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Rail Deck Park (?, ?, ?)

robmausser

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That is not true.

It has been mentioned again and again: instead of pouring $1 billion down the drain in repairs to just keep up that disruptive Expressway, the city could use that $1 billion to invest in mass rapid transit.

How is that not true?


 

TJ O'Pootertoot

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We're getting off thread and this is pointless anyway.
When the report on the Gardiner came - and everyone knows this - there were 3 scenarios with different costs and benefits. The long-term cost of keeping up the highway, even with the Hybrid option, was more than the cost of taking it down.

It is correct that it is "not true" that no alternative was presented in the take-down scenario. (Or, to put it a more clear way, there sure as heck was a proposed alternative.)

Rapid Transit is already being provided (on paper, so far!) via "SmartTrack" and the extended LRT and the proposal included transforming Lake Shore into a boulevard. The combination of improved transit, improved Lake Shore and induced demand was the "alternative."

The traffic on the East Gardiner, which is what we're talking about here, is not remotely comparable to what Boston was dealing with and the idea that you only have an alternative if you build another piece of mega-infrastructure, even when the EA shows it's not needed, is non-sensical. That's like telling someone getting divorced they don't have an alternative if they feel like staying single makes more sense than getting married again.

To again try to rope things back on thread, the relevant discussion is here is the City's finite resources and whether the cost savings of not leaving the Gardiner up could be used to build more transit or - more to the point - something like Rail Deck Park. The City does not spend $1B on a lot of things because it rarely has $1B to spend. Whether spending all that on the Gardiner is the best use of tax $ remains a fair question, particularly in our evolving urban context.
 

urbanflight

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To again try to rope things back on thread, the relevant discussion is here is the City's finite resources and whether the cost savings of not leaving the Gardiner up could be used to build more transit or - more to the point - something like Rail Deck Park. The City does not spend $1B on a lot of things because it rarely has $1B to spend. Whether spending all that on the Gardiner is the best use of tax $ remains a fair question, particularly in our evolving urban context.

That was the reason why I brought up the Gardiner.

I just rather have the city spending $1 billion to build the Rail Deck Park, or to invest it in mass rapid transit, that wasting $1 billion just to keep up the crumbling Gardiner. We are concerned about the financing resources for this project, well there we have the $1 billion being poured down the drain for the Gardiner.

However I agree, we might be getting too off thread.

Getting back to the main topic. John Tory could also look up for other financial resources for the city to be able to build the Rail Deck Park: a Public-Private partnership, private donations, provincial and federal funding, etc.

This project is great, it's only a shame that currently the site is privately owned, and that it is so freaking expensive to buy it.
 
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north-of-anything

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I feel like there are a few ways the city could pursue a compromise solution, if they felt it necessary.

The first way would be to conduct a land swap, using some large property to hand off elsewhere in the city in exchange for air rights. Somewhere around the Six Points? Honeydale Mall, perhaps? Is any of that land not spoken for?

Alternatively, the city could say "okay you can build some 30-storey towers here, but first you need to fund the construction of all of the mass transit that's needed in this part of town, and much of the infrastructure works, before anything starts getting built". Worst case scenario, the bluff is called but millions of public sector dollars are saved.
 

zot627

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I feel like there are a few ways the city could pursue a compromise solution, if they felt it necessary.

The first way would be to conduct a land swap, using some large property to hand off elsewhere in the city in exchange for air rights. Somewhere around the Six Points? Honeydale Mall, perhaps? Is any of that land not spoken for?

Alternatively, the city could say "okay you can build some 30-storey towers here, but first you need to fund the construction of all of the mass transit that's needed in this part of town, and much of the infrastructure works, before anything starts getting built". Worst case scenario, the bluff is called but millions of public sector dollars are saved.
I agree with your first point. If the City is serious about building a park here, they have many tools available to them to make it happen. The City owns a lot of surplus land and I'm sure a workable trade could be made if the City was prepared to move forward with Rail Deck Park.

