This morning, the Toronto Entertainment District BIA unveiled their â€œMaster Planâ€ to redevelop much of the downtown core. From Queen to the Gardiner, and from Spadina to Union Station, the BIA states their large transformation will be guided by several main principles; the preservation of historic buildings, the promotion of local businesses and tourism, and the enhancement of streetscapes, open areas, and livable pedestrian environments.
Looking at the renderings, it’s easy to agree with most of what’s promised. However, the plan lacks in completely car free spaces, but does suggest creating several pedestrian friendly plazas, hinting at the following locations:
• The south terminus of the proposed John Street Promenade.
• The north side of Rogers Centre and the base of the CN Tower.
• Along Bremner Boulevard between Navy Wharf Court and the Rogers Centre.
• At the north and south entrances to Union Station.
• At the north-west and south-west corners of Metro Square
• Two potential small-scaled plazas associated with new developments at the north-west corner of John and Front Streets and on Nelson Street between Duncan and Simcoe Streets.
John Street rendering
The plan also refers to the importance of maintaining height restrictions, improving street furniture, installing a significant amount of public art, and sustainable design practices. In other words, everything you would expect it to. Although their isn’t guaranteed funding for this project and nobody would agree to a final dollar figure, Councillor Adam Vaughan explained that the project will be an ongoing one, and that funding will likely come from a variety of sources over time.
At the end of his speech, Councillor Vaughan suggested that this effort, along with returning Adelaide and Richmond streets back to two-way traffic, will restore the creativity and economic vibrancy that once characterized this part of the city.
Photos of panels by Shaun Merritt