Kraylin

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That amount of funding would be good for generating reports/plans, not much by the way of actual physical output.

AoD
That amount of funding will barely cover just considering hiring someone and as it rises slowly it will only pay for updating the last study. Sadly we are quite a few years from any actionable data...
 

Northern Light

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So.....while we've been watching the right hand (The City); the left hand (the TRCA) has also been at work re-thinking the Islands, with a different pool of money. Their project, the
Toronto Island Park Flood & Erosion Mitigation Project will have to coordinate with the City's efforts extensively as they overlap almost completely.

That project has a website, here:


The work to substantially reduce flood risk on the Islands will involve very extensive work, including extensive shoreline reconstruction, and raising the majority of roadways on the Islands as well.

On the website, they present a number of conceptual options for how to achieve this.

Advance warning, with one exception, there are no pretty renders, just technical drawings. If you ever wanted to know how to build a revetment..... (well these aren't the working drawings, but it would be a fine place to start!)

That said, There is alot of information, albeit organized in a less that ideal way, which those of you keenly interested in the Islands may wish to digest.

There are also surveys (short, based on ranking the concept options), with a simple box to add additional comments to your ranking.

To see the concepts click 'Learn More' scroll down the page where you will see the 'study areas'; and click on each one to see a presentation (video) with some slides extracted describing the possible changes in those areas.
Once you know which way is up, should you wish, click through to take the survey(s).

FWIW, In general, I agreed with the choices the TRCA ranked as 'High' with the exception of a Ward's Island option where I preferred the medium-rated 'Concept 3'.

In general I chose the option that I thought offered the best potential ecologically, and in the case of Wards Concept 3, also recreationally.

I also suggested in each survey that the opportunity be looked at to enhance adjacent habitats at the same time, seeing as there would be a large project (and disturbance) under way, and it would be more cost-effective to group related works.
 

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Dinamo5

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I know there has been some disagreements here as to if a bridge to the Island should be made or if it can etc. Just a thought was in Montreal recently and was able to get to the the islands with out, taking a ferry or having to swim, what an interesting concept. Whether it be a bike/walking bridge or one for cars seeing on how Montreal does it we can definatley learn something from them, constant access to nice parts of the city, doesn't mean the ferry disapears.
 

AlvinofDiaspar

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The panels are available on the city website:


Focus Areas:


AoD
 

Northern Light

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The panels are available on the city website:


Focus Areas:


AoD

I will post them when I get a chance, if no one beats me to it. They are mostly pretty unremarkable and lack sufficient specificity to be all that interesting/useful, but they do give one a solid sense of where the plans will head.

So far, I'm broadly ok w/them. There is certainly to be some additional space for nature/re-wilding, some renewal of Avenue of the Islands, enchanced 4-season viability and a few other things to boot.

Where I see deficiencies of one sort or another, under the pretense of reconciliation /supporting native plants, it appears the major water features/fountains along Avenue of the Islands will be nixed, notwithstanding our City's woeful
maintence of such features, I think we have too few grand sculptural fountains and would loath to support their wholesale removal.

I also think there may be too many pathways leading through ecologically sensitive area. Anytime you introduce people and break up a habitat space that's a harm. I do like walking through such spaces and get the need for balance; I'm not sure the balance here is correct.

There is also a lack of detail on how key ideas might work, including the idea of an Island Tram. Assuming that tram would run along the road/trail system, we need to talk about trail/road width, vehicle width, residual space (how much room on the path is there for pedestrians/cyclists when a Tram is passing?; and how do two Trams pass one another?

I get that the City will feel some of that should fall to future detailed design; but if you don't work out the broad parameters early, you may need re-do early works when they don't fit with later plans. People may also object when they see the impact of certain choices.
 

Northern Light

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First a quick thanks to @interchange42 for consolidating recent posts here.

Now, I will add some detail from the focus areas. The renders are nothing to write home about, but the ideas discussed are of consequence.

First Up Hanlans Landing: (Hanlans Ferry Dock and associated spaces)

1669994924571.png


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1669995005715.png


Hanlan's Point:

1669995060431.png


1669995086043.png


Hanlan's Beach/Shoreline:

1669995143769.png


1669995165794.png


Gibraltar Point:

1669995215960.png


1669995250203.png

1669995290779.png

Gibralter Beach:

1669995319608.png


Centre Beach:

1669995359952.png


The balance to a future post.
 

