New steps were taken today to further the plan for some of the City’s most anticipated public realm projects, including a new waterfront park that will transform the site of the iconic Canada Malting silos.

Mayor John Tory, along with Spadina-Fort York Councillor Joe Mihevc, announced today updates on Bathurst Quay Waterfront Park, as part of the existing Bathurst Quay Revitalization Plan. The project will repurpose an existing City-owned parking garage into the structural foundation for a brand new green space at the site, in combination with a structure over part of the adjacent Portland Slip. Located at the foot of Bathurst and Queens Quay W., the revitalization plan will improve water’s edge access and dockwall rehabilitation, as well as create fresh use for the heritage buildings on the Canada Malting Property. 

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The most recent plans call for a design proposal to commence once the garage closes, as well as remediation in order to put a park construction award out to tender by late 2026. There is also a plan to form an exploratory committee to oversee the creation of a multimedia projection installation on the site of the adjacent Canada Malting Company silo.

In addition to the Bathurst Quay project, the City is also looking to advance the Rail Corridor Public Realm Master Plan -- which will incrementally expand public space over and adjacent to the rail corridors that currently run through downtown -- as well as a redesign of University Avenue that will bring continuous public green spaces between the Financial District, Health Science District, and the University of Toronto.

A City of Toronto staff report on these projects, outlining the vision for each, goes to the City’s Executive Committee for consideration on July 12. Each will take advantage of existing City-owned property as well as co-operative partnerships, to “deliver much needed parkland downtown,” with work to proceed in stages as funding is secured.

“This is an important opportunity for the City of Toronto to keep taking the necessary steps forward to get these major parks built including the Bathurst Quay waterfront park, expanded park space along the Rail Corridor, and a redesign of University Avenue,” stated Tory this morning from the Bathurst Quay site. 

“These projects are all important opportunities to deliver much needed parks and public space in areas where the current ratio of parkland per person is amongst the lowest in the city. They will take time to get done but we have a path forward that will see them done right and in a way that will enhance the liveability of our downtown for all those who live and work there and its vitality for visitors.”

The ambitious expansion of Toronto’s downtown green space is a pressing issue for the city, as the core is set to see its population double from nearly 238,000 in 2016 to 475,000 by 2041. 

“The value of parks and public spaces is well established in many of the City’s strategic objectives, policy frameworks and guidelines,” states the city’s release. “The need to expand and improve public spaces is acutely felt in areas of the city experiencing rapid growth, especially where this growth is primarily occurring in the form of high-density residential development such as downtown.”