With the start of a City-initiated study of the Green Line this year and money budgeted for improvements, the future 5km linear park and trail is set to take a huge leap towards reality in the next three years. Park People put together a video highlighting the project’s potential.

 

Since Park People began its work on the Green Line in early 2014, we have advocated for connecting the pieces along this hydro corridor into a cohesive linear park and trail (and we’ve just made a video talking about it!). The Green Line run corridor runs between Landsdowne and just east of Spadina, in a hydro corridor north of Dupont St. We didn’t propose specific designs, but instead called on the City to initiate a study that would engage communities along the route and set out a master plan for how the linear park and trail would look.

We’re excited to announce that we are a partner with the City on the Green Line Implementation Plan, which will be carried out this year by an amazing consultant team headed by local design firm DTAH. DTAH has worked on other notable public space projects like the Queen’s Quay Revitalization, Evergreen Brickworks, and the Lower Don Trail.

Workshop Architecture’s Helena Grdadolnik is also a consultant team member, leading community engagement. Helena has worked for years on the Green Line, running the initial ideas competition back in 2012 that sparked people’s imagination about what the corridor could become. She’s continued as a champion of the Green Line in the years since, including working with Park People and StreetART Toronto to create a gateway Green Line mural at Dovercourt and Geary in 2015.

The study will look at the length of the corridor from Earlscourt Park to just east of Spadina Road to identify opportunities for connections, new green spaces, and creating a continuous trail. It will also propose some high-level designs and priorities for moving forward. A community consultation process will engage with the many local communities along the line to discuss what the Green Line should be and how it could best serve them as their local park space.

The Green Line Implementation Plan consultant team (DTAH, Workshop Architecture, Dillon Consulting, Toni Paolasini, ASI Heritage and A.W. Hooker) had this to say about the study:

This exciting project aims to deliver one of Toronto’s great places. Our city alongside many others in North America have turned to their own ‘left over’ spaces to create wonderful linear parks such as Chicago’s 606 and Atlanta’s Beltline. Similar to the Green Line, these examples have grown from ideas generated by the local community, capturing the imagination of their respective cities at large, connecting neighbourhoods, and enhancing civic pride. A great deal of public engagement has already taken place to develop the current vision, and now the community is interested in action. The Implementation Plan project will commence in January 2017 and work closely with the Green Line stakeholders to deliver a truly signature public space in our city.

But a plan is one thing and having money to put that plan into action is another. Luckily, the Green Line has both!

The proposed 10-year capital plan for the City, contains nearly $1.5 million for the Green Line. This includes money for carrying out the Green Line Implementation Plan study, but also $800,000 for design and construction of some of the elements that will be identified in the Plan, mostly to be spent in 2019, and $300,000 in 2017 to construct a new community garden along the Green Line just east of Christie Street.

While this money certainly won’t pay for the entire Green Line, it’s an important first investment in making improvements to green spaces and connections along the corridor.

All in all, 2017 is going to be a very exciting year for the Green Line. Thank you to everyone who has supported this project, whether it was sending an email with your thoughts, coming to an event, sharing a story at one of our walks, or donating money—it’s because of your support that the Green Line linear park and trail is becoming a reality. And a big thanks to local councillors, the Mayor and Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff for driving this critical green infrastructure project forward. Also, to TD Bank Group, who has supported The Green Line from the start.

Stay tuned for opportunities to get involved in upcoming events and programming from Park People on the Green Line, but also in the public consultation process for the Implementation Plan. We’ll be sending out regular updates and information on how to get involved.