Locals oppose plan for ramp into Ramsden Park
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.