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A two-acre lot at Yonge and Wellesley could house a new city park, or condo towers

A guerilla mural that popped up near the lot (Image: Facebook)

A prized two-acre piece of provincial land at Yonge and Wellesley is up for sale and councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam is fighting hard to keep condo developers’ hands off it. She, Toronto Centre MPP Glen Murray and city staff are negotiating with Infrastructure Ontario to try to buy the empty lot, so they can turn it into a park for tree-starved residents of the high-rise-heavy area. Although estimates put the lot’s worth between $30 million and $60 million, Wong-Tam believes the city can either swap city-owned land for it, or buy it outright using the parkland acquisition fund (which, ironically, receives millions from developers who prefer to pay cash in lieu of donating land for park space). A new downtown park would be great—especially if there were much-needed parking beneath it, as the Toronto Parking Authority has proposed. But the province is so cash-strapped, we guess it’ll be looking for the highest bidder (read: developers). [Toronto Star]

  • JAM

    As someone involved in the condo side of it, I really hope they find a way to make it a park. If its sold as a site its too good of an opportunity to pass up and there’s no point in just letting someone else do it.

    That said, the city should really find a way to keep it. That said, even a commericial or preferably a cultrural use would be preferable to ANOTHER condo tower in the area.

    Even though on a one-off basis it makes the city more money to sell it as a site, it might be the more prudent move in terms of the long term to keep it from being developed. At some point the downtown core is going to hit critical mass and find itself in the midst of an adjustment. If that happens it could be far more damaging than the loss of a single land sale.

 

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