The Covid Pandemic has shown us that people in Toronto cherish public space and the opportunity to get outdoors and exercise. From our offices on Queens Quay we can see the streets full of bikers and walkers. It’s so great. However, the quality of the environment could be so much better. The waterfront would benefit from defined pedestrian/cycling routes and quality southern facing public spaces. The full execution of the West8/DTAH plans from 2006 would have done a lot to address this, but even those ideas did not go far enough. There is a simple answer to the problem. Continue a Toronto tradition and use fill to create the land we need. It’s public space for the cost of a dump run! By infilling any or all of the basins we can create a more continuous waterfront boardwalk connecting a series of parks. Wouldn’t it be great if we could use these sun filled parks not just to promote healthy living, but to tell the Indigenous stories that cry out from these locations. What if we created an iconic public park at the base of Yonge street, worthy of the start/terminus point for Canada’s most famous street and told the story of the blue clay footprints?
While the waterfront and Portlands are such a hot topic of discussion, isn’t it time to address the polluting (environmental and visual) Redpath Sugar Factory and move it to a more suitable location?