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Councillor says tribunal has dismissed appeal of Rail Deck Park
Published Thursday, July 11, 2019 8:30PM EDT
This rendering shows a park that is proposed for an area above existing rail tracks running through the downtown core. (City of Toronto)
The Local Planning Appeal Tribunal has dismissed an appeal of the city’s plan to build an urban park above a downtown rail corridor.
The decision was made on Thursday after a development group hoping to build a mixed-use complex over the corridor appealed the city’s Official Plan Amendment protecting Rail Deck Park as parkland.
City councillor Joe Cressy released a statement on Twitter around noon, saying the park “won’t be built overnight, but for now, we’ve protected Rail Deck Park for the future.”
"You have to imagine the city you want before you can build it,” he said. “Now, it can only be used for a park - no new towers, no parking, just parkland.”
If approved and funded, the 21-acre Rail Deck Park would eventually span from Bathurst Street to Blue Jays Way. The majority of the park would be located on a deck that would be built above the existing rail corridor.
The park was last estimated to cost about $1.665 billion, or about $83 million per acre.
Staff have previously said that Rail Deck Park presented a “unique opportunity” to address the deficiency of parkland in the downtown core.
Toronto and East York Community Council has already approved zoning changes designating the area for parks and open spaces.
Today, the LPAT dismissed the appeal of our Official Plan Amendment protecting Rail Deck Park as parkland. Now, it can only be used for a park - no new towers, no parking, just parkland. It won't be built overnight, but now, we’ve protected Rail Deck Park for the future. pic.twitter.com/cuhTfVCSar— Joe Cressy (@joe_cressy) July 11, 2019