23 March 2008

Don Mouth Naturalization and Port Lands Flood Protection Project

Waterfront Toronto and the TRCA presented the latest design at a well attended public meeting and discussion last Saturday morning.

Quick notes:

Time line reality check: naturalizing the bottom of the Don has already been a 17 year long project for some, and implementation is currently forecast at 2010->2035.

If it happens at all.

While all three levels of gov't have already committed $65 million to the project, the land hasn't been purchased yet, and there are competing development pressures for the same space. So, next steps (alongside provincial and federal environmental assessments) include drawing up a municipal "precinct plan" that will zone the area in favour of the naturalization project. So then, in effect, it will be the city, and not the Ontario Municipal Board, who will decide whether the land will go to the naturalization project or to competing interests.

Find more information about the meeting and the project at the TRCA's "Don Mouth Naturalization - What's New" page. You'll see where you can submit comments until April 14th (after which time you could still stencil "4WS yes!" along the bottom of the Gardiner at the Don Roadway?)

I've only been following these meetings for less than 2 years, and already, the plans seem to both change often or not progress at all. On Saturday morning, I realized that letting myself care about this project is like letting myself become a vessel of an idea. A very important, big and beautiful idea (like the architecture at Union Station or the Bloor Viaduct makes me see the long conversations and gifts from one generation to another). An idea that when or if it really happens, would be so nourishing -- knowing that humans still have the ability to sustain belief, long haul vision and the will to do the right thing -- but it would be even better if it would happen while the people who've stewarded this far are still alive.

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