Parks, Forestry, and Recreation Staff have informed our office that construction will reach substantial completion before the end of 2021 but cannot open to the public until the conveyance of all park parcels is complete.
Prior to the conveyance of the park parcels, the City and landowners must negotiate and finalize easement agreements. Because the entire park is stratified, at least 2 landowners want blanket easements for access to maintain and repair their garage protection system.
Granting blanket easements is not how the City typically deals with access situations. Instead, Park Access Agreements are granted if the park needs to be used/disturbed. Blanket easements are permanent and run on title on the land while Park Access Agreements do not and that is why the landowners want blanket easements. City Legal has been trying to dispute the landowners' request for blanket easements, but given all of the previous agreements and council decisions dating back to 1998, City Legal realized that the City could be taken to court for breach of contract if blanket easements are not granted.
Staff are currently working with City Legal to ensure the City's interests are well protected and are reviewing a draft blanket easement agreement.
In addition to those legal complexities that are being worked out, Councillor Wong-Tam met with Park's Staff, Lanterra, and the landscape architects on-site to walk through the park. In particular, there were concerns raised about the children's playground (lack of physical delineation between the playground and the park paths, at the back, and along the laneway as well as trip hazards at the back of the playground). The team is working with Parks Operations staff to implement appropriate design solutions.
While the park remains closed to the public, the construction fence will remain in place and the developer (Lanterra) will maintain the park.
We are looking forward to hosting a park Grand Opening in Spring 2022.