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Rail Deck Park (?, ?, ?)

drum118

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And will the Spadina or King streetcars enter the station under the park.
What mind blowing stuff are you using????.....................nothing will service the so call GO Station underground. 510 will remain on the surface. Why have 504 service this useless station and force cuts to 504, as well issues for riders???
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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"Luxury Park" is stupid and who knows where this guy is coming from and why...

But in answer to your question:
-Because it's very expensive;
-Because the City does not have deep enough pockets to build it with the funds and tools currently at its disposal.

Especially given how this current crisis is hitting municipalities, I really find it hard to believe this thing gets built in the next 20 years. Still, I hardly see the point of starting an astroturf anti-park website.
 

TO Steve

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Rail Deck Park is appealing to me for a variety of reasons which have already been discussed on here. But I'm not in favour of the city building it. There's been lots of speculation on budget. There is no way of knowing what the cost would be, but I would guess that if you want something like Chicago's Millennium Park the cost would be closer to the higher numbers thrown about. I would think the lower numbers will get you something like what Coronation Park is today. While Rail Deck Park would bring in tourists, there are other options that don't involve buying air rights and building a very large deck over the railway lands. Why not something that would be more uniquely Toronto? Use the water. It's our best feature. I love the islands, but let's face it, they have become rather dated and in need of a lot of TLC. What would it cost to make Centre Island a 21st-century tourist attraction? With a little imagination, the islands, Tommy Thompson Park, the new Promontory Park, Ontario Place and Coronation Park could become integrated into a unique waterfront series of parks. Let the rail deck get built over time one CIBC Square at a time.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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Rail Deck Park is appealing to me for a variety of reasons which have already been discussed on here. But I'm not in favour of the city building it. There's been lots of speculation on budget. There is no way of knowing what the cost would be, but I would guess that if you want something like Chicago's Millennium Park the cost would be closer to the higher numbers thrown about. I would think the lower numbers will get you something like what Coronation Park is today. While Rail Deck Park would bring in tourists, there are other options that don't involve buying air rights and building a very large deck over the railway lands. Why not something that would be more uniquely Toronto? Use the water. It's our best feature. I love the islands, but let's face it, they have become rather dated and in need of a lot of TLC. What would it cost to make Centre Island a 21st-century tourist attraction? With a little imagination, the islands, Tommy Thompson Park, the new Promontory Park, Ontario Place and Coronation Park could become integrated into a unique waterfront series of parks. Let the rail deck get built over time one CIBC Square at a time.
Supporting improving the Islands and supporting this project isn't a mutually contradictory position - and Rail Deck park is a one in several lifetime city-building opportunity - especially if you consider the synergistic effect of having a park that will eventually start from Simcoe Street all the way to Fort York.

AoD
 

crs1026

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There is no "wrong" position on this. The city has pressing needs in multiple areas, and all are valid. This does not need to be binary.

The city should bank the land/air rights, so nothing else gets built instead. But the park may have to wait and be built incrementally over a fairly long time frame.

- Paul
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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There is no "wrong" position on this. The city has pressing needs in multiple areas, and all are valid. This does not need to be binary.

The city should bank the land/air rights, so nothing else gets built instead. But the park may have to wait and be built incrementally over a fairly long time frame.

- Paul
Agree - a phased approach for this is totally reasonable.

AoD
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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...or the City could work with the apparent owners of the "site," to maximize park space while reducing the burden on the City to pay for an expensive project it can't really afford on its own. It's just an idea!

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karledice

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If the air space has already been designated as park land, might as well expropriate it with fair market value
We all need another Millenium park here with vendor, restaurant and licensing revenue for the city and all the tourist attractions
Make it happen!
 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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People keep saying "Millennium Park, Millennium Park!"
Has anyone actually been there? Or read about how it was built and paid for?

Because that is - don't get me wrong - a beautiful park. But it doesn't really serve the "local neighbourhood," which is the ostensible reason for Rail Deck Park, right?

Is this for tourists or for Torontonians? Yes, those things aren't mutually exclusive but while MP certainly serves local functions (hosting concerts at the amphitheater, for example), I'd argue it serves more of a tourist function than a local one. And if THAT is what we're trying to do here, it's a different argument about spending tax $. I've quoted this before but the City of Chicago could not have produced MP with City of Toronto finances. You don't have to dig too deep, just check Wikipedia:

Some observers consider Millennium Park the city's most important project since the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893.[3][4] It far exceeded its originally proposed budget of $150 million. The final cost of $475 million was borne by Chicago taxpayers and private donors. The city paid $270 million; private donors paid the rest,[5] and assumed roughly half of the financial responsibility for the cost overruns.[6] The construction delays and cost overruns were attributed to poor planning, many design changes, and cronyism. Many critics have praised the completed park.

So, to recap - this being the model that gets cited all the time:
-The estimated budget for MP was $150M and it cost about 2.5x that. The estimated budget for Rail Deck Park is about $1.7B, which is MORE THAN TEN TIMES the budget of MP. Probably, hopefully it won't end up costing $4B but it's a pretty safe bet it'll be something like $2.5B, at least.

-The City paid about 57% of the final budget. If we did something remotely similar, it would mean the City would be on the hook for about $1 billion -at a minimum - and the other $700M would come from... I dunno. The feds? Private philanthropists?

-And, also significantly, the MP budget did not include the land. As per this article, the rail company (which was not using it as an active rail corridor anymore, unlike RDP) thought they owned it, there was a court case, it turned out they didn't and they DONATED it to the City. In our case, the City still has to expropriate the land at "fair market value," which has yet to be determined.

-AND, finally, MP was supposed to open in 2000 and opened in 2004.


To sum up, despite having superficial similarities (it's downtown! it's a park! choo choo trains used to run underneath!), once you translate to the Toronto context, MP is actually a pretty scary model of how RDP might go.
 
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