toronto parking

Parking lot that makes Toronto over $1 million per year to be replaced by park

A new public realm strategy for Toronto's Liberty Village outlines a series of changes that the City of Toronto has planned for the neighbourhood, which includes the removal of a 184-space surface parking lot at the corner of East Liberty Street and Hanna Avenue.

Hopefully, unlike the residents of another downtown neighbourhood facing a similar change of parking-to-park, the people of Liberty are more accepting of the conversion of the tarmac into green space.

The 51-page strategy for improving the area, released this month, shares the vision to make the condo-dense community more "well-connected, walkable, attractive, safe, functional and accessible" through new public spaces, pathways, street design that prioritizes pedestrians, the addition of more local flora, and aesthetic and functional upgrades all around.

A huge part of this is expanding existing green space and making new space where possible — including in Green P Carpark 244 at 34 Hanna Ave.

Located in the middle of the neighbourhood, the large lot faces the Liberty Market building with its stores and restaurants, and is ostensibly utilized mostly by customers of those stores, residents and visitors of the adjacent condos, and workers in the surrounding offices and businesses.

It is also within walking distance of Exhibition Place, meaning it can absorb spillover from events like the CNE and games at BMO Field.

Based on City figures, the lot brought in $1,010,952 in revenue in 2023, (which is 120 per cent of 2019 revenues), amounting to $5,494.30 per space, which makes it one of the higher earners out of all City-owned lots.

But, creating a more boast-worthy park network in the downtown core has been a key priority as of late, with countless new parks in the works to help improve under-used land and give our rapidly-growing population more room to breathe and play.

There is also the gradual de-centering of cars that is rightfully taking place after so much of old city design had motorists at top of mind, which feels anachronistic in a time when more and more people are cycling and taking transit out of necessity or preference.

And, the neighbourhood is served by several existing and future transit options — Exhibition GO, the 504 King streetcar, a future smarttrack station, and a future Ontario Line station among them — as well as the vast parking garages of the nearby residential towers, all within walking distance of 34 Hanna.

Those either eager for — or wary of — the forthcoming conversion of 34 Hanna should know that planning is in its very early stages, and that the lot will be maintained at least until the end of the FIFA World Cup 2026 due to its proximity to the venue.

Public engagement for the new 4,900 square-metre park will start in late 2024 or early 2025, with construction to come right after the World Cup.

Lead photo by

Google Street View

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