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Bathurst Quay Revitalization: Canada Malting Silos, Ireland Pk, Waterfront Promenade (was Metronome)

ADRM

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Looking forward to visiting what will surely be a beautiful brand new park in which the water fountains don't work, bathrooms are locked, and garbage bins are broken and overflowing, whilst being surveilled by private security forces.


(Not that I'm not excited about the specific proposal; it's just very frustrating living in the John-Tory-as-Mayor version of Toronto's parks and public realm.)
 

urbanexplorer

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Looking forward to visiting what will surely be a beautiful brand new park in which the water fountains don't work, bathrooms are locked, and garbage bins are broken and overflowing, whilst being surveilled by private security forces.


(Not that I'm not excited about the specific proposal; it's just very frustrating living in the John-Tory-as-Mayor version of Toronto's parks and public realm.)
The hyperbole is strong with this one
 

3Dementia

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Looking forward to visiting what will surely be a beautiful brand new park in which the water fountains don't work, bathrooms are locked, and garbage bins are broken and overflowing, whilst being surveilled by private security forces.


(Not that I'm not excited about the specific proposal; it's just very frustrating living in the John-Tory-as-Mayor version of Toronto's parks and public realm.)

Back in 1965* when Ed started potty-training... ProjectEnd, me and assorted other UrbanToronto riff-raff spear-headed a design competition called "Bridging the Design Gap" after Concord announced they were going to build a pedestrian box truss bridge across the rail corridor (no Francisco Gazitua back then of course).

Got some great design entries too.

Maybe UT should do a "That's not Just Garbage" design competition for ideas to replace those goofy, ugly bins... that might fix 50% of the public realm problems in the city. ;)

*2009 actually
 

Northern Light

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Looking forward to visiting what will surely be a beautiful brand new park in which the water fountains don't work, bathrooms are locked, and garbage bins are broken and overflowing, whilst being surveilled by private security forces.

(Not that I'm not excited about the specific proposal; it's just very frustrating living in the John-Tory-as-Mayor version of Toronto's parks and public realm.)
Literally every part of the statement in question is objectively true.
He's not wrong

There's a great deal of truth in what you're saying; as a keen observer of Parks in this City I can certainly list off countless deficiencies in routine maintenance, service standards, and needed capital repairs.

That said, there is just a teeny bit of exaggeration in so far as the majority of garbage cans are not overflowing, the majority of washrooms are open (albeit 5 weeks late, and some in a state that they would only merit use in desperate circumstances); and that the vast majority of parks (over 99%) have no private security presence.

That said, we can clearly agree that the current state of parks is not acceptable.........that didn't start with Mayor Tory, but it has continued to deteriorate............

But let's all make sure we're not just testifying to each other on the sorry state of things. Let's point out that for much of the worst of what we're complaining about......you don't even need a lot of money to make change.

A mere 1% property tax increase (across all classifications, or equiv.) would add 55M per year to the budget.

For that sum, sufficient staff could be hired to have all washrooms up and running by May 1st each year and open until Nov 1st; and could fully fund the eventual cost of year-round opening as well, once all washrooms are winterized.

That sum would also fully fund winterizing all Parks washrooms over 10 years; and adding 2 new washrooms buildings per year over the same period.

It would fund getting nearly all drinking fountains working, and for a full season; and would add 25 drinking fountains per year for 10 years.

It would also allow hiring of 20+ new horticulture staff to maintain all flower beds to the highest standards with 3 or 4 season displays.

And there would be money left over to replace/add another 50 park benches a year for the next decade.

***

All of which is to say; money is a part of the problem, but only part; the need for accountability and a push to prioritize funds well also matters.

Let's send emails to our respective Councillors; the Mayor, the Budget Chief, the City Manager and senior management at Parks indicating we know better is possible; and if it isn't achieved, change in office holders and staff can be made to make that happen.
 
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irishboy

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FYI: Mayor Tory is on site making this announcement now.

Media release up here:

This is great news! The Bathurst Quay waterfront renovation just keeps getting better and better. With Little Norway, the Music Garden and now this new park, there will be no shortage of nice waterfront parks in the area!! Kudos to all involved in making this happen. My only wish is it could be expediated and we didn't have to wait until 2028-9 for it to be completed.

