Lo­cals op­pose plan for ramp into Rams­den Park

Annex Post - - NEWS - — SP

Signs protest­ing the cost and size of an ac­ces­si­bil­ity ramp planned for the Hills­boro Av­enue en­trance to Rams­den Park have popped up all around the neigh­bour­hood. Con­struc­tion is slated to be­gin Sept. 5, and some res­i­dents hope to de­lay it un­til al­ter­na­tive de­signs can be ex­plored.

The ramp is part of Phase 2 of a $7 mil­lion re­vi­tal­iza­tion ef­fort for Rams­den Park paid for with On­tario Plan­ning Act, Sec­tions 37 and 45 funds: money con­trib­uted by de­vel­op­ers in ex­change for ad­di­tional height or den­sity on new projects.

Coun­cil­lor Kristyn Wong-Tam, of Ward 27 Toronto Cen­tre–Rosedale, said the 14-acre park was in dire need of restora­tion work and there was sig­nif­i­cant de­sign con­sul­ta­tion back in 2014.

The ramp will cost ap­prox­i­mately $766,000 and will be in ac­cor­dance with the Ac­ces­si­bil­ity for On­tar­i­ans with Dis­abil­i­ties Act (AODA). It will have five switch­backs and will mea­sure 187 me­tres long and 2.1 me­tres wide. Ap­prox­i­mately 15 old trees will need to be re­moved be­fore its in­stal­la­tion.

Lo­cal res­i­dent Irina Stoian is the one re­spon­si­ble for post­ing signs on nearby trees protest­ing the ramp.

“I re­al­ized it was go­ing to be mas­sive and would dev­as­tate that whole green area on Hills­boro hill,” said Stoian.

Wong-Tam said city staff has iden­ti­fied all of the marked trees as ei­ther sick or in­va­sive species and noted they will all be re­placed three to one.

“We have to build city in­fra­struc­ture that is go­ing to be in­clu­sive to ev­ery­one,” Wong-Tam added.

Dave Nosella, project man­ager of cap­i­tal con­struc­tion at the City of Toronto, said staff re­cently met with con­cerned res­i­dents and de­cided to post­pone con­struc­tion un­til fur­ther con­sul­ta­tion could take place.

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