Why are people talking about changes to Moss Park?

The City of Toronto and The 519 are exploring the possibility of redeveloping John Innes Community Centre, Moss Park Arena and the park space around them. Before any official plans can be made, a feasibility study must be conducted, which includes public consultation.

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. The proposed plan calls for all facilities and the park space on the site to be redeveloped.

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) community, 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 the LGBTQ2S community, 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.

Will people who currently use Moss Park lose any programs or services as a result of this project?

The goal is to improve and enhance facilities, programs and services, not reduce them. Redevelopment presents an opportunity to evaluate current resources available, assess what local residents want and ensure these resources meet their needs.

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.

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. Responsive, inclusive public consultation will ensure that the new facilities serve these communities—including those who are vulnerable and marginalized—and counter the impact that gentrification might otherwise have on them.

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

Proactive outreach to communities who are marginalized and underserved is a key part of this public consultation. From now through September, the consultation team will be reaching out to local residents where they live and where they come together in order to begin these important conversations.

How will my input be used?

Over the course of the summer, feedback from the community will be recorded, summarized and shared through website postings, meeting presentations and circulated to all those who wish to stay in touch. A final report summarizing the consultation and the results will be made public and presented to a committee of City Council by the end of 2016. 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.

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.

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

Yes. The Arena Board is a key stakeholder and will play a critical role in the consultations and feasibility study. A strategic advisory committee consisting of members of the Arena Board will provide advice throughout the process.

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