A new City of Toronto staff estimate pegs the cost of the proposed Rail Deck Park project at $1.66-billion. The estimate comes as part of the release of the feasibility analysis by the city, as well as an outline of next steps for the implementation of the project.
Announced in early 2017, the original estimate had the cost pegged at around $1.05-billion.
According to an article from the Toronto Star, municipal staff are looking to push forward with the project, despite the lack of a clear funding module to cover the cost. Staff would like to push forward using a portion of development funds already dedicated to the creation of parkland.
The proposed 21-acre park would run over the current rail corridor south of Front St., with the park built east from Bathurst to Spadina. The elevated park would allow for electrified trains to continue to run on the rails below.
In early October, Toronto City Council unanimously approved $2.4 million for the preliminary design of the proposed park.
Mayor John Tory has been a strong supporter of the initiative since day one.
“Anytime you have a chance, and I would say in this case it’s the last chance, to do something really bold in terms of a big new park in the centre of the city, you should seize that opportunity especially in light of the fact that you have a deficiency of parkland in that part of the city,” said Tory following the approval of the funds for the design of the project.
The current timeline for the project suggests that construction on the park would start as soon as 2020.