Towered

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I love the idea of an island tram to make getting around this very large park much easier. I'd love to see it take the form of a historic streetcar - just imagine how cute it would be to ride back and forth in a Peter Witt.
 

ADRM

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Super meh, which to be honest I'm not surprised is the product here. DTAH are fine to give you a perfectly acceptable space, but they're never going to bring you big, grand ideas of the scale that could genuinely transform the quality of and access to this space.

This would be a fine plan -- and DTAH would be a good choice -- if the project here was just a regular, sort of housekeeping-plus approach to bringing up the Island to some sort of state of good repair and public realm design, but that's not really how this work was positioned. The Island is such a special place and such a unique resource that I think it deserved a much grander vision than this firm could be hoped to deliver.

What we have here instead appears to be the sort of niggling at the edges of stuff that cities that care more about the public realm would've done over the years as a matter of course, rather than the outcome of a yearslong visioning and consultation process.
 

Northern Light

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Super meh, which to be honest I'm not surprised is the product here. DTAH are fine to give you a perfectly acceptable space, but they're never going to bring you big, grand ideas of the scale that could genuinely transform the quality of and access to this space.

This would be a fine plan -- and DTAH would be a good choice -- if the project here was just a regular, sort of housekeeping-plus approach to bringing up the Island to some sort of state of good repair and public realm design, but that's not really how this work was positioned. The Island is such a special place and such a unique resource that I think it deserved a much grander vision than this firm could be hoped to deliver.

What we have here instead appears to be the sort of niggling at the edges of stuff that cities that care more about the public realm would've done over the years as a matter of course, rather than the outcome of a yearslong visioning and consultation process.

I essentially agree with the above...........

But I would add the following.

I don't have a problem with 'housekeeping'; I do have a problem with wasting six figures (or more) on a planning process that it didn't require.

I don't have any objection to grand visions, but I do think, they require focus, and shouldn't generally include much to do with the routine housekeeping.

To me, the Islands would benefit from any number of modest improvements that don't need a grand plan. Installation of Bikeshare across the Island, Basic Canopy coverage (Weather protection) for those waiting for the ferry, enhance concessions offerings, lots of state-of-good repair etc. These things should just be done, as-of-right, without the need for a consultant enrichment program.

Grand Ideas should be much tighter, we could all put forward a few, I won't attempt any exhaustive list here, but rather just afford a couple of examples:

1) Turning Avenue of the Islands into a grand walking and cycling route, with parallel modal offerings, leading from the Centre Island Ferry Dock to Centre Beach, and being a grand space all the way, with great horticultural displays (flowers) both perennial, and annual, native and ornamental, grand lighting, high quality interlock, beautiful and comfortable seating, great ornamental fountains, and exceptional, architectural washrooms and concession pavilions at both ends.

That's one complete idea. Farm it out to Cormier, stop there, walk away.

2) One big move for the environment, pick out one area where there is room to repurpose at least 5 contiguous acres, more, if possible, with a focus on enhancing/recreating habitats unique to the islands that would disproportionately serve endangered species. Hand it over to MVVA in conjunction w/TRCA, get it done, walk away.

The point of these two ideas above being that when you have focus you have some hope of delivering one complete thought properly. When your ideas involve a bit here, and a bit there and something for everyone over a park of several hundred acres, you know lots of listed projects will never happen at all, and others will be VE'd to the point of making them a largely wasted effort.

One could choose other or additional big ideas; but I'm loathe to make long lists as they simply end up disappointing almost everyone.

In summary, I favour strong house-keeping, and a short list of bold ideas that will actually happen and be properly executed.

Budget accordingly.

PS, my ideas above would cost, in my judgement, about 40M to deliver properly, plus housekeeping of another 10M

The City is unlikely to set aside anywhere near that amount, with a much longer list to fulfill

* One final note, those renders/lists I posted above are only 1/2 the list! I'll post the others later.
 
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crs1026

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I love the idea of an island tram to make getting around this very large park much easier. I'd love to see it take the form of a historic streetcar - just imagine how cute it would be to ride back and forth in a Peter Witt.
I love the idea of an island tram to make getting around this very large park much easier. I'd love to see it take the form of a historic streetcar - just imagine how cute it would be to ride back and forth in a Peter Witt.

