Renovations to parking lot nearly complete

Parking lot
CLOSED FOR RENOVATIONS: This parking lot at Spadina Road and Thelma Avenue is being expanded and will reopen in late October.

If you’ve noticed an unusually high number of cars parked along local streets in Forest Hill Village this summer, there’s a good reason for that.

The Green P parking lot at Spadina Road and Thelma Avenue has been undergoing a facelift and expansion and according to the chair of the Forest Hill Village BIA, you may have to wait another two months before the lot officially reopens.

Peter McClelland says work on the lot is expected to finish at the end of October, but it will be worth the effort.

“(Residents) will be ecstatic,” he said. “Not only for the additional parking, which everyone’s been asking about for many years, but the appearance is going to be a great enhancement.”

The expansion will add an additional 12 spaces to the existing 43-space parking lot. It will also include green elements such as trees and landscaped bioswales that will redirect runoff from the city’s drainage system, said Lorne Persiko, Toronto Parking Authority president.

Instead of painted asphalt, the lot will be covered in paving stones, with narrower stones marking the parking spaces and concrete marking the edge of the lot.

The BIA will also be adding enhancements, including trees and benches, to the sidewalk next to the parking lot, McClelland said.

The current project, which began in mid-July, is the culmination of more than a decade of attempts to redevelop the site, most recently by members of the BIA, who proposed a two-level retail building with underground parking for up to 90 cars in 2013.

Forest Hill residents nixed that proposal during the community consultation process, Persiko said, making it overwhelmingly clear they wanted an expanded surface lot on the site.

The new parking spaces will be located on the former site of a house directly north of the lot, at 457 Spadina Rd., which TPA purchased for redevelopment in 2011, Persiko said.

“The only reason it didn’t get improved sooner was because the future of the lot was up in the air,” he said. “Now that we know where it’s going, everyone worked together — us, the BIA, and residents — in creating what I think is a great design.”