park built over pre-existing transit hub from Bathurst St to Blue Jays Way
- Estimated cost of $1.05 billion (not including maintenance)
- Confirmed to be built in phases
- Nine acre priority phase announced for east of Portland to Spadina
- Majority of air–rights to be acquitted
- City collecting fees from city developers through provincial legislation (this will only cover a small portion of the cost)
- Great addition to Toronto’s urban planning
- Labeled as a green space for recreation, culture, and celebration
What are your thoughts on this addition to the city’s green space