Many people have never heard of Section 42 of the Planning Act but its value is enormous; it helps the city acquire new parkland as well as improve our existing parks.
Section 42 is funded by the complicated formula of fees applied to various commercial and residential redevelopment projects.
Shortly after I was elected, Parks staff presented me with a list of approved projects in our ward. One of these projects was to repave the parking lot at Leaside High School. Well, actually only two thirds of it as the remainder is owned by the Toronto District School Board (TDSB).
This seemed like a good idea until I discovered that the parking lot is actually “parkland” (the city owns all the playing fields surrounding the high school) and the funds for repaving were coming from our Parkland Improvement Budget. The estimated cost to repave our section of the lot was almost $150,000.
While anyone who has parked a car at the high school will tell you the lot is in dire need of repair, I felt that there were more pressing needs.
Parks and green space are vital urban necessities. Having seen the challenged state of Leonard Linton Park on Vanderhoof Ave. (across from Hyde Park in Leaside) as well as a lack of playground equipment for the large number of young children in the area, I decided to cancel the repaving project and instead use the money to improve Leonard Linton Park.
Please go to my website www.ward26.ca if you would like to see the planned improvements which should commence this fall.
Although the parking lot didn’t receive a full facelift, thanks to the resourcefulness of city staff, it’s still received some of the needed repairs.