May 13, 2021

By Jane Brown

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Toronto’s mayor says the decision by a provincial tribunal to side with a developer rather than the City of Toronto in a bid to build Rail Deck Park is deeply disappointing.

The ruling announced Wednesday by the Local Planning Appeals Tribunal (LPAT) says the city should not have rejected a proposal by the developer, Craft Acquisitions Corporation, to build a stretch of buildings and retail in the park space above a major rail corridor south of Front Street between Bathurst Street and Blue Jays Way.

But John Tory says creating an iconic park in the heart of the city has always been the right thing to do in the interest of the future of Toronto.

“Do you they are likely to say, gee, they built 15 or 20 more condo buildings, or do you think they’re likely to say they left a dramatically ugly rail corridor in place, or would they be more likely to say what made that city great and kept it great and kept it among the most livable cities in the world was they built a great globally admired iconic park for all of the people of Toronto and all the people who come to visit here,” Tory told reporters.

Mayor Tory went on to say that city staff are reviewing the decision and so he didn’t want to say anything that would jeopardize future actions the City of Toronto could take on behalf of the people of Toronto.

City of Toronto lawyers argued the developer’s proposal did not comply with the city’s planning standards, but the developers say the real reason their proposal was rejected was to preserve the park space.

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