Preserving Our Indigenous History

How will First Nations people be recognized as a part of the First Parliament Site?

Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: Metrolinx is aware of and appreciates that this project is occurring on the treaty territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation and has been working to build a meaningful relationship with the Nation.

How and who is the Province consulting with Indigenous stakeholders to address historical concerns about the impacts of colonialism?

Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: In 2018 Metrolinx made a commitment to building positive and meaningful relationships with Indigenous Peoples as part of its strategic objectives. Since 2019, the Indigenous Relations Office at Metrolinx has been working to build and grow relationships with Indigenous Nations, organizations and businesses across the Metrolinx operating areas. We are continually working with Nations to understand how we can better work together as we work to build a rapid transit network across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Heritage

Will the history of Corktown be part of the narrative of the First Parliament site?

Answer from CreateTO: During the consultation process for the Heritage Interpretation Strategy, many narrative threads were identified including the relationship of the site and its buildings to the surrounding area.  There was a definite interest in learning about the lives of the people (early settlers, residents, laborers, immigrants, etc) and how they lived so yes, Corktown was part of that narrative.

Can any future buildings replicate the original architecture or the character of the historic neighbourhood?

Answer from CreateTO: Yes, however, one of the Guiding Principles for the development of the First Parliament site is to have a design character that is sympathetic to the site's heritage and context but is contemporary and of its time.

How does the City include preservation of historical buildings and sites into new building contracts?

Answer from CreateTO: There are 3 parts to this answer: 

  1. Developments in private ownership that contain heritage resources are subject to conditions under the Ontario Heritage Act, the Planning Act, and sometimes a municipal heritage easement agreement, in addition to the provision of a letter of credit equal to the amount of the secured conservation. Commitments are also regularly referenced in other legal instruments (e.g. Section 37 agreements) and reference/drawings within the actual Zoning-By-law may be appropriate.
  2. Properties in municipal ownership are subject to designation and alteration conditions.
  3. Properties in provincial ownership are subject to internal provincial processes, standards, and guidelines, but are not required to obtain any municipal approvals or enter into any legal agreements.

First Parliament Site is of high civic and national importance. What plans are there to protect and/or investigate the archaeological heritage of the site prior to any work occurring?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx is currently putting together archaeological workplans for the First Parliament site that outline a path forward and identify opportunities to conserve and commemorate archaeological resources on site. We are working with licensed archaeologists and subject matter experts from the City, Ontario Heritage Trust, Infrastructure Ontario as well as the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation to ensure we are all aligned on the approach.

All plans will be reviewed and approved by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries before any work begins.
Metrolinx will be carrying out a thorough and complete assessment of the entire site, which will ensure that all archaeological artifacts and features are documented and conserved. Where possible, Metrolinx will endeavour to protect archaeological features in-situ.

Archaeologists and Indigenous Community Field Liaisons will investigate the site beginning in the Summer of 2021 before construction begins.

How will the site’s rich history be honoured and addressed? How is the preservation of historical sites and buildings incorporated into the planning process and are historical bodies/groups consulted?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolix: The city-block between Berkeley Street and Parliament Street on the South side of Front Street East, also known as the site of First Parliament, is currently tenanted by a parking lot, a car dealership and a car wash, and has been used intensely for private and industrial purposes for over a century.

Metrolinx will consult with the City, the Ontario Heritage Trust, heritage experts from Infrastructure Ontario, the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and Indigenous Nations to develop a Heritage Interpretation and Commemoration Plan that profiles the rich history of this site.

The City of Toronto along with its partners and stakeholders have already built out a robust Heritage and Interpretation Strategy for this site. Metrolinx intends to use this work as the foundation for the overall interpretation and commemoration strategy for this site.

Metrolinx has established a First Parliament Working Group consisting of representatives from the province, Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario, and the Ontario Heritage Trust, as well as nine different City of Toronto departments, the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, and Waterfront Toronto.

In addition, the Metrolinx Ontario Line project team has started working with Indigenous communities to coordinate the involvement of Indigenous Community Field Liaisons in the archaeological assessments process.

Partners will have a deeper understanding of commemoration opportunities once archaeological work gets underway and we begin to understand what type of features and artifacts exist.

Archaeologists will investigate the site beginning in the Summer of 2021 before construction begins so that any historical artifacts can be documented and conserved.

