Neighbours seek expansion of Norman Jewison Park

Krishika Jethani –

Residents near a park named after Norman Jewison want it expanded in a lane where the famed Canadian filmmaker had a studio. The lane, running south from Isabella Street just east of Yonge Street, has 32 parking spots that neighbours say could be used as parkland.

Jewison, a director and pro­ducer who created films at 18 Gloucester Lane, died in late January. “We think it’s an ap­propriate and fitting commem­oration of his life to expand the park and increase its usability,” said Al Rezoski, a member of the Bay Cloverhill Community Association.

“A whole expansion should have happened years ago,” said Connie Langille, president of the Church Wellesley Neigh­bourhood Association. When two floors were added to To­ronto Parking Authority park­ing garage at 20 Charles Street East in 2017, she said, the city “promised” more green space.

“A promise is made, a promise should be kept,” Langille said, “It shouldn’t be this complicat­ed.”

Rezoski said the intention was to transfer lands under the TPA garage to expand Norman Jew­ison Park. “You know, the big­ger project, which is to provide an interesting multi use trail that kind of connects several down­town parks in an area that’s parkland efficient,” he said.

A trail through George Hislop Park to the north connects with Norman Jewison Park, which leads to James Canning Gar­dens to its south. Both of those are being expanded.

“It makes sense that [if] the one park to the north and the one to the south are being expanded, the central park [should] also be expanded,” Rezoski added.

Langille said it should be a safe zone for people using the laneway. “Ideally, it will still be a road, but the parking spaces will be a buffer zone for pedes­trians. As it is now, you’re going between cars coming at you or from behind, so it’s not safe.”

The two residents’ associa­tions proposed the expansion in a letter to Toronto Centre Coun­cillor Chris Moise, but Langille said she heard only “silence” in return.

Rezoski has posted a proposal at https://torontocentreprojects. ca seeking support from Toron­to Centre Projects.

Councillor Moise could not be reached before print date.

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