In partnership, The 519, the City of Toronto (Parks, Forestry & Recreation) division and a philanthropic donor, have received Council authority to conduct a feasibility study to determine if the redevelopment of Moss Park – from Queen St. E. North to Shuter St. and George St. East to Sherbourne St. – inclusive of John Innis Community Centre, the Moss Park Arena and surrounding sport fields and parklands, is suitable for redevelopment.

The intention of the proposed redevelopment would be for the creation of a transformational, multi-dimensional facility – projected to cost between $100M - $125M – that will form recreational space and programs responsive to the needs of the local communities, while also being dedicated to advancing LGBTQ inclusion in sport and recreation.

A commitment to report back to Council with recommendations on whether or not to proceed with this project will occur by the end of 2016.

Please see the most recent Council report below: 

http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/mmis/2015/ex/bgrd/backgroundfile-83496.pdf

Important things to know:

  • John Innes Community Recreation Centre is a community centre run by the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation division and provides free recreational programs and services to the community, including many marginalized and vulnerable people who live in the neighbourhood.
  • The Moss Park Arena Board is an Agency of the City and provides skating and hockey programs in accordance with the City of Toronto’s Ice Allocation Policy.
  • The 519, also an Agency of the City, provides free, accessible community space, programs and services for local communities and broader LGBTQ communities.
  • There is high demand for affordable recreational space in Toronto. The new facility would increase the community recreational space in the neighbourhood.
  • We are committed to preserving community programs and services that are relevant to the community and current users including intentionally ensuring that vulnerable and marginalized communities have continued access to the recreational programs that are important to them.
  • The feasibility study will include input from the community consultation process. A report will be prepared for Council that includes what a new facility and park would look like; the type of programs and services that could be on-site and how it would be operated including the costs. Council will make the final decision whether or not to proceed.
  • Community health and wellness are important outcomes – designing inclusive, accessible public spaces that support local employment, cultivate community relationships, celebrate diversity and self-determination, benefits everyone. 
  • Community gardens, playing fields and parkland are limited in downtown Toronto; throughout the design and community consultation processes we will consider innovative ways to protect and enhance these community assets.
  • Community engagement and dialogue are key components of the feasibility phase. We will be holding community meetings, focus groups, and surveys in addition to launching a website and social media channels that will provide the latest information about the project. 

We are excited about the incredible potential of this project and, as we embark on this ambitious study, we can’t wait to engage with and learn from those who have a wealth of knowledge and expertise within this community. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us directly if you have any questions, comments and/or concerns.

Kristina Flynn, Senior Project Consultant, The 519 (kflynn@the519.org)