The First Parliament Working Group will advise the Province on appropriate commemoration for the history and artifacts that may be uncovered at the site within the proposed Corktown Transit-Oriented Communities development.

Infrastructure Ontario looks forward to receiving input from the Working Group on cultural heritage commemoration that could be incorporated into a future Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) market offering of this site once all required approvals are in place.

How will the proposed developments reflect the current historic architecture and character of the St Lawrence Neighbourhood, Corktown, and Distillery communities?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The Province will be consulting heritage and architectural experts on the design of the development.

The Province is looking forward to receiving input from the City on how architectural and design requirements for the area can be incorporated into open market offering documents for the site.

Following 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 and plan to launch engagement in Fall 2021.

How does Metrolinx/IO intend to ensure the Ontario Heritage Trust-owned portion of the site is protected?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx is committed to working with the Ontario Heritage Trust on all steps of the archaeological process as well as a heritage interpretation and commemoration plan for the entire First Parliament site.

Some excavation will be required on this site to support construction of the future Corktown Station. However, no construction activity will begin until all archaeological assessments are completed, including uncovering any archaeological features or artifacts that may be present. Wherever possible, Metrolinx will strive to conserve these features in the places they are found.

All archaeological work will be done according to the standards and guidelines laid out by the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and all plans will be reviewed and approved by the Ministry before any archaeological work begins.

Who will be leading the heritage interpretation and commemoration plan for the First Parliament Site?

Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: The Corktown site is required for subway construction of the Ontario Line and is also the site of a proposed transit-oriented communities (TOC) development that will support local transit needs.  Metrolinx and the Province plan to work with the City of Toronto, Indigenous partners, and the local community to raise the profile of the site in downtown Toronto where Upper Canada’s first parliament buildings used to stand. While the site is now mostly occupied by a parking lot, a car rental dealership, and a car wash, we want to make sure that any history hidden under the surface is interpreted and commemorated as part of the Ontario Line design.

Archaeologists will investigate the site beginning in the Fall of 2021 before construction begins so that important features and artifacts can be documented and conserved. As archaeological work gets underway and we begin to understand what type of features and archaeological resources exist, the First Parliament Working Group will advise the Province on appropriate commemoration for the history and artifacts that may be uncovered at the site within the proposed Corktown Transit-Oriented Communities development. 

Through the First Parliament Working Group, Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario will be working with representatives of the City, the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Indigenous Nations including the Missisauagas of the Credit First Nation as treaty holder, and Infrastructure Ontario to guide the archaeological and commemorative process. This includes the development of a robust Heritage Interpretation and Commemoration Plan for this site which builds on the Heritage Interpretation Strategy and the Master Plan work led by the City and reflects the community’s input. 

Infrastructure Ontario looks forward to receiving input from the Working Group on cultural heritage commemoration that could be incorporated into a future Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) development. 

Can the province ensure their intent for the archaeological preservation components to be made more substantial as part of a museum/cultural site worthy of its historical significance?

Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: Metrolinx has established a First Parliament Working Group consisting of representatives from Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario, and the Ontario Heritage Trust, as well as nine different City of Toronto departments and the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation. In addition, the Metrolinx Ontario Line project team has started working with Indigenous communities to coordinate the involvement of Indigenous Community Field Liaisons in the archaeological assessment process.

Once archaeological work gets underway and we begin to understand what type of features and artifacts exist, partners around the First Parliament Working Group will advise the Province on appropriate interpretation and commemoration for the history and artifacts that may be uncovered at the site within the proposed Corktown Transit-Oriented Communities development. 

Infrastructure Ontario looks forward to receiving input from the Working Group on cultural heritage commemoration that could be incorporated into a future Transit-Oriented Communities (TOC) development.

Where are the archeological findings stored and where will they become public?

Answer from Metrolinx: Archaeology work will be done to identify cultural remains or heritage elements that can be conserved, protected, and commemorated, as appropriate. All artifacts and features will be cataloged and documented by qualified licensed archaeologists.  

Archaeological teams will draw from their professional knowledge and experience to determine the best way forward for any archaeological materials uncovered, while following all relevant legislation, standards, and guidelines. Monitors from Indigenous Nations will be invited to participate in all archaeological work to ensure any Indigenous archaeological resources present are treated in a culturally sensitive manner. 

