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Five TTC commuter lots to be shut down

CityNews | posted Friday, Dec 2nd, 2016

0204islington

Commuters at TTC’s Wilson Station were in for a rude awakening Thursday morning, as some learned for the first time the west lot had officially closed, losing 610 parking spaces.

But that lot is just the beginning.

Including two Wilson lots, the transit commission confirms five total commuter lots have been deemed surplus by the city and will ultimately shut down.

“That’s a city of Toronto decision dating back to 2009,” says TTC Spokesperson Stuart Green. “At the time the TTC was asked for some input, our numbers were down at that time because free parking for Metropass users had stopped.”

In early 2017 the Wilson Station south lot will close, losing 541 spaces. It’s likely that in the following year the Main Lot with a capacity of 885 spots will shut down.

Closures are also imminent at Victoria Park, and Warden while Downsview will remain open for at least another year before shuttering.

“Those, again, are further out and we don’t see them immediately impacting our customers,” says Green.

The surplus land will eventually be used for redevelopment and various purposes, including retail and residential use.

“It’s been through an elaborate process where Build Toronto has decided what to do with it,” said Mayor John Tory Thursday at a City Hall press conference.

Tory insists there is relief in sight, including the February opening of a commuter lot at Yorkdale Station, which is set to open 1,100 underground heated spots.  The upcoming York Spadina Subway Extension will likely also add 2,800 other parking spaces at Finch West, Pioneer Village and the 407.

This could be the price of progress, says urban planning consultant Ken Greenberg. “You have to break some eggs to make an omelette,” he says.

Greenberg adds, “Our city is growing incredibly fast.  We’re one of the fastest growing cities in the developed world and we’ve reached that tipping point where we have to make this change.”

“These TTC lots are valuable land. The city needs more land to grow. They need the revenues that will come from monetizing these lands.”

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