ROUND 2 FEEDBACK WAS INSIGHTFUL & CONSTRUCTIVE
From July through November 2020, locals and stakeholders shared feedback on the emerging ideas for these 520 acres. Participants were largely supportive of the early thinking on: Parks & Nature, Getting Around & Across the Site, Jobs & Employment, and People & Neighbourhoods. These themes had emerged as community priorities in Round One of this process and are part of the public policy priorities identified for these lands by the City.
Download the summaries, or read on about the feedback we received about these themes and during additional ongoing discussions.
WHAT WE HEARD ABOUT PARKS & NATURE
Overall, participants were enthusiastic about our emerging ideas about greenspace. They especially liked how nature is valued and woven into urban design and how green spaces are conceived as places to gather.
We heard that parks should remain the heart of the community and be accessible to everyone. COVID has shown us all how important parks are to health and wellbeing. Participants cited the potential to strengthen the existing ecosystem with native species, to include public art, to retain existing sports fields, and to transform the runway into open space.
WHAT WE HEARD ABOUT GETTING AROUND
In Round Two, participants welcomed the early ideas to alleviate challenges of getting around Downsview. They particularly liked the focus on people rather than cars, the proposed new connections through the site like the central spine, and the possibilities for complete multi-modal transportation networks.
Participants stressed the importance of accessibility and connections for wildlife and nature. Local residents also emphasized the need to respectfully integrate new connections with existing neighbourhoods and minimize traffic and congestion.
WHAT WE HEARD ABOUT JOBS & EMPLOYMENT
Participants were largely supportive of the early thinking on jobs and employment and offered many constructive suggestions. They were excited by the unique opportunities provided by this site and especially liked how employment could be mixed with residential uses in accessible 15-minute neighbourhoods.
Many encouraged thinking more about how Downsview could become a destination. Suggestions also included investing in arts and culture and honouring the site’s employment history. Local residents suggested that future employment be compatible with existing and future residential areas.
WHAT WE HEARD ABOUT PEOPLE & NEIGHBOURHOODS
Round Two participants showed a lot of support for the emerging ideas on people and neighbourhoods. They especially liked that the team is reimagining the area as a series of neighbourhoods where daily needs could be met within 15 minutes on foot or bike. They welcomed the ideas for a multi-use, multi-generational, and multi-cultural place that is built around people rather than cars.
Other feedback included a variety of perspectives on housing affordability, height, and density. Suggestions included delivering community benefits and making this site a destination that celebrates its unique local heritage and arts & culture.
FIRST NATIONS & INDIGENOUS ENGAGEMENT
Meaningful engagement with First Nations and Indigenous communities is a priority in the development of the Downsview framework plan and future development. The id8 Downsview team has been connecting through various conversations with First Nations representatives and individuals from urban Indigenous communities in Toronto.
Round Two engagement featured an Indigenous Community Sharing Meeting that included participants from the broader community and representatives from local Indigenous-led, Indigenous-serving organizations. The participants signalled the need for more affordable housing, economic opportunities, education, and environmental stewardship. They expressed interest in accessing land and using space on the site for Indigenous ceremony and community activities. Participants also expressed interest in celebrating Indigenous cultures through the development of Indigenous place-making.
Fall 2020 provided an opportunity to engage in additional discussions with knowledge leaders about equity and inclusion, process and accountability, and daily life in the community.
During these ongoing discussions, participants asked us to explore how this opportunity could build a better city, address affordable housing, and provide economic opportunities. Accountability was discussed as important; communities want to see how they’re impacting this project. And when talking to people in the community via our Fieldnotes program (at a safe distance), we learned that although Downsview can be a challenging place to get around, creative and determined locals persist in walking, cycling, and otherwise getting around without cars and in forging social connections.
PARTICIPATION IN ROUND 2
During this second round, hundreds of people shared their priorities and perspectives, representing a diversity of residents, organizations, and interests. We heard from those who live and work locally as well as city-wide. Some had participated in Round One while many were connecting for the first time. To date, the process has included over 1,100 direct connections with people who care about this place.
People participated in many ways, including: sending feedback by Canada Post; participating in the Virtual Public Townhall and four public workshops; joining the Indigenous Community Sharing Circle; participating in distinct discussions; sharing thoughts at our pop-up tent; participating in on-the-ground Fieldnotes discussions; and by sharing feedback on our website, via social media, and by email and phone.
Round 2 Feedback
ENGAGEMENT SUMMARIES & REPORTS
The engagement summaries and reports available here have been reviewed by the participants to make sure we got them right. Public feedback and accurate reporting are essential to this process, as this feedback is informing and inspiring the id8 Downsview team’s next steps.
We are currently working to further develop the vision and framework plan for the future informed by this feedback, and we look forward to sharing the concept framework in Round Three of this process. Stay tuned!