Metrolinx will consult with the City, the Ontario Heritage Trust, heritage experts from Infrastructure Ontario, the Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries and Indigenous Nations to develop a Heritage Interpretation and Commemoration Plan that profiles the rich history of this site, building on the robust Heritage and Interpretation Strategy for this site, which was developed by the City and community.

Community Engagement

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?

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 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.

IO/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.

Master Planning Process and Outcomes

What plans do CreateTO have to have inclusive and transparent community consultations with local stakeholders?

Answer from CreateTO: The City and CreateTO have held a number of community consultations since 2018.  We plan to continue to engage with the community and local stakeholders. Get involved!

Is the newly proposed cycle track on the Esplanade and Mill Street still happening?

Answer from CreateTO: Optimizing connectivity and extending the cycling and pedestrian path along the Esplanade through the First Parliament site are two key Planning Strategies in the Master Plan. City staff are working with Metrolinx on maintaining separate bikeway and pedestrian connectivity through Parliament Square Park and the First Parliament Site.  Details are still in development. This has benefits for Metrolinx in that providing a cycling bypass to their construction further north allows for continued connectivity through their construction project.

The downtown core is in need of more green space. Is a public park being considered as part of the Master Plan?

Answer from CreateTO: Yes. One of the Guiding Principles recognizes that the First Parliament is a valuable public asset and as such, should be developed to meet the growing needs of the population.  A public park is in keeping with that Principle.  

Transit-Oriented Community Program

Which developers are you working with for both blocks?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The Province will be bringing these properties to open market via the transit-oriented communities program to find a suitable development partner following city review and public consultations for a final site proposal.

How much affordable housing is being proposed in total?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: Design plans are still under development but the current proposed development concept for the site includes residential development. Further details about the Corktown site will be forthcoming once further analysis and consideration of input from discussions between the City and Province have been advanced, including details around community amenities and opportunities for affordable housing.

Through the development review process, details around community amenities, including affordable housing, will be formed through meaningful input and dialogue with the City and community.

How much community space is being proposed in total?

Answer from Instructure Ontario: Design plans are still under development but the current proposed development concept for the site includes residential development and community space. Further details about the Corktown site will be forthcoming once further analysis and consideration of input from discussions between the City and Province have been advanced, including details around community amenities and opportunities for affordable housing.

What public consultation is planned to discuss zoning by-law matters such as height, setbacks, tower separation distances, streetwall heights, etc.?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The release of the development proposal to the City and Councillor is the first step in soliciting input on these matters. Following their initial review, the transit-oriented community concept will be amended and brought for community consultation and input.

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 Memorandum of Understanding finalized by both parties in January 2020. The proposed early design concept includes mixed-use spaces with careful consideration for compatibility with the surrounding area.
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.

What is the planned timeline for approvals and construction?

Answers from Infrastructure Ontario: Timing for approvals is currently under discussion with the City. Construction on the transit-oriented community development will begin after the site is no longer required for transit construction.

Is IO’s plan to seek a Minister’s Zoning Order, or to seek approval through City Council?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The Province’s aim is to work with the City through a review process for our proposed transit-oriented communities 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.

What will happen regarding these plans and ownership should the Ontario Line not proceed? Can the lands revert back to the City?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx: The Province is committed to building the Ontario Line and is making significant progress on procurement.

Metrolinx remains committed to getting this critical transit project built. Early works for the project are beginning in 2021, and procurement for the major constructions contract for the southern portion of the Ontario Line is currently in market.
Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario, on behalf of the Province, are currently working with the City of Toronto and other stakeholders on the future plans for the site regarding both the Ontario Line station and the transit-oriented community proposal.

Site Location and Construction

What is the reasoning for placing the station on the First Parliament site, and not the empty lot on the southeast corner?

Answer from Metrolinx: In order to reduce community impacts and keep construction off the street, the First Parliament Site will be used to support construction of the Ontario Line. The empty lot on the other side of the street is not adequate in terms of location and size to support construction needs for the Ontario Line alignment, which include tunnel boring activities and station construction

Why is expropriation necessary?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx makes every effort to come to an amicable agreement with each property owner and provide a fair compensation based on market value. Expropriation is a tool used as a backstop only to ensure that required properties are delivered on time to maintain the project schedule and deliver the transit that Toronto needs so badly.

Why can the site not be leased from the City and returned?

