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NEWS: Geary goes green (Apr. 2021)

May 12th, 2021 · No Comments

Construction on first Green Line initiative set for 2022

Widening sidewalks for better accessibility and pedestrian safety surrounding Geary Avenue Parkette is being discussed. COURTESY DTAH

By Mary An

One of the first initiatives within the Green Line is underway. As chronicled in the Annex Gleaner’s February edition, the Green Line will be a five kilometre-long park running along the hydro-electric corridor north of Dupont Street. 

There are forty-five land parcels along the corridor which need either improvement, expansion, or a complete transformation into a new park. One of the first parcels of land the city is looking to work on in the Green Line is the Geary Avenue Parkette. 

“We want to have green walkable neighbourhoods, and this checks all the boxes. It improves walkability and access to green space and communities that are growing already,” Ana Bailão, city councillor for Ward 9 and deputy mayor said in an interview with the Gleaner

This parkette is located southwest of Geary and Ossington avenues, and extends west to Delaware Avenue North. 

The proposed expansion for the parkette will extend west past Dovercourt Road to Westmoreland Avenue North. The city is currently working with DTAH, an architectural firm, to help design the new space.

“We think it’s a great opportunity to provide more accessible pathways and in-park opportunities in the neighbourhood, and especially with a lot of the development being proposed within the area both east and west,” says Yvonne Battista, Associate Partner with DTAH.

According to Battista, new park features will include accessible pathways with pavement designs that highlight the history of the neighbourhood, pedestrian lighting, a variety of seating options, flexible lawn areas, native meadows supporting pollinator species as well as fun graphics sharing Indigenous history, new bike racks, and a much-needed fenced area where dogs will be able to roam off-leash. 

DTAH is also proposing to widen the existing sidewalks. 

“We heard through the councillor and the community that the speed of cars on Geary Avenue and crossing opportunities are things that need improvement,” says Battista, who added her firm is working closely with transportation services on the pedestrian safety aspect of the project. 

During the planning and community input phase of the parkette’s expansion, many residents mentioned the need for a public washroom to be included in the project. However, this request will not be fulfilled.

 “One of the challenges we have is working underneath the hydro lines,” says Battista. “Anything that we propose needs to be approved by Hydro One to make sure that we’re keeping their staff as well as the public safe. Which means, at least at this point, that no structures will be built on their parcels of land.”

Construction of this parkette, whose name will be finalized following its completion, is set to begin in 2022.


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