Wednesday, April 5, 2017

#EastHarbour Public Consultation to begin 2nd Quarter 2017

By Michael Holloway
Ward 30 Bikes,
First Gulf Public Consultation participant,
Port Lands Acceleration Initiative S.A.C.

Ward 30 Bikes has been involved in First Gulf's more than two years long Unilever lands (now branded EastHarbour) stakeholder consultation process. 

Looking west of Booth to the Core - Image: FirstGulf/EastHarbour -
This is the beginning of a development arc that will begin to change the southern environs of Ward 30 markedly - starting perhaps next year and continuing for the next thirty years (and beyond that in the east Port Lands near Leslie Street). 

Ward 30 Bikes has advocated for high quality separated cycling connections north-south and east-west as well as inside the precinct.

First Gulf sees Public Transit as key to the success of the development, as a road network can't possibly support the intensity visioned. Like the downtown core most people will arrive here (and get around here) mainly by public transit, bike or walk.

Toronto City Council approved the recommendations passed in the Feb 23, 2017 video below at their meeting about a month later. (Toronto City Council - March 28, 2017 - PG18.6 |

In the video below First Gulf presents it's vision for the 60 acre parcel of land east of the Don River mouth at Lake Shore Boulevard - to the Planning and Growth Management Committee of Toronto City Council.

Toronto City Council Planning and Growth Management Committee,
February 23, 2017 Item PG18.6 - Unilever Precinct Planning Study - Status Update - 21 Don Valley Parkway and 30 Booth Avenue - Zoning Amendment and Subdivision Applications - Preliminary Report.

(Video is coded to start at the item in question)

Residential construction north of East Harbour (StreetCar's massive Queen/Broadview development) and south (in the Port Lands - first at 'Villiers Island') will create a live-work City Centre that is sustainable and will (hopefully) be a model of modern City Building - with separated cycling infrastructure and with state-of-the-art intersection treatments (Complete Intersections1).

Unfortunately due to City Councils backward decision to rebuild the Gardiner Expressway (with subsequently revealed prodding from FirstGulf) there will likely be Gardiner Expressway to Don Valley Parkway ramps blighting westerly views from the site. Not to mention all the challenges which they will create for east-west people movement as well as the spoiling of the Lower Don Valley lands there for another generation.

The still unsolved flooding issues north of the Rail Berm (and around the back and into the East Harbour precinct via the Eastern Avenue underpass and a new Broadview underpass) is an opportunity to advocate to get the Don River out of the canal walls that it's in from Gerrard south to the rail berm.

Perhaps a naturalized flood plain (along with the planned widened Rail Bridge and a Naturalized Don River Mouth) could handle the 100+ year storm crest there?

Perhaps put the DVP on pontoons - float the highway?! ;)

Or ... narrow it to the width of Bayview?


1 Complete Intersection Video:
Protected Intersections For Bicyclists

Protected Intersections For Bicyclists from Nick Falbo on Vimeo.