Legally speaking, Devron Developments and Great Gulf's Downtown Toronto project at 101 Spadina Avenue does not yet exist. That's because no formal application has been made, and no documents have been submitted to the City. However, much is already becoming known about the 47-storey, Diamond Schmitt-designed tower, with a preliminary iteration revealed to the Ward 20 community in March. Two months later, the project continues to be refined in advance of a submission, with Toronto's Design Review Panel invited to critique the plans so far.
July 16, 2020
CreateTO Board of Directors
Re: RA14.6 Opportunity to Create New City Park at 105 Spadina Avenue and 363 Adelaide Street West
I am writing in support of recommendations by the Chief Executive Officer of CreateTO to leverage the value of the City-owned surface parking lots at 105 Spadina Avenue and 363 Adelaide Street West in the rapidly growing King-Spadina neighbourhood to secure a new 1,000 square metre public park, as well as funds to create approximately 25-30 new affordable housing units. This is an important city-building opportunity that I have been working to advance for many years.
The success of downtown Toronto impacts our whole city. The downtown area currently produces 51% of city's GDP and 25% of tax base, and contains 33% of jobs, 38% of residential development, and 40% of commercial development in Toronto. It is vitally important that we ensure our downtown communities are vibrant, liveable, and sustainable.
The City’s new Downtown Secondary Plan has identified significant needs for additional community infrastructure to keep pace with population growth. The King-Spadina neighbourhood, where these parking lots are located, has been one of the fastest-growing areas. Bounded by Queen Street, University Avenue, Front Street, and Bathurst Street, it has grown from a residential population of only 945 residents in 1996 to an estimated population of 22,000 in 2018. Based on the development pipeline, an additional 30,000 residents could move to the area in the coming years. This community is also home to an estimated 46,000 jobs (2018) and many additional students and visitors each day.
I have been working with City staff since 2015 to find a way to make better use of these public lands, and I have been supporting ongoing conversations with the adjacent property owners, City Planning, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and CreateTO since 2016. I hosted a pre-application public consultation meeting in March of 2017, attended by many area residents and businesses. The proposed 1,000 square metre public park will be the first new park of its size in the densest part of the neighbourhood since the area began to grow more than 20 years ago.