Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: While details for the proposed Corktown development are still preliminary, the province’s Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) proposal builds from the City of Toronto’s First Parliament master plan work, which includes a library, public open spaces and a mix of uses to meet the needs of the local community.
How will the First Parliament Master Plan work to date be incorporated as part of the redevelopment of this site, including affordable housing, parkland, and a library?
How will the local community be engaged as part of this “Transit-Oriented Community Program”?
Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The Province is working with the City of Toronto to develop a public engagement process to receive public input and review of the development proposal at Corktown in keeping with our commitment of the Ontario-Toronto Memorandum of Understanding finalized by both parties in January 2020.
Further details on the public engagement process will be communicated in the near future once the City of Toronto has finalized its review process. Our intent is to begin this important dialogue in Fall 2021.
Metrolinx will continue to consult with Indigenous communities about the potential impacts of the Ontario Line on Aboriginal and treaty rights.
Due to the pandemic, many small businesses have suffered or shuttered forever. How are local small businesses being considered, consulted, and supported as part of this transit expansion project?
Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx recognizes the importance of supporting businesses and jobs throughout the city, especially considering the challenging environment the pandemic has created for small businesses. Metrolinx is committed to ensuring local businesses stay accessible and successful throughout this important project, which will bring more people into and out of downtown to live, work and unwind.
Metrolinx will do this by partnering with Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and local businesses on shop-local initiatives as well as working with construction teams to keep access to businesses clear and to post signage and other promotional materials. Metrolinx will also stay in close contact with local businesses through open houses, construction liaison committees and community offices to allow for a free exchange of information between the public and Metrolinx staff.
What systems are in place to inform the community of local disruptions?
Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx knows that building transit can be disruptive, and we will work with our project partners to minimize impacts to the community as much as possible.
We provide advance notice to communities about work taking place in their neighbourhood through a variety of methods. Community notices are currently being shared digitally with area elected officials and community groups where work will be taking place. Physical copies may also be provided to residents and businesses near work areas, at minimum 48 hours ahead of work beginning.
Residents and businesses can also stay connected with the latest Ontario Line updates and upcoming work through the Ontario Line website. These same updates and details of upcoming work are also shared through the weekly Ontario Line e-newsletter. The Ontario Line Community Relations team, with access to project team members, is available directly by email, phone and through other electronic means including a virtual appointment booking system and our social media channels. When possible, in person meetings will also resume.
What consideration is given for the consolidation of land for public purposes given that the land which the City exchanged in order to put this parcel together if it ends up no longer in public ownership?
Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: Metrolinx identifies properties required to build the Ontario Line project based on technical requirements and acquires land only where necessary to support the project.
Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario, on behalf of the Province, are currently working with the City of Toronto and other stakeholders on the property discussions for the future plans on both the Ontario Line and the transit-oriented communities proposal.
Further details about the Corktown site proposal will be shared with the public for community consultation following review and input by the City of Toronto.
Metrolinx said there was an existing working group dealing with matters including heritage and archeological considerations. Who is on this panel, and what groups/
organizations do they represent?
Answer from Metrolinx: The First Parliament Working Group Metrolinx has established consists of representatives from Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario, the Ontario Heritage Trust, nine different City of Toronto departments, and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation.
How will Metrolinx/
IO ensure that consultation efforts reach a broad demographic of residents, including youth, marginalized groups and business owners?
Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: Community feedback is essential to the Ontario Line project and we will meet with Indigenous partners, community groups and members of the public, any time. As the project and designs advance, Metrolinx will share information through its website, blog, social media channels, newsletter, virtual open houses and meetings, and when safe to do so, in-person events and neighbourhood community offices. We will also be distributing flyers and project information to residents along the alignment. To ensure information and opportunities to provide input reach as many people as possible, Metrolinx will continue to share information with and through elected officials, Indigenous partners, community groups and Business Improvement Associations (BIAs). We welcome advice on how to improve our engagement efforts.
When will the public consultation take place?
Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: Metrolinx engages with the public at regular intervals and welcomes input on the project at any time. A series of virtual open houses were held in late April to provide updates and seek community feedback and more will be held in the spring of 2021. There will be further opportunities for consultation and engagement as the environmental and archaeological process related to the Corktown station and First Parliament site advances.
The Province is working with the City of Toronto to develop a public engagement process to receive public input and review of the transit-oriented communities development proposal at Corktown in keeping with our commitment of the Ontario-Toronto Memorandum of Understanding finalized by both parties in January 2020.
Following engagement and review by the City of Toronto, the Province will be engaging with the local community to gather feedback on the proposed plans to ensure they meet the needs of the community they will serve and with Indigenous partners to better understand their interest in the project. The Province intends to launch engagement in Fall 2021.
Why is community consultation happening after the date of purchase of sale?
Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: Public consultation is an ongoing process and Metrolinx welcomes input on the project at any time. As the Ontario Line project moves forward, Metrolinx will continue to provide regular opportunities for the community to learn more about it, ask questions and provide feedback, including open houses such as the ones hosted in April 2021. Additionally, the Ontario Line Community Relations team, with access to project team members, is available directly by email, phone, and through other electronic means including a virtual appointment booking system and our social media channels. When possible, in-person meetings will also resume.
On the long-term vision for the site, after review by the City of Toronto, the Province will be engaging with the local community to gather feedback on the proposed plans to ensure they meet the needs of the community they will serve. The Province will also engage with Indigenous partners to better understand their interest in the project. The Province plans to launch engagement in Fall 2021.
What assurances can be made to ensure accountability and transparency as well as including the community in the local planning process for any redevelopment?
Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The Province’s aim is to work with the City through a streamlined review process for our proposed Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) development concepts while maintaining stated project timelines. We are excited to begin that review process with the City of Toronto at the proposed Corktown station.
As per the Memorandum of Understanding with the City of Toronto, independent of the approval process necessary to advance TOC development, the Province has committed to engage and consult with both the City of Toronto, Indigenous communities, and the public around all TOC development proposals.