June 20, 2016
City of Toronto holds exposition on downtown livability
The City of Toronto is inviting members of the public to drop by the TOcore Expo, a three-day event on building a livable downtown. The expo, which begins today and runs until Wednesday, June 22, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. each day, takes place at Metro Hall, 55 John St. (at King Street) in the rotunda on the ground floor. The expo is part of the City's TOcore: Planning Downtown initiative.
The TOcore Expo will showcase emerging directions of a comprehensive 25-year plan for the downtown core, providing the public an opportunity to comment on work underway.
“Over the past three months, Torontonians have been giving us their advice for downtown's future and we have been listening," said Chief Planner Jennifer Keesmaat. "Downtown is a key driver of this city's economy, and home to some of its fastest growing neighbourhoods. TOcore is working to ensure the downtown continues to thrive and meet the needs of residents, businesses and visitors with infrastructure such as quality parks, public spaces and facilities."
City staff have gained an understanding of people's live, work and play experience in the downtown. The TOcore Expo is an opportunity to loop back with Torontonians on how that advice has been woven into emerging policy directions.
Throughout the expo, staff will engage with visitors, answer questions and provide information on the TOcore planning initiative. The initiative is inter-divisional, and the following partner division heads will visit the expo to answer questions from the public on the future of downtown.
Tuesday June 21
3 to 4 p.m., Jennifer Keesmaat, Chief Planner, City Planning
Wednesday, June 22
11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Rob Cressman, Acting General Manager, Shelter, Support & Housing Administration
6 to 7 p.m., Mike Williams, General Manager, Economic Development & Culture
For those unable to attend the expo, the City has set up an interactive website http://www.toronto.ca/tocore where residents can watch a video, take part in a survey http://cityoftoronto.fluidsurveys.com/s/TOcore/, download an engagement toolkit, or try our innovative ‘avatar’ tool that prompts people to share their own lived experience about the downtown.
TOcore is a response to the rapid development and intensification of Toronto's downtown that is placing pressure on physical and social infrastructure. The City of Toronto is working to ensure its Official Plan is properly calibrated to the level of growth the downtown core is experiencing, with policies that can deliver on livability for current and future generations.
Downtown Toronto is defined as the area bounded by Lake Ontario to the south, Bathurst Street to the west, the CP Rail corridor and Rosedale Valley Road to the north, and the Don River to the east. The area is currently experiencing an unprecedented rate of growth. Since the 2011 census was completed, 50,000 people have moved into the area. Population projections estimate that downtown will grow from about 250,000 people today to a potential of 475,000 residents by 2041.
Toronto's downtown is critical to the health and prosperity of the entire city. It holds our largest concentration of jobs, with one out of every three Torontonians working in the core. It also plays many other important roles for the city such as being our largest retail concentration; home to four major post-secondary institutions; a hub for medicine; a centre of arts, culture, sports and entertainment; and a tourism destination.
The outcome of TOcore will be a secondary plan for the downtown and a series of strategies for parks and public spaces, community facilities, mobility, the economy, water infrastructure and energy. The initiative also includes a King Street Visioning Study, launched last week, to re-imagine our busiest surface transit corridor to move people more efficiently and create an engaging civic street.
Members of the public can also submit ideas and receive updates by text message. Text "TOcore" to 393939 to get started. Standard carrier charges will apply.
On social media, follow @CityPlanTO, and use #DTadvice when providing your advice for the downtown.
Toronto is Canada's largest city, the fourth largest in North America, and home to a diverse population of about 2.8 million people. It is a global centre for business, finance, arts and culture and is consistently ranked one of the world's most livable cities. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can visit http://www.toronto.ca, call 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, or follow us @TorontoComms.