The Phase 2 What We Heard Report is now available. In case you missed our TOparks Talk: Growing Toronto Parkland panel discussion, you can watch it on the City’s YouTube channel.

 

The Parkland Strategy is a 20-year plan that will guide long-term planning for new parks and expansion and improved access to existing parks. It will aid in the decision-making and prioritization of investment in parkland across the city.

A city builds a park so that people can build community. We are globally known for our parks and natural environment. So as Toronto grows, our parks system must grow along with it.

However, there are gaps in the system; areas in the city where more must be done. And we must reinvest and re-invigorate our existing green space.

Toronto’s parks system is much more than official city parks; it includes open spaces, conservation lands, ravines, hydro corridors, schools and other privately owned, publicly accessible lands. We need to work together to ensure a liveable Toronto for today, and for future generations.

Background Review

Review what other municipalities are doing and what are trends in the parks sector.

Parkland Supply Approach

Develop a method to measure how much parkland is available to Torontonians.

Supply, Gaps and Needs Analysis

Inform the study by connecting with sector stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities and engaging with the general public to understand perceptions and gaps.

Phase 1 Reports

Preliminary analysis of City-wide parkland supply and distribution that will be used to understand scope, scale and location of parkland needs across Toronto. See Consultations & Reports for more information.

Review Park Planning Approach

Review and refine the park planning approach, including acquisition and development

Develop Policy Framework & Financial Strategy

Analyse legislative tools and policies that will enable targets and priorities to be met.

Consultation

Inform the study by re-connecting with sector stakeholders and the general public to test the proposed approaches to parkland planning.

Develop Implementation Strategy

Outline the requirements for success over the long term as well as the first five year monitoring period.

Final Report

Final report to guide long-term planning, prioritization and investment in parkland across the city.

Four principles support the Parkland Strategy vision by steering the work of City staff, Council members and other stakeholders as they implement the Strategy. These principles guide the policies and recommendations in the Parkland Strategy.

Expand the park system by creating new parks to support growth and address gaps to ensure a flexible, adaptable park system that will support the needs of a livable, diverse city.

Improve the function of existing parks to promote community cohesion, ecological sustainability, and health and wellbeing through active living, access to nature, and the provision of spaces for rest, relaxation and leisure.

Connect parks and other open spaces, physically and visually, and leverage opportunities so that people, communities and wildlife have abundant access to parks and can seamlessly navigate to and through the parks and open space system.

Include everyone by removing barriers so that parks and other open spaces are inclusive places and equitably accessible for people of all ages, cultures, genders, abilities and incomes.

Parks, Forestry and Recreation along with City Planning, have brought on a consulting team led by O2 Planning + Design Inc. and supported by Gladki Planning Associates, N. Barry Lyons Consultants and Hemson Consulting to develop the Parkland Strategy.

Parks Plan 2013-2017

City Council adopted the Parks Plan in 2013, which included a recommendation to update City’s parkland acquisition strategy. The Parkland Strategy will also update and address recent changes in the Provincial Planning Act and to adopt or amend parkland dedication policies.

Parks User Survey 2014

In 2014, the City of Toronto hosted an online public survey on park use to help us better understand how people use our parks and the way we think about, plan for and manage Toronto’s parks.

Ravine Strategy 2017

With population growth, new development and climate change putting increased pressure on ravines, the City of Toronto has developed a Ravine Strategy to guide the management, use, enhancement and protection of our ravines.

Facilities Master Plan 2016

The City of Toronto is developing a 20-year Facilities Master Plan to guide investment in parks and recreation facilities such as community recreation centres, ice rinks, and sports fields.

Dedication

The Ontario Planning Act establishes the authority for municipalities to require a “dedication” of lands to be used as publically accessible parkland as a condition of development or redevelopment of land under Sections 42 (development), 51.1 (subdivision) and 53 (consent).

Purchase

Instead of land dedication, the City can accept “cash in lieu” of land (CIL). CIL can be used for the acquisition of parkland and the development of park and recreation facilities. In addition, the City has a policy which distributes CIL funds between district-specific and city-wide priorities.

Transfer

Transferring parkland can occur when City-owned property must be transferred to allow for the implementation of a Council-approved direction (such as road widening or location of a special facility); or when a property is no longer required by an Agency, Board, Commission or City division.