August 4, 2016

Toronto's New Park

Toronto Mayor John Tory has announced the “Rail Deck Park”, 21 acres of downtown public space to be built above existing rail yards. This in an area of expanding population with little public space. “I believe that creating a new downtown park is the best thing that we can do for future generations,” he said. “Not just any park, a big park, a bold park.”

Thanks to  By decking over the existing Union Station Rail Corridor, the tracks below could remain operational while the space above would be reclaimed for public use. For the CityPlace, King Spadina, and Fort York neighbourhoods that straddle either side of the rail corridor, the park would provide both a vital communal space and a link to others part of Downtown. For the geographically sequestered CityPlace in particular, an improved connection with the more established urban environments to the north could be a significant boon.

TO deck (Large)
Thanks to Brent Toderian and James Bligh for the links.

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  1. Add to that Oxford’s eventual plans to redevelop the Metro Toronto Convention Centre farther to the east – initial plans for that project also include a park straddling the railway lands. It’s currently on hold (after failing to have a casino approved) but rumour is that it is still in the cards.

  2. Great concept! We could have this here if we can stop the port from destroying Crab Park. We could build a wide ped/cycling overpass by extending Carrall over the tracks to connect with Crab Park. This was in the CoV plans at one time. Another possibility would be to create a large public plaza above the tracks just north of Waterfront Station.

  3. This is probably a compromise to blowing up the Gardiner Expressway (only half-kidding!).
    They kept the vital rail function below to Union Station and added a large public amenity above. What’s not to like?
    In Vancouver, Mr. Aquilini owns the railyards. So to deck it over for public space would require buying out the development rights. I suggest Port Metro (the feds) should do it, and also negotiate with Cadillac Fairview for the CPR Station building and reserve the properties for an expanded future transportation hub. Regular BC Ferries harbour-to-harbour passenger service to Van Isle comes to mind among other things. But keep the necessary railyard function hidden below.
    There should be enough acreage leftover on the deck for a large public square or park.

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