24 Hours Toronto - - News - ANTONELLA ARTUSO

A plan to even­tu­ally re­place a pop­u­lar east-end sub­way com­muter park­ing lot with a large-scale devel­op­ment has taken neigh­bours by sur­prise.

Cindy Be­man, who serves as board pres­i­dent of an ad­ja­cent con­do­minium, said no one in her build­ing re­ceived of­fi­cial no­tice of any re­de­vel­op­ment planned for the Vic­to­ria Park sub­way sta­tion park­ing lot — even though Build Toronto had posted on its site of­fer­ing the land for a new res­i­den­tial project.

“This is crazy,” Be­man said. “This is a com­mu­nity. We need to have com­mu­nity in­put.”

The Build Toronto web­site says 777 Vic­to­ria Park Ave., a 2.1-acre site, is cur­rently used as a park­ing lot and bus sta­tion.

“Given its lo­ca­tion, Build Toronto will be look­ing at in­te­grat­ing the ex­ist­ing TTC ser­vices and park­ing into a new res­i­den­tial devel­op­ment that will in­tro­duce new re­tail and com­mu­nity space into the neigh­bour­hood,” the site says. “We are also work­ing on in­te­grat­ing a new af­ford­able hous­ing pro­gram as part of the res­i­den­tial com­po­nent.”

When reached Fri­day, a spokesman for Build Toronto said they do not have “any im­me­di­ate plans” for the site.

But at a city coun­cil meet­ing last week where the par­tial clo­sure of the Wil­son sub­way sta­tion park­ing lot was dis­cussed, sev­eral coun­cil­lors raised the is­sue of qui­etly dis­ap­pear­ing com­muter lots.

City staff re­sponded that there is a strat­egy in place to grad­u­ally phase out some of this park­ing to en­cour­age sub­ur­ban res­i­dents to leave their cars at home and take buses to the sub­way.

As an added ben­e­fit, staff say, there would be more devel­op­ment around sub­way sta­tions.

A mo­tion by Coun­cil­lor John Camp­bell that would have re­quired the city to re­place any com­muter park­ing spots lost to devel­op­ment was shunted aside by the ma­jor­ity of coun­cil.

Be­man said the loss of the Vic­to­ria Park park­ing lot will flood nearby streets with ve­hi­cles look­ing for park­ing.

The lot is usu­ally full every work day, as are many of the com­muter lots in the city.

“There’s not a whole lot of street park­ing as it is,” she said. “Al­ready at our build­ing we ex­pe­ri­ence peo­ple who have gone to the park­ing lot, can’t find a spot, so they pull into our vis­i­tor park­ing spots.”

Be­man dis­agreed with one coun­cil­lor who said neigh­bours don’t like look­ing out at a mas­sive park­ing lot.

“I’d rather look at a full com­muter park­ing lot than to have an­other tall apart­ment build­ing there that’s go­ing to im­pact park­ing on the street, the vol­ume of peo­ple there,” she said. “I get on that sub­way every morn­ing to come down­town, I get on there any­where be­tween 7:30 and 8 o’clock, and it’s stand­ing room only al­ready.”

Be­man said she con­tacted the of­fice of lo­cal Coun­cil­lor Michelle Hol­land this past week for an­swers.

Hol­land could not be reached for com­ment Fri­day.


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