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Council rubber-stamps location of new consolidated police station on Coxwell-Danforth TTC site

Satellite view of site approved for new consolidated 54-55 police station. -GOOGLE MAPS

Satellite view of site approved for new consolidated 54-55 police station. -GOOGLE MAPS

\ By Gary Webb-Proctor \

With all four East York area councillors whose wards abut the corner of Coxwell and Danforth avenues on side, there was no discussion at Toronto City Council on January 31 when the Toronto Transit Commission property at the corner was resoundingly approved as the site of the new consolidated Toronto Police Services station.

The station, to be built on the historic 103-year old TTC property that a hundred years ago housed streetcars serving the area, is part of the TPS’s “modernization” initiative that will see police divisions 54 and 55, which currently serve the area, amalgamated into one, with a new station replacing the two existing facilities.

Consultant studies narrowed the selection of a site down to three alternatives last year, which the Toronto Police Services Board presented for community input at two public meetings in October.  The board subsequently decided it prefers the TTC site at 1627 Danforth Ave. based on a four-section set of criteria that included functionality, community presence, financial considerations and ability to serve its consolidated jurisdiction.

The councillors for Wards 29, 30, 31 and 32 (Mary Fragedakis, Paula Fletcher, Janet Davis and Mary-Margaret McMahon respectively) all supported the choice of the site in a joint letter they wrote to the council’s Executive Committee prior to that body’s endorsement of the location last week,

At their behest and the urging of community members and input from the October public meetings about the proposed sites, the process going forward will include a working group that will hold more community consultations in order to develop a facility that will be “informed by a community vision” and ensure “a multi-functional site will be created that will be home to various civic and employment-generating uses.”

As the four EY-area reps requested, the approved resolution instructs staff to establish “a Community Stakeholder Group to provide ongoing input into the Master Planning Process” and to “appropriately integrate design within the existing neighbourhood context and follow a design intent that ensures the siting and massing of the buildings provide sufficient area and prominence for the public and community uses,” including respecting the original structure’s heritage value.

The final complex will also have to satisfy the needs of the TTC, which continues to use it as a gathering point for transit workers and for which the existing facility provides several “critical” functions, background reports note.  Toronto Public Library, which has an existing branch on the block, is also to be a planning stakeholder, along with the city’s Affordable Housing Office and other city agencies and divisions.

The interdivisional working group is also to explore “other potential partners and uses” in coming up with a conceptual site plan and to report back to the Executive Committee before July of this year with a phasing strategy and expected timeline, with design planning to begin later this year.

 

 

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