Your second point makes me wonder if you're living in a parallel universe. There are several developments planned and underway in the immediate area that have little or no parkland. This is a private development site. The only way it's going to become a public park is if the City acquires the air rights. Otherwise it can be developed to the same extent as the land uses around it. There's nothing magical about the south side of Front Street that will let the City operate outside of the Planning Act.

And what's this bluff you're referring to? Please explain how it can be "called but millions of public sector dollars are saved". Were the developers of The Well or Canada House or 400 Front bluffing?
 

north-of-anything

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I didn't say anything about the Rail Deck Park being built in the second point. If the current owners want to put in 30-40 storey buildings, there should be caveats to make sure the area can handle it. If the caveats are steep enough, then maybe the developers would question how much they would actually profit from it. If they go ahead anyways, the residents should at least be able to hop on a streetcar to go where there is parkland and open space.

Personally, though, I don't think anything should be built on the corridor at all until the Spadina-Front GO station is either complete or cancelled.
 

toronto647

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Hi Folks, I am just catching up to this thread and I apologize in advance if my questions have already been answered. I have done some research but still a bit confused.

1) According to the City of Toronto website the project has been approved and the zoning has been change to prevent condominiums. Does this mean the park will be built and the all affected parties land will be purchased and/or expropriated. AKA what are the chances of this project actually being built?
2) Would you say its harder to get the land west of spadina since Craft Kingsmen Rail Corp owns the land?
3) Would you say its easier to get the land east of Spadina till Blue Jays since its owned primarily by the following ?
Canada Lands Company - Federal crown corporation
Canadian National Railway Company (CN) -
Toronto Terminals Railway Co. Ltd - Owed by CN & CP
4) When will construction commence and do you think Blue Jays to Spadina portion will be built first? When will the project complete?

Any other thoughts about the project let me know :)

Screen Shot 2020-09-15 at 11.33.48 PM.png
 

toronto647

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It looks like Kingsmen have already created renders for how the park will look.
https://thekingsmen.ca/orca/

Looks like the northern part they will have tall mixed used buildings and the south portion a park. Interesting take. I don't think the city wants any more condos in that area... Interesting to see whether Canada Lands Company - Federal crown corporation, Canadian National Railway Company (CN), Toronto Terminals Railway Co. Ltd - Owed by CN & CP which own the portion from Spadina to Blue Jays way follow suit.... In that case, would you say its easier to get the land east of Spadina till Blue Jays since its owned by various companies as opposed to one.
 

north-of-anything

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This is at least a billion-dollar project and those funds don't exist yet. We're most likely not going to see any further progress once (or if) it's settled that this WILL be a park. I personally think that whatever gets built over the rail deck has to wait until Metrolinx decides whether they want to have a Spadina GO station.
 

afransen

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Kind of seems like a shame to make it even more difficult to reconfigure the rail corridor leading into DT.
 

ciceror

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Is it possible that the rest of rails, excluding the park, will eventually get developed with skyscrapers? like Hudson yards in New York
 

Tunafish13

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Is it possible that the rest of rails, excluding the park, will eventually get developed with skyscrapers? like Hudson yards in New York

I would assume it is possible, but there would have to be a pretty high demand for it to actually happen.
 

adHominem

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Is it possible that the rest of rails, excluding the park, will eventually get developed with skyscrapers? like Hudson yards in New York

The properties would have to be worth far, far more than they currently are to make such complex and expensive engineering economically worthwhile. Toronto just has more places to build than Manhattan and it's a different market - developable space just isn't at as much of a premium here - so though it's possible, I don't see something like that happening for a long time.

(This is all aside from whether or not the soulless and anti-urban Hudson Yards is something worth emulating.)
 

Deadpool X

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Why is Spadina GO station needed? It's just 1 km from Union. It will add extra time in the journey and GO trains aren't great at accelerating either.
 

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