Wednesday, December 11, 2013

My Workbook submission as per the Port Lands and South of Eastern Study

Below is a cut-and-paste of the online "Participant Workbook", a digital version of a hard copy version provided to participants at "Port Lands and South of Eastern" Public Meeting #1:
Port Lands and South of Eastern
November 28, 2013 Public Meeting
Riverdale Collegate 1094 Gerrard Street East
City of Toronto Planning - WaterFront Toronto - Toronto and Region Conservation
 Below the the cut-and-paste are my submissions which were originally written in under each numbered Question in the online Workbook.

Online Participant Workbook:

Hardcopies are available via Ward 30: Toronto-Danforth Councillor Paula Fletcher's web site here:



Participant Workbook

Port Lands and South of Eastern

This is your opportunity to provide feedback and suggestions on the new studies being initiated for the Port Lands and South of Eastern area. Your responses may be as brief or as detailed as you like and you may choose to skip some questions.

Participant Workbooks must be completed by December 12, 2013.

Port lands Planning Framework
At 356 hectares, the Port Lands are a tremendous redevelopment opportunity for the City. Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto are developing a planning framework for the Port Lands that builds on the momentum from the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative adopted by City Council in 2012. The planning framework will guide revitalization efforts in the Port Lands and will provide the foundations for affirming and refining the vision for the Port Lands in the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan


Precinct Planning
Precinct planning is being undertaken by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto for Cousins Quay and the Film Studio District.  Precinct Plans outline development principles and guidelines at a more detailed level and illustrate how lands can be developed to meet the policies of the Central Waterfront Secondary Plan. Precinct planning forms the bridge that allows the City to move from Secondary Plan policies to Zoning By-law provisions.
South of Eastern Strategic Direction
The City of Toronto is undertaking the South of Eastern Strategic Direction that will build upon the South of Eastern Planning Study completed in 2008, which resulted in proposed amendments to the Official Plan and Zoning Bylaw.  The Strategic Direction will focus on economic development, urban design and transportation.
Port Lands and South of Eastern
Transportation and Servicing Master Plan EA

The City of Toronto is undertaking a Transportation and Servicing Master Plan (TSMP) for sections of the Port Lands and South of Eastern area in accordance with the requirements of the Municipal Class EA.  The TSMP will identify the necessary infrastructure (streets, transit, watermains and sewers) to support revitalization in the Port Lands and continued economic growth in the South of Eastern area.

Please indicate which of these initiatives are of interest to you?

  • X
  • X
  • X


Six draft objectives to assist in the evaluation of options/alternatives and to inform the vision for the Port Lands have been developed and are provided below.

The revitalized Port Lands is a dynamic and vibrant area of the city. A number of new, inclusive, sustainable, urban-scaled, compact, mixed-use communities and employment areas will be created. Each new urban area will have a unique local identity and character. Water permeates and influences all facets of the revitalized Port Lands given its proximity to the waterfront, new river valley and continued port activity. A number of new destinations and special places are developed which promote walking and taking transit, provide opportunities for social interaction and contribute to an interesting urban life.

Enhanced physical, social and visual connections are created in the Port Lands, connecting the Port Lands to the city. These connections include new public streets, higher-order transit, new bridges, enhanced pedestrian and cycling connections and the renaturalized Don River. New public street connections provide permeability into, out of and within the Port Lands. The public streets promote synergies between the South of Eastern area and the Port Lands by stitching these two areas together, and better connect the Port Lands with the rest of the city. The Port Lands’ unparalleled views, including those of the city's skyline, are protected, framed by development and celebrated. New views to the water's edge, river valley and iconic structures are created.

The Port Lands are an important remnant of the city's industrial past and portions have since evolved into wonderfully diverse natural areas. There are a number of important and iconic heritage resources that are conserved, repurposed and appropriately leveraged to contribute to placemaking and to celebrate the Port Lands' industrial heritage. The new Lake Ontario Park, which includes Tommy Thompson Park, the Base Lands and Leslie Street Spit, is a key asset that distinguishes the Port Lands as a unique destination for people and provides habitat for wildlife.


