Bringing a new rink to Leaside has been an important local priority for me. Today, I have good news to share about progress to reach that goal. As a result of work I’ve done with Councillor John Parker and provincial and city officials, the Province and the City have reached an agreement in principle on a plan that would see the transfer of the Film Review Board Lands from the Province to the City. We expect that the deal will go to Toronto City Council for their approval in the months ahead with provincial approvals to be sought thereafter.
The Leaside Gardens expansion has been an issue since before my time in office and I have worked hard to make it a reality. For over two years I have held meetings at Queen’s Park to give stakeholders a place to discuss the steps needed to make it come to fruition. I have removed barriers in this process by negotiating a provincial commitment to pay the relocation costs for the Ontario Film Review Board, as well as initiate its relocation. With this agreement in principle, we are now taking another important step forward.
Under the agreement, the City would purchase the film board lands out of existing parkland reserves. The 1075 Millwood site, which currently houses the Ontario Film Review Board will then come under the stewardship of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, in order to permit the construction of a new ice rink.
Next steps for the agreement in principle involve consideration at the City’s General Government, Budget, and Executive committees. With those approvals in place, the agreement would move on to final City Council and Provincial approvals. If all goes well, the land transfer could be completed late this year. Getting a new rink for Leaside is now an important step closer. I will continue to keep you updating on our progress towards this important local priority.