I also would be very passionate about an island tram, but (with due respect to the excellent museum railways in the area and the TTC’s own heritage efforts) - this is not the place for a tram museum effort. It should be a purpose built line with modern (if antique looking) technology and amenities, serving a transportation role more than a heritage role.
The operation needs to be highly reliable and efficient. This is not the place for volunteer groups to try to coax more years out of vintage equipment that has no parts supply and no shop close at hand and potential for service blips when things break.
There is also the issue of vehicle design. Any tram that serves as part of the park needs to be built to accessibility standards. And likely double end operation is critical to minimise loop needs.
I love riding the old Witts and PCCs, but they are better enjoyed in a lighter duty cycle - they are beyond an all-summer heavy service
I would look to a model more like Tampa, which runs a free tram on a single track line with frequent passing points, as a way of encouraging visits to points where their central ciry is a bit spread out for walking but too closely spaced for auto. Their trams are ”new” and the line is built to higher standards (including more transit priority signalling than Toronto allows, by the way).
It’s not something that can be built “on the cheap” or with the resources that volunteer groups cannmuster. But yes, the Islands need a system to move people (and strollers etc) as enough users will not be fully able and their enjoyment of the Islands is limited to their walking range, which creates crowding and deprives many of the entire island facilities.
Maybe as an auto free island zone, there is a place for more of the ebike, escooter, and similar devices which may be less risky or problemmatic here than on the mainland. I bet there are vendors who would jump in beyond the current bike rental concession.
- Paul

742DE44A-7537-4059-8A5C-287980BD154B.jpeg
 
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W. K. Lis

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I also would be very passionate about an island tram, but (with due respect to the excellent museum railways in the area and the TTC’s own heritage efforts) - this is not the place for a tram museum effort. It should be a purpose built line with modern (if antique looking) technology and amenities, serving a transportation role more than a heritage role.
The operation needs to be highly reliable and efficient. This is not the place for volunteer groups to try to coax more years out of vintage equipment that has no parts supply and no shop close at hand and potential for service blips when things break.
There is also the issue of vehicle design. Any tram that serves as part of the park needs to be built to accessibility standards. And likely double end operation is critical to minimise loop needs.
I love riding the old Witts and PCCs, but they are better enjoyed in a lighter duty cycle - they are beyond an all-summer heavy service
I would look to a model more like Tampa, which runs a free tram on a single track line with frequent passing points, as a way of encouraging visits to points where their central ciry is a bit spread out for walking but too closely spaced for auto. Their trams are ”new” and the line is built to higher standards (including more transit priority signalling than Toronto allows, by the way).
It’s not something that can be built “on the cheap” or with the resources that volunteer groups cannmuster. But yes, the Islands need a system to move people (and strollers etc) as enough users will not be fully able and their enjoyment of the Islands is limited to their walking range, which creates crowding and deprives many of the entire island facilities.
Maybe as an auto free island zone, there is a place for more of the ebike, escooter, and similar devices which may be less risky or problemmatic here than on the mainland. I bet there are vendors who would jump in beyond the current bike rental concession.
- Paul

View attachment 442792
With streetcars on the island, there will be a limited use of salt. Which would be of benefit to preserving historical streetcars, unlike the streetcars within the mainland. Less rust.
 

T3G

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With streetcars on the island, there will be a limited use of salt. Which would be of benefit to preserving historical streetcars, unlike the streetcars within the mainland. Less rust.
It's not just a question of rust. All the rust proofing in the world won't save you if you can't reliably get parts for the vehicle, to say nothing of the fact that limited running in a museum capacity is much easier on the vehicle overtime than any kind of regular running.

If we wanted to do a tram line that respects the past, it ought to be by building new vehicles whose design respects the old. Prague figured this out in the form of the Tatra T3LF, a new car body with a low floor center section built to the design of the classic T3 car. They have their detractors, of course, but running in the well preserved medieval town centre of Prague, they fit into the streetscape much better than the eels on wheels coming from Siemens, Alstom, et al.

9610033536_c99389c1ad_h.jpg
 

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