A comprehensive network of public parks and open spaces are developed that capitalizes on the Port Lands’ waterfront setting, the new river valley and Lake Ontario Park.  High-quality streetscapes, outstanding parks, new natural linkages and design excellence for public facilities are secured to ensure that complete communities created in the Port Lands are great places to live, work and visit.

A dynamic mix of uses developed in a walkable urban form, the creation of new employment opportunities and continued port activity are the cornerstones of the Port Lands' and City's sustainable future. Equally important is ensuring that all aspects of redevelopment contribute to a healthy and sustainable environment. Leading-edge and innovative approaches are utilized that showcase the revitalized Port Lands as a leader of sustainable development on the world’s stage. Reducing resource consumption, providing low-carbon developments, minimizing dependency on the private automobile and fostering new technologies are just some of the principles that are employed to optimize the sustainability of the revitalized Port Lands.

The Port Lands, at 356 hectares, will incrementally redevelop over an extended period of time. The planning framework for the Port Lands must allow for a high degree of flexibility to accommodate changes over time. Notwithstanding this flexibility, it must also be specific enough to ensure that public and private investments contribute to the long-term vision for the Port Lands and have lasting value.


Based on a review of existing conditions and objectives to revitalize the Port Lands and ensure continued economic growth in South of Eastern, problems and opportunities to be addressed in the Environmental Assessment process have been developed.   

  • Existing infrastructure is insufficient or is non-existent.
  • Major infrastructure like the Gardiner Expressway, Lake Shore Boulevard and rail corridors are impediments for better connections.
  • Street networks are limited.
  • The areas lack deļ¬ned streetscapes and pedestrian amenity.
  • There is no higher-order transit service and introducing higher-order transit on Commissioners Street requires resolving the hydro transmission towers located within the right-of-way east of the Don Roadway.
  • Existing connections across the Ship Channel are insufficient or are in disrepair.
  • New streets and servicing requires resolving soil contamination issues.  Moreover, the area has a high water table.
  • The long-term revitalization of the lands necessitates developing strategies to ensure compatibility between existing industrial traffic and revitalized city environments.

  • Located within close proximity to the City’s downtown.
  • Opportunities to improve existing infrastructure comprehensively as the Port Lands and South of Eastern undergo redevelopment, including:
    • introducing and extending higher order transit routes;
    • improving existing streets and establishing new streets;
    • providing complete streets;
    • capitalizing on the Ship Channel and Turning Basin for water-based transportation opportunities;
    • managing transportation impacts of growth on established, stable residential neighbourhoods;
    • providing innovative, state-of-the-art stormwater facilities; and
    • providing the needed capacity for other municipal servicing.

  • X
  • X

Advisory committees / working groups are being established for the different initiatives. These are smaller groups of interested community members which would provide  input on the different initiatives at key stages in the process.

Please advise if you would like to participate on an advisory committee / working group for any of the initiatives identified below and provide your contact information above.

  • X
  • X
  • X

The formal notice of any public meeting held by the City will be sent to:  property owners within 120m (400 feet) of the property; anyone submitting a written request to the City Clerk’s Office to be notified; and anyone entering their name on a Sign-in or Comments sheet provided at the Community Consultation Meeting.

The personal information on this form is collected under the authority of the City of Toronto Act, 2006, the Planning Act, and the City of Toronto Municipal Code.  The City collects this information to enable it to make an informed decision on the relevant issue(s).  Individuals who submit correspondence should be aware that any personal information in their communication will become part of the public record.  The City will make it available to the public, unless the individual expressly requests the City to remove the personal information.  Questions about the collection of this information may be directed to the Planner listed above.


My Submissions

(typo's were corrected - street address redacted - email robot-protected)

1. What do you see as the two or three key issues and/or opportunities that need to be addressed in the Port Lands Planning Framework?

