The Yonge and Eglinton area may be getting a new park as North York Community Council has adopted a recommendation to turn land currently used as a pay parking lot into parkland.
On Sept 13, Community Council adopted a motion that recommends that the city’s official plan be amended to allow the land, located at 20 Castlefield Ave., and 565 and 567 Duplex Ave. to be redesignated to “parks and open space.”
The land, located behind the former Capitol Theatre, is currently home to a surface pay-parking lot run by the Toronto Parking Authority and contains 163 pay parking spaces. In June of 2018, the city received an offer from 2500 Yonge Street Limited
, owner of adjacent properties including the Capitol Theatre, to purchase 20 Castlefield Avenue and 567 Duplex Avenue and build a 21-storey mixed-use development. The sale of the lands was not approved by city council.
The city received a resubmission of the development application in November 2018. This proposed a 14 storey mixed-use building of 150 residential units and retail along Yonge St and would retain portions of the Capitol Theatre, which is a heritage building. This resubmission proposed a land exchange with the city, where approximately 650 square metres of the parking lot fronting Castlefield Avenue would be acquired by the applicant in exchange for the equivalent land area fronting Duplex Avenue.
In January 2020, the city planning division recommended that city council redesignate the parking authority lands not subject to the exchange to “parks and open space.”
The proposal is receiving mixed reactions from residents groups in the area.
Colle said the plan is to turn the space into what he calls a “music park”, and that it will be dedicated to Joni Mitchell.
“It’s going to have a little tiny sitting area amphitheatre, where people can sit and listen to musical performances. It’s going to have some sculptures and art dedicated to musical instruments,” said Colle, who said there will be community consultation regarding the park in the coming months.
The report is due to be considered by city council on October 1.