Liveable Community Project
Thorncliffe Park & Flemingdon Park, Toronto, 2010
As part of a partnership with the provincial government to promote built environments that support healthy lifestyles, 8-80 Cities undertook a community engagement process in two communities in Toronto in 2010. The goal of the project was to raise awareness about the importance of creating more people-friendly streets and public spaces and to collect community input for the development of an action plan to improve opportunities to walk, bike, and enjoy public spaces in these neighbourhoods.
Thorncliffe and Flemingdon are two of Toronto’s most densely populated inner suburbs located about 10km northeast of the city centre. Both communities are popular destinations for newcomers to Canada, creating highly multicultural neighborhoods. With population densities of up to 8598/km2 to 11232/km2 respectively, Flemingdon and Thorncliffe are two of the most densely populated communities in Canada making both well positioned to foster active transportation and lively public spaces. However, people oriented urban design has not been a priority in these communities.
In July 2010, a series of events were organized by 8-80 Cities and local partners to gather ideas from the communities on how to improve the overall walk-ability, bike-ability, and quality of life. The project consisted of six on-site sessions to engage a wide and diverse cross-section of community stakeholders including:
- Thorncliffe community workshop
- Women’s public spaces focus group
- Youth cycling workshop
- Public Town Hall meeting
- Flemingdon community workshop
- Breakfast session with community leaders
The sessions were designed to raise the level of awareness about urban liveability issues as well as to generate specific ideas about how to improve walkablity, bikeablity and public spaces in the communities. Recommendations distilled from the discussions, surveys, workshop activities, and group presentations from the various sessions were then compiled into a 70 page detailed community action plan report.
Key recommendations from the report include:
- A ‘pedestrians first’ neighbourhood policy
- Developing an Open Streets Program on Sundays
- Improving walking and cycling connections to the Don Valley trail network
- Physically separated bicycle lanes on key routes
- Improving access to quality public space