Why are people talking about changes to Moss Park?

The City of Toronto and The 519 have been working on the redeveloping John Innes Community Centre, Moss Park Arena and the park space around them. Before any official plans were made, a feasibility study was conducted in 2016, including an extensive public consultation.
Based on the feedback from the community, we have been busy working on refining the original designs, developing governance structure, and incorporating local economic development, and environmental sustainability plans in the project.

What are the geographic boundaries of the site?

The area proposed for redevelopment is bounded by Sherbourne Street on the east side, The Armoury on the west side, Queen Street to the south and Shuter Street to the north. The site includes a public park with a baseball diamond, a soccer field, two tennis courts, a basketball court, a wading pool, a playground and community gardens. On the east side of the park is the Moss Park Arena and John Innes Community Recreation Centre. (insert map graphic)

What is The 519?

As a City agency dedicated to the health, happiness and full participation of the LGBTQ2S (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans, Queer and 2 Spirit) communities, The 519 works to create accessible, equitable spaces for all.
Marginalized communities have the clearest understanding of how to create inclusive spaces. The 519 has been working to provide service, space and leadership to vulnerable people within LGBTQ2S and downtown communities, including those experiencing discrimination, homelessness and poverty, for more than 40 years. Through this work it has gained a deep understanding of the needs of marginalized communities and is committed to ensuring their voices are heard and respected. For more information, visit The 519’s website at: http://www.the519.org

What has been happening with the Moss Park Project since September 2016?

We recognize that this process has been more lengthy than previously anticipated, and acknowledge the uncertainty that this has created for some in the community. We thank you for your patience, and are excited to be continuing these important conversations about Moss Park.
Since 2016, we have continued to work on the proposed redevelopment by refining the initial design based on community feedback. We have been working on developing governance structures and on how to best incorporate local economic development, fiscal, and environmental sustainability into the project. Our continued focus has been on ensuring that this project provides equitable benefits and is responsive to priorities set by local communities.
We have continued to grow our connections with the Moss Park and Regent Park neighbourhoods through programming and engagement events (link to blog post). We have also been working on issues that affect the area, including the Downtown East Enhanced 12-month and 5-year Action Plans and an ongoing public health needs assessment focused on the social and health needs of individuals who use methamphetamine.

How might the community economically benefit from this project?

The second phase of the consultation is informing a broader strategy of developing a community-led and neighbourhood based local economic development strategy for residents of Moss Park and the broader Downtown East. This strategy is focused on how local communities can economically benefit through every phase of the redevelopment process.
We are currently focused on exploring how local communities can benefit through training, apprenticeship, and employment opportunities, social enterprise and small business development, and opportunities for local hiring during construction and operation.

I’ve heard that this project will result in gentrification and that some people will be pushed out of the neighbourhood. Is this true?

The proposed redevelopment has three goals: serve local communities; enhance existing programs, services and public spaces; and create a welcoming, accessible space for everyone who uses Moss Park.
The Moss Park redevelopment presents an opportunity to invest in community resources and to do so in a way that ensures local communities have a role in shaping them. This project provides an opportunity to enhance existing recreational services at this location while increasing access and services for marginalized groups through new programming and opportunities for agencies and organizations to collaborate on innovative service delivery.

How will the City and The 519 make sure all voices are heard?

Proactive outreach to communities who are marginalized and underserved was a key part of the initial public consultation. More than 1800 people were consulted through a range of activities including focus groups, public meetings, information sessions, one on one interviews, and an online survey. We will continue to intentionally reach out to community members and other stakeholders during this phase of the project, with a continued focused on communities who are traditionally left out of public consultations.

How will my input be used?

Input from the community will be recorded, summarized, and shared through website postings, meeting presentations, and other forms. It will be used to refine the program findings from the initial 2016 consultation (link) report and will help shape priorities and opportunities for program design and local economic development. If the redevelopment is approved, local residents and people who use Moss Park will have more opportunities to shape future plans for programming and activities, as well as opportunities for accessing local economic development programs.

When does construction begin?

There is no scheduled construction date set. The next step is to report back to City Council on the results of the feasibility study, including the consultation phases in 2019.

Has the Moss Park Arena Board been engaged in redevelopment discussions?

Yes. The Arena Board is a key stakeholder and have played a critical role in the consultations and feasibility study, and will continue to provide input into any proposed new facilities.

How does this project connect with other nearby developments?

Toronto’s broader downtown east has several proposed and confirmed projects underway that provide opportunities for more integrated health, mental health, housing, employment, and justice-related services. These projects include:

  • TOcore is The City of Toronto’s Downtown Plan, a 25-year vision that sets the direction for the city centre as the cultural, civic, retail and economic heart of Toronto. Focused on community facilities, parks and public realm, energy, and water, the potential redevelopment of Moss Park is an opportunity to help meet the needs of the Downtown East during a time of rapid growth and change.
  • The George Street Revitalization (link), a City of Toronto initiative to replace Seaton House shelter with a new, modernized facility that is better suited to meeting the housing and health needs of highly vulnerable, street-involved populations.
  • The provincial Ministry of The Attorney General’s exploratory proposal for a Community Justice Centre, which would provide a comprehensive and integrated approach to marginalized populations who are involved with the criminal justice system because of low-level crimes by bringing together justice, health, and social service providers in one location.
  • Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, an Indigenous business incubator that will provide space and guidance to Indigenous entrepreneurs and start-ups.

The More Moss Park team has been in conversation with these projects to make sure that proposed programming at each potential site compliments each other and that opportunities to effectively work together are explored.

How can I get involved or get more information?

Please check out the rest of the website and documents from the initial consultation by visiting http://www.moremosspark.ca/information/consultation-report. If you want to get involved or have any specific questions, please email info@moremosspark.ca or call number 416-355-6777

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