Contributed by Andre Bermon. Crowds gathered at the historical St. Lawrence Hall on Thursday, January 31, to participate in the launch of the King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review. Curious residents braved the cold to find out how the future may unfold in their communities across the downtown east; from the St. Lawrence Neighbourhood and Moss Park to Corktown and the Distillery District.
Hosted by Michelle Drylie of Toronto City Planning, the presentation focused on providing the audience a direction on the areas’ developing heritage, built form and public realm policies. Building upon the Downtown Plan, also known as TOcore, the King-Parliament Secondary Plan is part and parcel of a comprehensive study to implement strategies on improving and preparing downtown Toronto’s social and public infrastructure during these years of unprecedent growth.
According to the Review, the King-Parliament area is projected to double in both population and employment growth by 2041. This may seem worrisome, as residents already feel the mounting pressures of unbridled development. Communities even now have bore witness to the utter disregard of heritage properties and the erosion of public spaces due to the unfair privileges granted to developers. Increased property value has pushed many beyond their traditional neighbourhoods.
Public consultations are an excellent way to engage and educate the various stakeholders of any given community. Our city’s survival depends on a fundamental shift in the public’s perception of our built environment. We should start with a view that understands the importance of preserving Toronto’s unique and complex character and accept that our surroundings must suit the needs of our communities and not the other way around.
To follow the developments of the King-Parliament Secondary Plan Review and inform yourself of future events go to www.toronto.ca/king-parliament and subscribe to the E-updates.
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