Group behind plan for 5-km long Green Line park aims for green light from Toronto
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A plan to create a five-kilometre long park running through midtown Toronto is gathering steam.
Park People, a local nonprofit group, has launched a campaign to build political momentum and get Torontonians on board with making the Green Line a reality.
“We want to show there is a groundswell of support to bring this idea to the city,” said Jake Tobin Garrett, the group’s manager of policy and research.
The Green Line is a cycling, running and walking path through a linear park that runs along the Dupont hydro corridor from Lansdowne Avenue to Spadina.
The land belongs to the provincial government and Hydro One leases it out for uses that don’t interfere with the power lines — like parking lots and city parks, Garrett said.
The line would start by linking a chain of six parkettes from Earlscourt Park to Dovercourt Road.
“The challenge in that area is even though those parks exist, there are not great connections between,” Garrett said. “There are some road crossings and disconnected pathways.”
Improving crossings between the parkettes and adding a few new ones in areas that aren’t already licensed to the city as parks would create a continuous trail, he said.
From Dovercourt, the hydro corridor runs in a straight shot east to Spadina, between the rail line north of Dupont and the CP rail line. That space is currently a mix of green space and parking lots.
It’s broken up by the underpasses for seven main roads from Dovercourt to Spadina that dip under the tracks. The plan is to build bridges that allow the path to continue over the roads so people can cross them without waiting for a break in traffic.
George Brown College, the Tarragon Theatre and the TTC all have parking lots in the east end of the hydro corridor that they need to keep using. There, the Green Line would continue through the lots.
Plans for the line have been in the works for three years since architect Helena Grdadolnik and her firm, Workshop Architecture, had a design competition to solicit ideas.
The next step is convincing city council to pay for a study that would outline options for creating the Green Line and get cost estimates, Garrett said.
“At the moment, city planning along the Green Line is done park by park by park,” he said. “What we need is a plan that can co-ordinate all of the elements needed to make the Green Line a reality.”
So far, many politicians including Mayor John Tory have expressed their support, but no money has been made available, Garrett said.