floating parking garage toronto

Hideous floating parking garage proposed for Toronto's waterfront

Dear giant floating parking lot salespeople: Stop trying to make an aquatic garage on the Toronto waterfront happen. It's not going to happen.

This much has been made crystal clear by city councillors, provincial MPPs, federal MPs and City of Toronto Chief Planner Gregg Lintern in recent years by way of multiple rejected proposals. 

And yet, pitches for what city planning staff call "a floating parking garage in the Portland Street slip at the foot of Dan Leckie Way just east of Bathurst Street and Queens Quay West" continue to surface.

Toronto photographer Jim Panou shared screenshots on Twitter this week from a document containing plans for one monstrous-looking "floating structure" next to the historic Canada Malting silos.

It is not clear who is proposing to build the parking garage, only that they are persistent.

"Various iterations of the proposal have been presented to City staff and elected officials in recent years," reads a February 2019 rejection letter addressed to a "Mr. Newlands" from Toronto and East York Community Planning Director Lynda Macdonald.

"The original proposal presented to staff in April 2015 identified a floating parking structure... that would be approximately 120 feet in width by 600 feet in length, and three storeys in height," the letter continues. "Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner, responded at the time that city planning staff were not in support of the proposal."

And yet, in January of this year, the city received yet another unsolicited proposal for the Portland Slip parking garage, as well one for another floating garage "potentially in the vicinity of Ontario Place."

Each floating structure would be designed to accommodate a minimum of 800 plus vehicles and include "possible green space and community-focused uses," according to Macdonald's letter.

The people of Toronto weren't on board then, they aren't on board now, and it's unlikely that they ever will be, judging by reaction to Panou's tweet.

"Not on my watch," tweeted Spadina-Fort York MP Adam Vaughan in response to the screenshots.

"I can't count the number of ways this is wrong," replied Spadina-Fort York MPP Chris Glover.

"But let's start with: We are so fortunate to live in one of the great waterfront cities in the world. Let's not clog the lake with parked cars."

Lead photo by

Jim Panou


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