Thumbs up to realm greening

The city has given the green light to greening up the centre of midtown Toronto.

Midtown in Focus, a comprehensive plan for improving public realm in the Yonge and Eglinton area, is the final result of a years-long project undertaken by councillors Josh Matlow, Jaye Robinson and Karen Stintz. It was adopted by city council in its August meeting.

All three councillors called the project “exciting” and said they were happy to see the thousands of hours of work and consultations finally come to fruition.

The plan includes improvements such as park redevelopments, redesigns of streets and the addition more public squares, slated to take place over the next 20 years.

“It’s rewarding,” Ward 16 councillor Stintz said. “We started this at the beginning of the term and now, at the final council meeting, we’re approving it.”

Robinson, Ward 25, called the plan “ambitious” and said it “gives midtown a sense of place.” That the area is divided between two different community councils can make for a “dog’s breakfast” when it comes to planning, she added.

“It’s such a great plan for that part of the city,” Robinson said. “It really gives the Yonge and Eglinton area an identity for the first time.”

Matlow, Ward 22, said he approached Stintz and Robinson with the idea at the beginning of the council term, hoping to find a way to make Yonge and Eglinton a “truly people-friendly community” after hearing from frustrated residents who wanted more done in the area while developments were on the rise.

“It is a plan that finally takes a holistic and comprehensive approach to improving the public realm in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood,” he said.

He called it an example of “substantive and important work that will genuinely improve people’s lives.”

Stintz said while the plan took years to come together it was still quick work for a project of this magnitude.

“It involved three councillors, two community councils, multiple residents associations and a vision for the centre of the city,” she said. “It’s inspiring.”

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Posted: Sep 5 2014 1:34 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto