Mayor wants planned parking lot to be affordable housing instead

John Tory is asking the Toronto Parking Authority to abandon a plan to build a parking lot on near Eglinton Avenue West and Caledonia Road and consider building affordable housing instead.

A plan to turn the city-owned land into a surface-level Green P parking lot was put on ice last month after a housing advocate pointed out that building the lot so close to a future transit hub contradicted the city’s own affordable housing strategy.

On Monday, the mayor made it clear that he agrees, writing to the chair of the Toronto Parking Authority that it’s a “prime location” for a “transit-oriented development.”

The land, which currently contains two two-storey buildings and a single-family home, is about 500 metres away from the future Caledonia Station, which is set to open in two years and will connect with the Barrie GO Train line and the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.

Part of the mission of Tory’s affordable housing strategy, called Housing Now, is to build “livable communities near transit.”

The Toronto Parking Authority, which is meeting on Tuesday morning, has been consulting with CreateTO — the city’s real estate team responsible for making decisions about whether to sell city-owned land.

“I believe the city, through the TPA and CreateTO, has a tremendous opportunity to unlock the value of this land,” wrote Tory in his letter.

He also wrote that he and Councillor Mike Colle, who represents the area, would like any future planning for the site to be done in consultation with both Colle and with people who live in the area.

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