In our last blog post, we took a look at some of the ways that the Green Line would connect in with the parks, trails, and bike lanes that surround it. This week, we wanted to explore how the Green Line would create new green space in several neighbourhoods that are low in parkland.
Currently, the City scores parkland by using Local Parkland Assessment Cells that divide up the city into areas based on barriers, such as rail lines, ravines, and high-speed roads. They then measure the level of parkland within those cells compared with the population of that area to see where it falls. Areas that are low in parkland (shown in red and peach) are prioritized for parkland acquisitions. Areas that are dark green and light green are areas that are already well served by parks.
While this method doesn’t provide a complete picture of parkland needs (it’s based solely on space provided, rather than whether those spaces actually serve community needs, for example), it does give us an indication of where existing park space might not be enough to satisfy the needs of residents.
What’s immediately clear is that neighbourhoods in the city’s core and midtown area are the ones that are in most need of more park space. This isn’t surprising considering how many people live in these neighbourhoods, with some of them containing many high-rise towers packing more people together to share limited park spaces.
The Green Line, shown in light blue on the map above, travels through several neighbourhoods that are low in parkland, falling within the two lowest categories of amount of parkland in the city.
One of the benefits of the Green Line is that it would take existing small parks within the hydro corridor and create one linear park and trail by connecting these together. This would ultimately create a “larger” park by linking all these spaces together, much like knocking down the walls in a house creates a larger room from multiple smaller ones.
The map above, which shows the west portion of the Green Line from Earlscourt Park to Christie Street, illustrates how this could be done by filling in some of the gaps that exist between current parks.
This would not only create those connections between communities and allow people to travel through a green corridor, but it would also add much needed parkland to neighbourhoods that need it by building from the parks we already have.