Answer from Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario: The site requires extensive work to prepare it for its future use, including archeological work that is seasonal in nature and must be advanced this fall.

Much of the work at the site will involve substantial remediation of contaminated soil before any major construction begins, and Metrolinx will be assuming the significant costs of performing this extensive and sensitive work. Metrolinx cannot responsibly incur these costs or exercise the degree of control required to effectively remediate the issue unless it owns the land.

Negotiating license agreements for the work required would also add considerable time to the project schedule and may introduce administrative processes that will delay the extensive preparations that need to be completed in a relatively short period of time.

Furthermore, the province is pursuing a transit-oriented community proposal for the site that would create a dynamic community with housing, jobs, commercial uses, and community spaces, such as a library – all connected to the Ontario Line subway and TTC bus and streetcar services. In recognition of the historical significance of the land, the province will work closely with the City of Toronto, stakeholders, the community, and Indigenous partners to collaborate on a meaningful plan to commemorate the rich heritage of Canada's First Parliament site. This will have the benefit of delivering much-needed infrastructure at a lower cost to taxpayers.

The section of the Ontario Line on the north/west side of the rail corridor from East Harbour to Gerrard is already proposed to be above ground.

How does this change east of East Harbour affect the line and its construction methods from East Harbour to Corktown Station?

Answer from Metrolinx: The refinement in the rail corridor between East Harbour and Gerrard is being advanced to protect more park space and slim down permanent infrastructure requirements.

The area around the future Corktown station will be used as a tunnel boring machine launch site for the Ontario Line. As a result of the refinement, the Lower Don Bridges and the tunnel portals in the Don Yard (GO staging area west of Cherry Street) have been updated to reflect the Ontario Line running in the north/west of the existing rail corridor. In this area, we continue to work with the Toronto Region Conservation Authority to ensure we are coordinating with the many flood mitigation and City-led projects.

Can this station be called “First Parliament”?

Answer from Metrolinx: The current station names are working names only and with the support of a naming protocol we have developed, Metrolinx is looking forward to a community engagement process to select final station names for the Ontario Line

How will this transit line connect to the future Waterfront Transit/East Bayfront Streetcar/LRT?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx is working with the TTC and City of Toronto to explore opportunities to integrate both transit projects and create the best possible customer experience.

Who prepared the proposed development plans, and renderings, for the First Parliament Site that Infrastructure Ontatrio submitted April 12th?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: Support for this submission was provided by the Ontario Line Technical Advisor (OLTA) consortium. The OLTA is comprised of experienced technical advisors in fields such as engineering, urban planning, project management, procurement and delivery, stakeholder management, environmental sustainability, and safety.

Why does the Province seek to expropriate the lands? Why can they not proceed with ownership for the majority of the site remaining in the City’s hands?

Answer from Metrolinx and infrastructure Ontario: The Corktown site is required for subway construction of the Ontario Line to support the local transit needs of the community. All of these lands are necessary for transit construction. 

There are a few reasons why owning the land makes sense. The site requires extensive work to prepare it for its future use, including construction. The archeological work is also seasonal in nature, so it must be advanced this fall. Much of the work at the site will also involve substantial remediation of contaminated soil before any major construction begins, and Metrolinx will be assuming the significant costs of performing this potentially extensive and sensitive work. Metrolinx cannot responsibly incur these costs or exercise the degree of control required to effectively remediate the issue unless it owns the land. Negotiating license agreements for the work required would also add considerable time to the project schedule and may introduce administrative processes that will inhibit the extensive preparations that need to be completed in a relatively short period of time.

Government has made tremendous progress on transit, but we still have a long way to go and the GTA needs this subway and the benefits of transit as soon as possible. Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario will continue to work hand-in-glove with the City of Toronto as our plans move forward.

How and when was this site/area selected as a station for the Ontario Line?

Answer from Metrolinx: The station serving Corktown was included in the Ontario Line Initial Business Case, released in July 2019. The Corktown Station will be an important landmark on the Ontario Line, with connections to surface routes, bringing growing neighbourhoods east of the downtown core into the subway system. The station will be located on the north side of Front Street at Berkeley Street. The station will serve 26,400 residents living within a comfortable 10-minute walk, in areas including the Distillery District, St. Lawrence Market, the West Don Lands, and Regent Park.

