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On September 21, 2011, Toronto City Council unanimously approved a protocol asking for a fresh look at the challenges and opportunities of developing the Port Lands, including phasing options, higher-value interim and permanent uses, and private-sector involvement. Known as the Port Lands Acceleration Initiative, the protocol is looking at the Port Lands as a whole to see if the area can be developed in a more affordable and shorter term than the 20-to-30 year period originally envisioned. The core principles of flood protection, city-building and naturalization that have informed the Lower Don Lands and Port Lands work to date, will continue to guide the work of the acceleration initiative.

Since the September 21st Council meeting, Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and several other agencies have been working to develop an approach to completing the Port Lands Development and Implementation Plan. This work includes:

  • Further examining options for the Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Environmental Assessment within the EA’s terms of reference;
  • Identifying financial and policy tools, incentives, and delivery mechanisms that may enable development and offset or reduce the initial public sector investment for required infrastructure;
  • Exploring opportunities to increase private sector investment involvement; and
  • Ensuring that the plan delivers a great waterfront.

While building on the large body of work produced to date on the Port Lands and Lower Don Lands, the Project Team will also be taking a fresh and wide-ranging look at potential challenges and opportunities in accelerating development in the Port Lands. The Don Mouth Naturalization and Flood Protection Environmental Assessment (EA), currently on pause with the Ministry of the Environment, examined a number of options for a section of the Port Lands. These options, including the preferred option, will be further examined within the existing EA Terms of Reference as part of the acceleration initiative to see if the financing and phasing options can be better addressed to improve the prospects of this area.

To coordinate this process, a series of technical working groups have been set up to examine key issues including land use and design, infrastructure and constructability, and real estate development and financing. These technical working groups will be assisted by experts retained through competitive procurement processes and advice from civic leaders in fields such as urban planning and design, real estate development, economic development and investment.

An executive steering committee – consisting of senior staff from the City, Waterfront Toronto and TRCA has been established to guide the project, including a comprehensive public consultation process.

Please click here to view Project Documents in the consultation library.

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