Port Lands Planning Update

Waterfront Toronto, together with the City of Toronto and the Toronto Region Conservation Authority, are conducting several studies that will shape the future of Toronto’s eastern waterfront for decades to come. Recently, they held a series of open houses to outline the current status of their work and to solicit feedback. The materials from these sessions are available on the Port Lands Consultation website, and you can provide feedback through the “Discussion Questions” links.

This article deals primarily with the transportation component, given this site’s focus, but with some introductory material to set this in context.

Illustrations here are taken from five sets of display panels. Note that these are large pdfs.

Two large areas, the Port Lands and the “South of Eastern” district, are the subject of three studies in this consultation round:

  • A planning framework for the multi-decade redevelopment of these areas into the fabric of the city.
  • A transportation and servicing master plan.
  • A precinct plan for a new community to be called “Villiers Island”.

Other parallel studies affect this area:

  • The Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Environmental Assessment (EA)
  • The Lower Don Lands Infrastructure EA
  • The Gardiner Expressway study
  • The SmartTrack and GO/Regional Express Rail (RER) study
  • The Relief Line study

Lest this seem like overkill and an undue focus on one area of the city, remember that the amount of land involved is equal to much of what we now call “downtown” between Bloor and the Lake. This is not a small area, and converting it from primary uses as a port and light industry to a much more mixed-used and higher density set of communities requires careful planning and a lot of infrastructure. Work on this has been underway for almost a decade, although it was almost derailed during the Ford era. Continue reading