News   Jul 19, 2024
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Provincial review of the Ontario Food Terminal

The Food Terminal is not a farmer's market - it's a wholesale interchange between producers and retailers (not to say that it could not develop a retail component). Toronto grows no food - the GTA very little. Other than large corporate retailers with their own warehousing and supply chains, how are perishables from the unwashed 'out there' supposed to get into the urban market? Given the early hours parade of trucks and other vehicles, mixing residential seems like a patently bad idea.
The argument that every scrap of land must be elevated to 'highest and best use' grows tiresome. It employs people and provides a needed social and economic function.
 
For the sake of this thread I wont go into deep details, but here's a great read which applies to many businesses in Toronto and the GTA:

Moving the response here.

The Food Terminal could be moved to a larger industrial site in the burbs, closer to the airport and with better regional highway access. No one is saying it needs to be eliminated entirely. If anything, it could probably use a larger site than the one it is presently located on to expand its crossdocking capacity and accessibility.

Park Lawn GO is going to make it increasingly absurd to leave an industrial site in that location. Employment lands designation is fine, but office is probably a more logical use of that site.
 
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The Ontario Food Terminal opened in 1954. At that time, Ontario was about 5 million people. Today, Ontario's population is over 13 million. More likely the Food Terminal will need to be split into two, three, or even four terminals, to serve different parts of Ontario.
 
The Ontario Food Terminal opened in 1954. At that time, Ontario was about 5 million people. Today, Ontario's population is over 13 million. More likely the Food Terminal will need to be split into two, three, or even four terminals, to serve different parts of Ontario.

Ontario's population is actually close to 15 million.
 
More likely the Food Terminal will need to be split into two, three, or even four terminals, to serve different parts of Ontario.
Interesting thought. If the main bulk of the terminal can be relocated to other sites in the GTA, then perhaps a small facility with a much tighter footprint could replace the existing terminal to serve more local needs in the City core.

That makes me think that a great move would be to propose a land-swap with the owners of the neighbouring plaza where the Queensway Sobeys is located (which is apparently Cushman Wakefield). Place the newer facility and employment uses closer to the less desirable lands near the Humber Wastewater Treatment Plant, construct a service road alongside the Gardiner to connect with the Gardiner on-ramp, and rezone all the lands near Park Lawn GO extending up to The Queensway for mixed-use development.

If a smaller facility doesn't make sense from the Food Terminal's operations POV, then perhaps instead of a food terminal (and provided an alternative site is found somewhere else in the GTA), one of the logistics and distribution companies servicing e-commerce would likely be happy to lease out the space with it being so close to downtown.
 
Maybe the Food Terminal can stay where it is and sell air rights to a developer that can put some/most portions of it underground. Redeveloping this site together with the neighboring plaza has so much potential in this location, as the construction can be done in multiple phases, additional relief North-South roads can be added, as well as some green space.

At some point Queensway will get better transit options (not just the new GO station) so intensification here makes perfect sense.
 
Maybe the Food Terminal can stay where it is and sell air rights to a developer that can put some/most portions of it underground. Redeveloping this site together with the neighboring plaza has so much potential in this location, as the construction can be done in multiple phases, additional relief North-South roads can be added, as well as some green space.

At some point Queensway will get better transit options (not just the new GO station) so intensification here makes perfect sense.

The location is highly desirable, and once all the towers of the massive former Christie lands are built it will once again put this site under immense pressure.

In 2040 I'll be telling all you guys "Told ya so!!"
 
The location is highly desirable, and once all the towers of the massive former Christie lands are built it will once again put this site under immense pressure.

In 2040 I'll be telling all you guys "Told ya so!!"
I agree with you! I'm just saying that if the politicians really want to keep the Food Terminal there, most sections of it can be put underground, while towers can be built on top of it, with North-South relief roads...

Don't get me wrong, I'm in favor for relocating the Food Terminal, but maybe some sort of a middle ground can be found if for any reason city planners say that it has to be in this location in the long run.
 
I don't see why anyone should be that attached to the Food Terminal being in this location, or that desire being worth many millions of dollars per year. We're talking about perhaps inconveniencing some stores that buy produce there by having to drive 20 minutes further.
 
Interestingly, every thread in South Etobicoke/ South Swansea/Queensway area turns into a discussion about transit :)
This is probably why a single GO station will not solve all problems in the area. If HBS aims to be a new downtown with office towers, many people should be able to have easy access to it and not only people who live close to Union Station, or other few GO stations on this line within GTA.

But maybe we should leave that for a separate discussion and focus here on the Food Terminal and what could be the best way to unlock the enormous potential of it's location...
 
The province only recently committed to keeping the things the way they are for the foreseeable future.

I don't see these lands being in play anytime soon.

That's not a comment on the merit of them being in play or anyone's preferences.

I'm just saying I think that this is 'fantasy' in the near to medium term.

Relocating the terminal would be expensive; making the sale of the land significantly less attractive.

I don't see the politics for it at this point.

Doubtless that time will come; but not yet, I don't think.
 

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