Moved by: Mayor West
Whereas the City owns significant parcels of land (the “Civic Centre Lands”) at the southwest corner of Yonge Street and Major Mackenzie Drive, which have potential to be an important landmark and functional public space in the City centre.
Whereas intermittently since the late 1970’s, the City has considered developing the Civic Centre Lands to include municipal offices, an urban square and a destination park. Most recently, in 2013 the City completed a comprehensive community engagement and corporate planning initiative under the name of the “Civic Precinct Project” and in 2016 Council approved a recommended “Civic Precinct Plan” (Appendix 1).
Whereas in 2020 implementation of the Civic Precinct Plan was put on hold given the pandemic and its impact on the need for municipal office space, as well as the priorities of Council at the time.
Whereas a destination park and public square at the Civic Centre Lands would help to revitalize the Village Core and provide a much needed central location for community gatherings and civic events.
Whereas development of the Civic Centre Lands would be consistent with:
1) Official Plan policies which recognize these lands as part of the Major Mackenzie BRT Station Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) and the Regional Mixed Use Corridor;
2) The Investment Attraction Study (approved by Council June 2022) recommendation to explore public-private partnerships to use the Civic Centre Lands as “community-based office and culture industry-focused location;”
3) The Parks Plan (approved by Council in June 2022) directs that “The City may convert the Mount Pleasant Community Park, including The Wave Pool lands (Lois Hancey Aquatic Centre) and the lands to the east of the Central Library lands into a Destination Park to establish a new civic gathering space now referred to as the “Richmond Hill Civic Centre Lands” at the southwest corner of Major Mackenzie Drive and Yonge Street”.
Now Therefore Be It Resolved That:
a) Staff undertake a consultation process to confirm the design elements to be included in a passive park (i.e. a park with no permanent outdoor recreational facilities) on the portion of the Richmond Hill Civic Centre lands to the east of the Central Library to provide a central location for community gatherings and civic events in the short-term to be considered in the 2024 capital Budget discussion; and
b) A report back to Council following the completion of the short-term passive park works on the recommended process to develop and undertake the longer-term vision for the Richmond Hill Civic Centre lands.