CONNECTING THE PORT LANDS TO THE CITY - Connecting neighbourhoods with sustainable transportation models.

Leslie has been cut off from the Waterfront by three Box Store developments that rely on car traffic as part of their business model. These create high volumes of car traffic on a narrow street that prevent separated cycling infrastructure where it is needed because of (ironically) the volume of traffic.

The TTC Leslie Barns project extends these peak hours congestion.

The new Cement Plant at the East end of the shipping channel also adds to automobile traffic congestion by adding dangerous noisy heavy trucks to the mix.

These barrier conditions call for new roadways across the Grand Boulevard at Pape, Carlaw and Logan. This three-street area should be considered a Complete Streets corridor - with separate for pedestrians / separate of cyclists, fly-over bridges across the Shipping Channel. The new streets should accommodate a mass public transit corridor as well.

A place that through Complete Streets in neighbourhoods West, North and East of it, will connect the city to the Great Lake Ontario; a corner stone towards creating a liveable city - that would become a show-case for the Complete Streets transportation visioning for the entire Greater Toronto-Hamilton Region - and the world.

2. What types of land uses and/or character would you like the different areas in the Port Lands to have?

Lower Don Lands:
Mix of residential and commercial - service industries and knowledge work. Park Lands along the existing dock to expand park area around a naturalized Don River. Suggestion: Design around recreational fishing as an existing form.

Film Studio District:
Design Towards Biggest Film Studio in North America - big indoor Spaces and Sound Stages and ancillary businesses. Surround with Art, Design and Information Technology Schools and Colleges.

East Port:
Mixed residential / commercial area with Complete Streets that connect neighbourhoods to the Lake. Suggestion: Use Community Gardens as an existing form fdesigh parameter.

South of the Ship Channel:
Mixed Residential/Commercial with an accent on connectivity to the Waterfront - especially recreational cycling.

Existing forms: Urban Wilderness, Tommy Thompson Park (TTP); the Yacht Club; various recreational cycling forms; Martin Goodman Trail. Community Gardens.

Tommy Thompson Park users are 50% cyclists now (2012 data - TRCA. Road cyclists are currently using the Urban Wilderness to train on during the week - towards this subcultures' long, weekend, Group Road Rides. (See "Beaches Cycling Club" ... and many other such road-cycling clubs - a vast much-unknown subcultural reality.)

Add a Separated Cycling Training Track now (as TRCA doesn't want road cyclists training on the Park due to the sensitive habitat and trail user conflicts). Visioning a circuit the length of the Port Lands, separated by layers in depth, of staggered hedges. :)

Use the reality of this road biking, training infrastructure as an existing form in later phases.

[N.B. - I am on the TTP-User Group as a Cycling Representative; and a Cycle Toronto Ward 30 Captain; a commute cyclist, not a group road cyclist - done much research and outreach on this issue.]

3. Do the draft objectives reflect how you see the Port Lands developing? Provide us with your ideas and suggestions on how to improve these objectives.

[see Answer 1. and  2.]

4. Are there specific improvements that you would like to see in the South of Eastern area? Are there areas that you think need special attention?

Coming up with employment business models that do not rely on the car transportation model is key to creating and maintaining good connections between the city and the waterfront.

5. What types of businesses and economic activity would you like the City to promote in the South of Eastern area?

Business models that do not rely on the car transportation model. See Answer 2. subheadings for each area.

6. Do you think these problems and opportunities reflect the issues that need to be addressed in the Port Lands and South of Eastern area from a transportation and servicing perspective? Are there other problems and opportunities that should be considered?

Perhaps canal transportation! (Venice, Rotterdam...) Extend the water channel North and South from the shipping channel! Fascinating. Could redefine the entire vision.

OPTIONAL: Please PRINT name, address, and email:

Michael Holloway
Jones Avenue,
Toronto Ontario M4M 2Z8


Writing on this a lot, at Ward 30 Bikes BLOG:


Submitted by Michael Holloway - December 12, 2013 at 1:33am


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