Waterfront Toronto to retain control of the Port Lands
It appears that a giant Ferris wheel and monorail won't be coming to the Port Lands, after all. Although specifics have yet to be released, a new agreement to be voted on by city council would see Waterfront Toronto remain the lead agency in charge of the Port Lands redevelopment. Doug Ford wasn't exactly gracious in defeat, but faced with a loss of support on council â not to mention public uproar and smart campaigning from urban planning experts and groups like #CodeBlueTO â he and the mayor have been forced to abandon the idea of putting control of redevelopment in the hands of the Toronto Port Lands Company.
"Everyone wants us to work together and sing Kumbaya so we're going to work together with them," Ford told the Globe. "We've got some good ideas and they've got some. In my opinion, with my business experience, compromise is always the best solution." Just how much of a compromise the new agreement will be should become clear in the near future, but reports indicate that Waterfront Toronto will be tasked with accelerating development and that the city will have a chance to review plans to re-naturalize the mouth of the Don River in the hopes of finding a less expensive strategy to protect the area from flooding.
As expensive as the renaturalization process is slated to be ($600-million), in many ways it's the centrepiece of the redevelopment plans, so I hope that the new agreement doesn't ultimately lead to its demise. That, however, is a battle for another day. So because we felt compelled to share all sorts of renderings of Doug Ford's "vision" for the Port Lands a couple of weeks ago, let's give Waterfront Toronto its due and remind ourselves what they've been proposing all along.
The new staff report on the Port Lands has been released in anticipation of its discussion at city council this afternoon. As was suspected, Waterfront Toronto retains control but the re-naturalization plans for the Don as a strategy for flood protection will be re-evaluated.
City Council has voted 45-0 to adopt the new recommendations for the Port Lands outlined in the staff report above. Score that a victory for sound planning principles and sanity in general.
Aerial view of the Keating Channel
Green-space and skyline
Boardwalk off of Cherry Street
Bridge over the Keating Channel
Not a mall in sight!
South Don bike path
I see two rails on each side!
Renderings from Waterfront Toronto
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