Selection of police station in East York delayed

More time needed to 'consider and respond to community feedback'

The East York Civic Centre is a possible site for a new police station with the amalgamation of the 54 and 55 Divisions.
The East York Civic Centre is a possible site for a new police station with the amalgamation of the 54 and 55 Divisions. Eduardo Lima/Metro

The decision on a site for a Toronto police station to house the amalgamated 54 and 55 Divisions will take a little longer than expected.

The report to the executive committee moved from Nov. 29, 2017, to Jan. 24, 2018.

“They did that to allow the project team more time to consider and respond to community feedback because they had two consultations,” said Natasha Hinds Fitzsimmins, communications and marketing consultant for the city.

“The report was supposed to go to committee at the end of November, and that would mean that the community only had a limited time to provide feedback,” she said. “There was the community consultation and also an online survey. So that would mean that those things would have to wrap up sooner rather than later.”

The city of Toronto originally identified 550 potential sites for a station to house the amalgamated division before the Toronto Police Services held public community meetings at the East York Civic Centre in October.

At that time, the choices were narrowed down to three:

  • 850 Coxwell Ave. (East York Civic Centre)
  • 1627 Danforth Ave. (TTC garage)
  • 101 Coxwell Ave. (55 Division headquarters)

The selection process, according to Section 14 of the Toronto Police presentation, used categories such as building size (411 were not selected due to property size being under 1.5 acres), property type (108 were removed due to containing unsuitable property such as parks and railway land), site availability (26 were crossed off the list), and evaluation criteria developed by Real Estate Services in consultation with Toronto Police Service and City Planning (two potential sites were removed).

A Dec. 12 article by Josh Sherman of Beach Metro Community News reported that a letter to the city from the Danforth East Community Association (which has been talking to the city during the consultation process) led to the delay, according to Brad Bradford, a DECA board member.

“We want to kind of pump the brakes and just have a chance to consider the process and the evaluation framework and how we got to where we are,” Bradford told the paper.

The delay does not necessarily mean saying no to any of the proposed sites, he added. However, he also said that the community has its eye on the TTC garage as a possible hub.

TPS outlined specific criteria to the city’s real estate services division. The criteria included room for a 50,000-square-foot building with a footprint of 25,000 square feet, Beach Metro Community News reported.

TPS’s budget is $37.3 million for design and construction. Spokesperson Frank Bergen, in October, said that amalgamating 54 and 55 Divisions figures into a “$100-million budget containment” effort.

The new site is tentatively to be completed and ready for occupancy by 2024. That, however, could change depending on which site council votes for.

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Posted: Dec 23 2017 10:23 am
Filed under: News