Reaction roundup: wherein reporters ask a number of questions regarding Doug Ford’s glorious vision of the waterfront’s future
Late last week, our friends at Torontoist reported that the city appeared to be making a move to seize control of development in the Port Lands, and things have only become more bewildering since then. First, Doug Ford started outlining vague plans for a massive Ferris wheel before he amped up the crazy in a conversation with CBC Metro Morning’s Matt Galloway, adding a monorail and a mega-mall to his waterfront wish list. So before the Fords dispatch Giorgio Mammoliti to distract us, we have a few questions regarding Doug’s grand vision, after the jump.
• Ford insists that the all-powerful private sector is thrilled at the prospect of getting involved in the Port Lands. But how can Ford guarantee that a private corporation will be interested in backing something like the necessary flood protection for the area? The National Post’s Steve Murray said it best: “While I have to admit that I kind of want to live in a world where we have Kotex Flood Protection, if the protection ever failed, you can kiss that maxi-company goodbye.”
• Speaking of the private sector, city hall blogger—and Informer contributor—Matt Elliott has us questioning the Fords’ vision for the area: Elliott points out that private-sector development in the area has been pretty paltry so far.
• Paula Fletcher vented to the Globe and Mail that the Port Lands proposal has thus far been a backroom deal. We’re hopeful more details will be available by next week, but for now we have to ask: why, for the second time in recent memory, has a local councillor not be consulted on an issue in her own ward?
• The National Post reported in April that Rob Ford hadn’t attended any Waterfront TO board meetings, despite the organization’s request that the mayor retain his seat. That makes us wonder how much communication there has been between Waterfront TO and the mayor since Ford took office.
• Of course there are also all the obvious questions about Ford’s mega-mall—in particular, who’s going to shop there? The Eaton Centre is already easily accessible by public transit. Suburbanites have Sherway Gardens, Square One and Yorkdale. And if digging an underground parking lot is impossible so close to the water, does that mean the city will be turning land over for vast swaths of parking?
• Are the Port Lands About to be Privatized? [Torontoist]
• Political Panel: Exploring the port lands through the power of imagination [National Post]
• The Fords have a terrible, no-good, very bad plan for Toronto’s Port Lands [Ford For Toronto]
• Port Lands councillor Paul Fletcher slams ‘backroom’ planning [Globe and Mail]
• Waterfront Toronto is moving too slowly: critics [National Post]