By Kathy Rowe
Let me begin this article by thanking the many residents who expressed their passion for the development of a multi-use park where the vacant lot on Bridgeport now sits. We asked for your ideas and you came up with a list of excellent uses for the space.
I am sorry to announce that any changes to this piece of land in our community will not be taking place for quite some time. After a few discouraging discussions with the owners of this property (the Catholic and public school boards), the CCRA has decided to step back from this issue.
Andrew Gowdy, System Planning Officer for the Toronto District School Board, stated that conversations regarding the sale or lease of this land “are really not a priority at this time.” He admitted that “in order for this land to become parkland, there would have to be an agreement with the City of Toronto.” The matter is complicated by the fact that the land was at one time an industrial site.
Stacy Coray, Senior Manager of Partnership Development with the Toronto Catholic District School Board, stated several months ago that the vacant lot is “unsafe in its current state.” She added that if the CCRA were to be responsible for the costs involved in the cleanup, grading and maintenance of the land, the TCDSB would be open to discuss a proposal.
It is clear that not only would these costs be prohibitive to the CCRA, but that the city would have to have ownership in order for any steps to be taken to develop the land for community use. The vacant lot is not for sale therefore our efforts to propose changes to the land at this time are futile.