In a historical move, the borders of downtown Toronto have just been redrawn. Last month, ahead of city officials’ Planning and Growth Committee meeting, documents were released indicating changes to the city boundaries. At the end of May City Council adopted the Downtown Plan Official Amendment Plan and its accompanying infrastructure strategies.
The changes come on the heel of TOcore, an initiative to create a new plan for the city’s downtown, starting by altering the boundaries and what is defined as the downtown area. The purpose of the new plan is to be able to alter infrastructure allowing a more efficient city that promotes long-term growth. Each of these strategies, focused around facilities, parks and public realm, mobility, energy and water, encourage the following:
- Allow officials to identify the most urgent and important areas of infrastructure development that need to be prioritized to foster city growth.
- Implement strategies in line with a long-term vision, supported by each strategy cohesively working together.
- Encourage communication and collaboration among each area of infrastructure to come together and facilitate changes for the better of the city as a whole.
As each infrastructure strategy offers an area in need of improvement, it will act as a clear way to identify challenges within the city and its future growth, and become an area of recommendation for improvement. The degree of impact on the functioning of the downtown core will be a big factor in determining how badly the proposed project needs to be completed, and help determine the timeframe and investment requirements to do it. As each infrastructure strategy offers projects for completion, the Downtown Amendment Plan will slowly come into fruition, offering clear areas of growth and development for the city.
The plan is only a small part of a 25-year vision for the city. It is designed to maintain Toronto as a “great place to live,” offering direction and guidance in maintaining the cultural, retail, civic, and economic heart of the downtown of Toronto. The plan offers a framework and proposal for how to facilitate the growth of a domineering city in a time of economic change, technological advancement, and continued population growth.