BTW, does this also mean University Ave park is moving forward? That would also be great news!
 

Northern Light

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BTW, does this also mean University Ave park is moving forward? That would also be great news!

Inching forward....... when the City re-does the watermain under University in 2024 they will locate it to allow for University Park to be built on the east side.

So the wheels are moving...........but ever so slowly.

See my post here for further detail:

 
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bowen

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This is great news! The Bathurst Quay waterfront renovation just keeps getting better and better. With Little Norway, the Music Garden and now this new park, there will be no shortage of nice waterfront parks in the area!! Kudos to all involved in making this happen. My only wish is it could be expediated and we didn't have to wait until 2028-9 for it to be completed.

BTW, does this also mean University Ave park is moving forward? That would also be great news!
This next big Bathurst Quay investment is really two separate but coordinated projects. First is the decommissioning of the garage and remediation of this property for which funds are now allocated. With Council’s endorsement of our work plan this past week we’re already working on the scope of work for a full civil, structural and environmental engineering audit of the garage, with ground breaking on that site prep starting in 2024.

Running parallel to those early works will be the design of the park, for which future construction is planned to dovetail seamlessly with completion of the garage property remediation. But we’re also examining options to increase the overlap between these two phases in order to shorten timelines.

For example, while we obviously can’t start above grade park construction on the 539 QQW garage property until that site is ready (keeping in mind we’ll need an abatement plan for designated substances in the garage, a Phase II ESA, Risk Assessment, CPU and soil management plan, and these all take time), we could potentially start the structural decking in the adjacent Portland Slip water lot in tandem with the adjacent garage closure.

We’ll have much more to share on next steps in September. We’ve been diligently pulling the various pieces of this project together since 2018 (when we bought the water lot from the Federal government, and amended the OP to direct advancing the park concept).


Now with Council’s support this has taken some big leaps forward. Very exciting.
 

bowen

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Surprised none of the eagle eyes here picked up on this:


The legacy leasing and licensing arrangements on this property (several of which pre-date City ownership) are complex and can lead to stalemated negotiations. With this motion, Councillor Mihevc was able to bring this one to a close.
 

Northern Light

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This next big Bathurst Quay investment is really two separate but coordinated projects. First is the decommissioning of the garage and remediation of this property for which funds are now allocated. With Council’s endorsement of our work plan this past week we’re already working on the scope of work for a full civil, structural and environmental engineering audit of the garage, with ground breaking on that site prep starting in 2024.

Running parallel to those early works will be the design of the park, for which future construction is planned to dovetail seamlessly with completion of the garage property remediation. But we’re also examining options to increase the overlap between these two phases in order to shorten timelines.

For example, while we obviously can’t start above grade park construction on the 539 QQW garage property until that site is ready (keeping in mind we’ll need an abatement plan for designated substances in the garage, a Phase II ESA, Risk Assessment, CPU and soil management plan, and these all take time), we could potentially start the structural decking in the adjacent Portland Slip water lot in tandem with the adjacent garage closure.

We’ll have much more to share on next steps in September. We’ve been diligently pulling the various pieces of this project together since 2018 (when we bought the water lot from the Federal government, and amended the OP to direct advancing the park concept).


Now with Council’s support this has taken some big leaps forward. Very exciting.

@bowen Thanks again both for the excellent work you and those on your team are putting in on this project, but as well for the incredible transparency around that through your sharing here. It is very much appreciated by myself and many others.
 
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bowen

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@bowen Thanks again both for the excellent work you and those on your team are putting in on this project, but as well for the incredible transparency around that through your sharing here. It is very much appreciated by myself and many others.
A sincere thanks on behalf of our team and partners. So much potential hiding in plain sight here.
 

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I was wandering around the Bathurst Quay area last week and we went out on the 'quay' that runs west of Norway Park the RED line on the map below. Does anyone know if the City has plans to fix it up? It looks to be in fairly good condition but needs some repairs, benches and maybe the, now standard, rail or barrier of some kind at the edge.
Screenshot 2022-09-24 122925.jpg
 

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