The Forest Hill Village BIA recently updated the Streetscape Master Plan for the public realm, aimed at enhancing its Village-like character – to “make the Village more Village-y”. Through this process, several key priorities were identified:
· Increase the amount of green space
· Improve & increase existing social spaces
· Increase pedestrian safety
· Encourage greater bicycle use
To increase the amount of social space with the limited width of sidewalk, the 2018 phase of the Master Plan proposes the temporary installation of a parklet* on Spadina Road, east side, just north of Lonsdale. This is a trial run, a seasonal public living room that provides additional areas for visitors and members of the community to enjoy the Village during the warm months.
The installation of a parklet requires the temporary, seasonal removal of 1 parking space on Spadina Road. There are 118 parking spaces in the Village, located on–street and in the Thelma Avenue parking lot, which introduced an additional 11 parking spaces in the lot and 3 on the street following the redesign in 2015.
In addition to the positive response received at our recent community workshop, the BIA board has sought public input on the parklet installation through the delivery of a flyer to all residential and commercial addresses in and around the Village. Of the 21 responses received via email and phone between Jan 15th and 30th, 5 were not supportive, and 16 were fully supportive of the parklet proposal.
More information will be shared soon regarding next the next steps of this project.
*PARKLETS repurpose part of the street next to the sidewalk into a public space for people. These small parks can provide amenities like seating, planting, bicycle parking, and art. While they can be funded and maintained by neighbouring businesses, residents, or community organizations, they are publicly accessible and open to all. The world’s first formal public parklets were conceived and installed in San Francisco in 2010 and have since been implemented throughout North America including in Toronto on Church, Elm, and Yonge Streets.