Doug Ford's waterfront includes a monorail, ferris wheel
Published Tuesday, August 30, 2011 2:55PM EDT
Toronto's sprawling industrial Port Lands could be home to the world's biggest ferris wheel, a shopping mall and the city's first monorail if City Hall manages to seize control of the area.
"We're looking at developing one of the most prestigious iconic areas in all of Canada and it's going to be really exciting," Coun. Doug Ford told CTV Toronto.
Waterfront Toronto, an agency funded by all three levels of government, is currently developing the 988-acre area. But Mayor Rob Ford's administration argues the agency is moving too slowly and a recent report filed by City Manager Joe Pennachetti has recommended that the city take control of the project.
"We want to accelerate this plan and move it forward," said Ford.
While the Etobicoke-North councillor said he's excited at the prospect of developing the expansive, largely-vacant area, he stresses that a potential city takeover is still just a proposal.
Part of Ford's vision for the Port Lands includes a monorail, which he said he imagines will start at Union Station and visit the Port Lands among other tourist destinations like the Air Canada Centre and Ontario Place.
"The first stop would be the world's largest ferris wheel," said Ford, referring to his plan to build a giant amusement park ride in the middle of the Port Lands.
When asked whether it was proper to derail Waterfront Toronto's plans for the area, which the agency has spent 10 years working on, Ford shrugged off criticism.
"They don't have a plan for the next 15 to 20 years and $650 million of today's dollars," he said.
The Port Lands is bounded by the Don River to the north, Lake Ontario to the south, Toronto Inner Harbour to the west and Ashbridges Bay to the east.
More than 10 million tourists visit the city each year, said Ford.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Natalie Johnson