Is there a process to place conditions on the future uses of the site that protect long-term community interests?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: The province and the City of Toronto both recognize the importance of accelerating the delivery of critical transit and transit-related infrastructure. 

Now that we have engaged city staff and elected officials, the Province is eager to further develop the proposed Corktown design concepts. The Province looks forward to receiving the City’s feedback. 

As envisioned under the Toronto-Ontario Memorandum of Understanding on Transit-Oriented Development, Ontario is working with the City to ensure we are able to get transit, housing, and job benefits to the people sooner, while still ensuring municipal and public engagement and transit service delivery commitments are met. This is of the utmost importance.

How far below ground level is the Subway track level anticipated to be below the First Parliament site etc? If different, how deep will the tunnels be?

Answer from Metrolinx: The Ontario Line platforms will be approximately 25-30 meters beneath the surface at Corktown station. The exact depths will be confirmed by the winning bidder of the South Stations, Tunnels and Civils contract.

Would any redevelopment of the site occur after the Ontario Line station is constructed and the tunneling completed?

Answer from Infrastructure Ontario: Work towards a potential transit-oriented community at Corktown Station is ongoing with the City of Toronto. After many months of work on the proposed Corktown transit-oriented community development concept, which considered and incorporated key elements from the City of Toronto’s First Parliament Master Plan, the Province was pleased to announce in April 2021 that the proposed Corktown Transit-Oriented Communities development concept was submitted to the City of Toronto.

Will the announcement about moving all of the Ontario Line to the north side of the rail corridor east of the Don affect construction methods & exact alignment in the area of First Parliament Station?

Answer from Metrolinx: No, it will not affect any of the plans for this area.

Is there any risk that soil contamination on the First Parliament Site can threaten nearby residential areas?

Answer from Metrolinx: Metrolinx will be completing soil investigations at the Corktown Station early works site, as project planning progresses, to properly characterize the soil and identify any potential contamination prior to construction. Any contaminated soil that may be encountered by this project will be confined to the limits of the project footprint. 

All excess soil will be disposed of in compliance with the Ontario Regulation 406/19 (On-Site and Excess Soil Management), and mitigation measures will be in place to minimize the spreading of contaminated materials. Mitigation measures will include but are not limited to, dust control, dust suppression (e.g., application of water), and stockpile management to ensure soils are protected from wind exposure and further cross-contamination. Other mitigation measures such as remedial action plans, risk assessments, and risk mitigation plans for encountering contamination will also be developed, as necessary. 

The City’s Relationship with the Province of Ontario, Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario

What protections or legal options does the City have should Metrolinx and the Province of Ontario choose not to collaborate with the City and its partners in the development of the First Parliament site?

Answer from Transit Expansion Office: The City of Toronto has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Province related to Transit-Oriented Community (TOC) projects.  We have agreed to work in partnership to shape Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) proposals, and have been working to clarify a more detailed process regarding how we will work together.  The Province has indicated its desire to work together and to respect City planning objectives, but the option always remains for the Province to act alone.  With recent legislative changes made by the Province, the Province has much broader authority to move ahead without the City's agreement.

If Bill 245 is approved, can the City appeal the Expropriation Order from Metrolinx?

(Referred to City Legal)

Does the City of Toronto have a plan or position should the Province choose to issue a Minister’s Zoning Order (MZO) for the site?

Answer from Transit Expansion Office: As noted in question 1, the City of Toronto may not be able to stop the Province from issuing an MZO.  In general, our approach is to try to work with the Province on TOC proposals to shape them to meet City planning, design, and community-building objectives.  With regard to Corktown, the Province has indicated a willingness to develop the City in a manner consistent with the City's Master Planning objectives.  We are engaging with the Province to try to influence the design of the sites in Corktown to find a shared vision.  If the Province were to choose to issue an MZO, the City would hope to influence it as much as possible to avoid problems with the final design.  Should the Province choose to act unilaterally, City staff would look to Council for direction on how to respond.

How can the City preserve the First Parliament site in collaboration with the development of the Ontario Line?

Answer from Transit Expansion Office: The City's Master Plan for First Parliament also recognized the possibility of some development on the site, although the nature and scale of the development the City has considered is significantly different and smaller than what the Province has initially proposed.  The Province appears to be including some elements of the Master Plan in their thinking.  City staff will continue to advance the City's objectives in all discussions.

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