Today, City Council unanimously supported a recommendation from Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation to begin formal negotiations with the Toronto District School Board regarding a long term ground lease of Pantry Park in exchange for the release of the TDSB’s option in Woodbine Park. This is a complicated negotiation that will take many months to work out. In the meantime, I have ensured that City of Toronto staff will continue to collect input from the public. Please direct any of your questions or thoughts on this lease to either Ryan Glenn (email@example.com) or to me (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Over the past several weeks, I have heard from dozens of Ward 32 residents regarding this issue. Many have expressed support for a lease while others have concerns about how the park will function in the future. I have spoken with many of you on the phone, or on your doorstep about Pantry Park as it operates today, and how it might in the future. In these conversations I have heard several concerns that I have incorporated into an amendment to the authorization for this lease.
I have ensured that the lease will not allow:
Furthermore, I understand that many of you were concerned about the length of time that the staff recommended for this lease. I have asked that the length of the lease be a point of negotiation between the City and the School Board. And, the price of permits will also be a point of negotiation.
I understand that the idea of a long term lease is something that should not be rushed into. This issue moved through the legislative process at the City slower than many park leases and has had more communication and input from the public than is usual. Not everyone will be happy that we are beginning this conversation however I am confident that it is a conversation we must have. Kew Beach Public School needs green space for the children to play safely and the community as a whole wants Woodbine Park to remain undeveloped.
This situation arose because the TDSB approached the City. I would have preferred that this issue never arose however, the situation we find ourselves in forces us to begin these negotiations.
Finally, if the City and the TDSB enter into a lease for these properties, it will ensure that both parks remain open and undeveloped parkland forever. Securing and preserving open space is essential in a growing city.
Councillor, Ward 32
Beaches- East York
With the installation of this yellow bicycle lane, cyclists will be able to lawfully cycle two-ways on Dixon Ave. Between Kingston Rd. and Lockwood Rd., the westbound travel lane remains one-way for motorists and cyclists. Cyclists who wish to travel eastbound may now do so in the eastbound-only bicycle lane.
Between Lockwood Rd. and Woodbine Ave., the eastbound travel lane remains one-way for motorists and cyclists, while the westbound-only bicycle lane will allow cyclists to make neighbourhood connections to Lockwood Rd. and Sarah Ashbridge Ave.
The installation of wayfinding shared lane pavement markings (sharrows) will help cyclists who wish to navigate between the Dundas St. East Bicycle Lanes and either the Waterfront Trail or Woodbine Park, without having to cycle on busy arterial roads such as Kingston Rd., Queen St. East, or Woodbine Ave.
This wayfinding connection has a push-button crossing at Queen Street (where Lockwood Rd. becomes Sarah Ashbridge Ave.), and directs cyclists to the push-button crossing so they may reach the Multi-Use Trails south of Lake Shore Blvd.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do Yellow bicycle lanes work?
When a yellow bicycle lane is installed on a one-way street, the street becomes two-ways for bicycles, but remains one-way for other vehicles. When the cyclist is travelling in the direction that motor vehicles may travel, the cyclist shares the lane with the motor vehicles. To travel in the opposite direction, cyclists use the yellow bicycle lane.
Why do we need a yellow bike lane?
In order to keep residents who are cycling safe, it is important for the City to develop cycling routes. Yellow bicycle lanes on non-arterial roadways can help provide alternatives to having to cycle on busy arterial roads.
In order to avoid arterial roadways, some residents are already cycling the wrong way on one-way streets. Adding bicycle lanes will help to organize this existing demand to make streets safer for all road users. This includes adding stop signs and signals for cyclists. Bicycle travel does not create noise pollution, or worsen local air quality. Improving neighborhood cycling connections is an important action we can take to build healthier communities.
How are yellow bicycle lanes designed?
After planning and consultation with the public and all city departments, including Police, EMS, and Fire, the Transportation department will provide a pavement marking plan that will be safe for all road users including pedestrians, motorists and cyclists.
How will this project impact parking?
The addition of road markings does not require the removal of on-street parking.
How much does a bicycle lane cost?
This type of painted bicycle lane is an affordable way to improve transportation options by creating safer cycling conditions. This project will cost approximately $10 a meter to install.
Councillor McMahon introduced a motion to investigate ways to enhance private snow clearing in Toronto.
Every winter we rely on our neighbours to clear snow and ice from sidewalks to ensure the streets are safe for pedestrians. Unfortunately, some homeowners are negligent in clearing their sidewalks leaving the streets unsafe for everyone. Councillor McMahon has asked the Transportation Division to investigate alternate methods of enforcement and education to ensure more of our sidewalks are cleared and safe next winter.
The City of Toronto, Councillor McMahon and the BIA have been working to refine the designs approved by the working group last summer for the entranceway to Kew Gardens Park.
Following three community meetings and a survey organized by the ‘Friends of Wildwood Park’, a preferred concept for the redesign of the park has been developed. Scott Torrance Landscape Architects have developed this preferred concept plan. The park will have new play structures for a wider range of children, a new shade structure and mulched play surface.