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Rail Deck Park (?, ?, ?)

TJ O'Pootertoot

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No, it is not tax-payer money.

It is largely Section 42 money that cannot be used for purposes other than public park space, a lot of which is earmarked specifically to the downtown area as it was collected from downtown development.

I don't believe the provincial changes with the community benefits charge (which replaced S42) will impact existing collected S42 funds, so unless someone tells me otherwise, the money already exists and is just collecting interest until we find a purpose for it (such as the Rail Deck Park).

Even if you're right about the impacts of the new CBC (which I don't think is certain), Section 42 money is not remotely enough to cover the cost. Someone out there might have the exact numbers but I believe the entirety of the City's Section 42 stash would cover something like 10% of the costs. So...no.

Think Millenium park in Chicago built on rail deck as well and all the monetary and non monetary values Chicago gets. The millions of tourists go there annually.
It would pay for itself with all the tourist money, vendors, tourism boost to restaurants nearby, the cool "it" factor etc.

People keep comparing this to Millennium Park but, In relation to the point above, who paid for Millennium Park? What percentage of the budget was taxpayer money? Was it under budget? And while we're at it, who owned the land before the City of Chicago decided to build a park there? Was it a private developer with their own plan? The park's Wikipedia page will help one start to find some of the answers!

I mean, all this stuff is just minor details....

Here's the reality few want to accept:
-The City has long history of being cheap and a Constitutional restriction on what it can do raise more money, if it wants to spend more. There are far too many examples to even begin listing them, notwithstanding the mayor's recent bravery on property taxes;
-The Bentway might be the closest parallel to this but A) a private donation made that happen B) This is a wholly different scale.
-Aside from it's physical form, there are many differences with Millenium Park, which is typically cited as the equivalent.
-As currently structured, they don't have the property tax $ or any other means, including Section 42, to fund this.
-They don't own the land/air rights.

It's a great idea! The renderings look beautiful! The City has won an early, important LPAT decision! They're still grossly glossing over how hard it will be to actually pull this off when, specific numbers of towers etc. aside, there is an argument to be made that a compromise with the developer is far more desirable and practical; obviously, IF it's a compromise that meet's the City's needs. But if the entire plan is to talk tough, expropriate and wing it with the almost $2B-cost, something's going to give, eventually.
 
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ADRM

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From the most recent relevant report, considered at the January Executive Committee meeting:

Staff will bring forward a report to Council by Q3 2020 to authorize the next stage of the Rail Deck Park project, including a funding and financing strategy for acquisition of the air space and capital delivery of the project.
 

Northern Light

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To put some facts to the discussion above.......

Section '42' balances below (most recent I could easily find)

As of September 30, 2016, the City held $382,140,538

An additional $199,563,530 is projected for the next five years.

My reading pegs typical annual expenditures from these funds at about $30M per year.

IF that held true here, you'd be looking at an approximate balance end of in/around 430M in 2021.

However, it is possible to re-allocate revenues from one project to another; in many cases; also that does not include section 37 funds.

The above is not a position on this project, just information for the discussion.

Figures taken from: https://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2017/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-102564.pdf
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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To put some facts to the discussion above.......

Section '42' balances below (most recent I could easily find)

As of September 30, 2016, the City held $382,140,538

An additional $199,563,530 is projected for the next five years.

Thanks for looking that up! I look forward to seeing the City's strategy for paying it. Maybe it'll all make sense once they lay it out but given how things have been in flux with Sections 37 and 42, given what's already in the kitty and given the City's longstanding reluctance to use even the minimal taxes to which they have access, I remain skeptical about how practical it is and how much the city is posturing just as it is fair to remain skeptical about whether the landowners "actually" intended to develop the site or whether they're just establishing their own bargaining position. All I'd say is it's likely naive to assume one side is posturing and the other is entirely altruistic and practical. Both sides know they have something the other wants.
 

CityStay

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Rail Deck Park lol!
Could be the first UT thread to run 50 years!
(DRL and various iterations not included)
 

W. K. Lis

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Post Millenial - LOL
Canadian Taxpayers Federation - double LOL

Whenever I see "Canadian Taxpayers Federation", I turn it off. They are more interested in "money" than "people". Wonder how much influence the "Canadian Taxpayers Federation" had with long-term care, or anything that involves money over people.
 

Coolstar

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LostAlbertan

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Lol - Some nice balanced reporting at the end of the article "Despite all this, there is some desire for new green spaces in Toronto with many saying that it would help ease congestion in the city's other parks."
 

rbt

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Doesn't change the fact that this is a ridiculously expensive project, and that there's merit to having a discussion as to whether there are better ways to spend that kind of money.

Does anyone know how much Ivanhoe paid for their Rail Deck park air-rights? They purchased 4 acres of rights from Canadian National Railway and were expected to spend roughly $50M on that portion of the project (rights and construction).

If we need to go piecemeal as the edges get developed and cantilevered over the corridor, then so-be-it.
 
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Jacob Lisgar

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Better use of the money would be to build parkland and amenities at 28 Bathurst (Stackt), Bentway phase 2 & 3, mouth of the creek park, Wellington Destructor and all the land around it, Stanley Park south, Ordnance Triangle and top it off with a pedestrian bridge or gondola to the island. Once you finish all that, then they can talk about needed raildeck park. All the land I mentioned is already owned by the city and parks department and can be built soon to meet the growing demand.
 

karledice

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Better use of the money would be to build parkland and amenities at 28 Bathurst (Stackt), Bentway phase 2 & 3, mouth of the creek park, Wellington Destructor and all the land around it, Stanley Park south, Ordnance Triangle and top it off with a pedestrian bridge or gondola to the island. Once you finish all that, then they can talk about needed raildeck park. All the land I mentioned is already owned by the city and parks department and can be built soon to meet the growing demand.
Unfortunately those are scattered and does not cover the train track (eye and ear sore)
 

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