Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto have begun work to create a development and implementation plan for the Port Lands and are inviting members of the public to be part of the process.
The goal of the initiative is to deliver a high-level road map for accelerating development and maximizing the value of the Port Lands as a unique city legacy. The undertaking is the result of Toronto City Council’s September 21 unanimous decision for Waterfront Toronto in conjunction with the City of Toronto to lead a review of the Port Lands and to ensure the process is informed by extensive public consultation.
An initial public meeting is being held from 6:30pm to 9:00pm on Monday December 12 at the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street. The meeting will include a summary of the work to date, the goals for the Port Lands initiative and an overview of acceleration opportunities and challenges for development. The meeting will provide the public with an opportunity to ask questions and discuss their goals and ideas for the Port Lands.
“The work being undertaken is an opportunity to seize the full potential of these lands and to deliver development of enduring value and legacy to the people of Toronto,” said Councillor Peter Milczyn, chair of the City’s Planning and Growth Committee. “It is a first step in realizing our joint objective of creating one of the world’s great waterfronts.”
The work is a highly collaborative process. Waterfront Toronto and the City are working closely with Toronto and Region Conservation and seeking input from other agencies such as The Toronto Port Lands Company and the Toronto Port Authority. Stakeholders such as land owners, tenants, port users and sector specific groups are being engaged throughout the process.
Work on the Port Lands acceleration initiative is well underway. A series of technical working groups are examining key issues including land use and design, infrastructure and constructability, and real estate development and financing. Waterfront Toronto has also issued or will be issuing a number of Requests for Proposals to competitively procure the required technical expertise.
“Our intent is to take a fresh and wide-ranging look at the challenges and opportunities of developing the Port Lands, including examining phasing options, higher-value interim uses, and the feasibility of modifying or removing existing constraints,” said Waterfront Toronto President and CEO John Campbell.
The comprehensive undertaking builds on the large body of work delivered to date on the Port Lands and Lower Don Lands and explores new ideas and creative solutions. The project includes:
- Further examining the options for the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Environmental Assessment (EA) within the EA’s terms of reference, by reviewing costing and exploring options for value enhancements through such things as alternative construction approaches and project phasing, and by increasing the development potential of surrounding lands;
- Identifying financial and policy tools, incentives, and delivery mechanisms that enable development and offset or reduce the initial public sector investment needed to provide required infrastructure such as roads, services, utilities and flood protection;
- Exploring opportunities to increase private sector investment involvement; and
- Ensuring that the plan delivers a great waterfront for people to live, work and play.
Public consultation will play a central role in the creation of the go forward plan for the Port Lands and will include traditional in-person public meetings and interactive social media and/or web enabled consultations. The on-line consultation initiative is expected to launch early in 2012. In addition to the December 12 meeting, two rounds of public consultation are planned to be held throughout the city in 2012.
The final report on the results of the Port Lands review is expected to be completed for the June 2012 City Council meeting. On January 24, 2012 the City and Waterfront Toronto will provide City Council’s Executive Committee with a report on required funding for the review.
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.
Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
Michelle Noble, Waterfront Toronto, 647-288-8048
Wynna Brown, City of Toronto, 416-392-8937