What we're working on
4 EMERGING IDEAS:
We have been working with local communities and other stakeholders to generate a shared vision and framework for 520 acres at Downsview. This process has led to some early thinking that will inform the future of the project, with Downsview Park remaining at the heart of the community.
Parks & Nature
CONNECTING THROUGH CITY NATURE
What if we leverage both Downsview Park and the runway to create a City Nature network that could help all the things that live here thrive— the plants, animals, birds, insects, and people?
Introducing City Nature
We propose that Downsview’s new communities include open spaces in parks, natural areas, along streets and even on buildings, combining nature with urban areas in a concept we call City Nature. This integrated approach supports biodiversity, manages stormwater using natural systems, and offers a range of outdoor experiences for those who live, work and play in and around Downsview. It will also provide space for people to walk and cycle, as we’re prioritizing people and not only cars.
"If there was one thing about my neighbourhood that I love, it is green space and parks."
In Round One of the consultation process people told us that they love Downsview Park, and also that they need more access to green space where wildlife can thrive, food can be grown, and people can be both active and relaxed. Based on this feedback, we’re exploring the idea of City Nature as we rethink these 520 acres of land.
Our vision for the future includes a rich network of parks & green spaces driven by these eight aspirations:
15 min neighbourhoods, where people live, work, shop, learn, and play within a 15-min walk or bike ride
Social Infrastructure, providing places for people to connect, share, and enjoy each other and nature
Stormwater balance that increases the amount of water absorbed by the ground (rather than piped off-site), improves water quality, and reduces erosion
Health benefits associated with fresh air, time in nature, views to green space, recreation, and other outdoor activities
Biodiversity, by creating habitat that supports a wide range of native plants, insects, birds, and other wildlife
Micromobility routes that make it easy to move around Downsview without a car
Microclimate regulation, to best manage the effects of sun, rain, wind, and snow, and improve year round comfort both indoors and outdoors.
Liveability, supported by the built and natural environments, economic prosperity, social stability, equity, education, culture, connection to our history and cultural heritage, and recreation possibilities
A place to welcome all uses and users
Here are a few examples of the wide range of uses and users that could be part of Downsview’s future parks and green spaces. What would you like to see?
Getting Around &
Across the Site
MOVING TOWARDS BETTER CONNECTIONS
What if Downsview had a more connected future—one that makes it easy for people walking, cycling, taking local transit, and driving to get around and across the site?
During Round One of the id8 consultation process, we heard Downview defined, in part, by its lack of connections. People told us that it takes a long time to get places, routes are not direct, and they’re not safe enough. We heard that Downsview’s neighbourhoods are car-centric and that the rail corridor and runway are major barriers. People want direct, safe connections that work better for walking and cycling. In response to this feedback and public policy priorities—and because the runway will not be a barrier in the future—we’re exploring ideas to improve connectivity locally and to broader city transportation networks, and looking at the possibility of major new north-south and east-west connections across the site.
"Find ways to allow more connections over or under the railway."
These ideas are guiding our approach to mobility:
1. Enable 15-minute Communities
that provide a mix of land uses and amenities that make it possible for people to carry out most everyday trips locally within the Downsview area by foot, bicycle, or transit. We know a certain amount of density is needed to make this work, especially close to transit.
2. Create a 'Complete' Mobility Network
with a network of streets, paths, and connections that are attractive, safe and efficient for moving around using many different modes.
3. Improve Access to Existing Transit
by creating direct connections between the existing TTC subway and GO train stations and existing and future neighbourhoods and local destinations. Improving access is not only about the actual streets and paths, but also the experiences that we have along them created by the dynamic land use mix envisioned as part of a 15-minute community.
4. Connect to the Whole Region
through opportunities to reconnect Downsview to the broader Toronto street grid in support of efficient city and region-wide travel by transit, car, and other modes.
We’re also thinking about how to coordinate a multi-modal network that supports all forms of travel around and across the site. This includes: a connected transit network, with new transit service and first- and last-mile solutions; a complete street network, with fine-grained streets and blocks; and a comprehensive active mobility network for pedestrians and other modes.
Streets scaled for people & integrated with nature
Bike-friendly streets that have sustainability built-in
Pedestrian-friendly streets & vibrant public spaces
Streets scaled for people & integrated with nature
Connecting to the Existing Active Mobility System
We see an important opportunity to connect this area to existing and planned trails, bike lanes, and pedestrian pathways in the surrounding area as part of the complete, multi-modal mobility network. How do you think we should connect to this existing system? Tell us in this survey.
A Closer Look at Walking & Cycling
New streets—designed for people—will be the backbone of the