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New park to transform Toronto and attract investors

by Justin da Rosa on 09 Sep 2016
A planned Toronto project is drawing comparisons to Manhattan’s Central Park and it's catching the attention of potential buyers and investors looking to cash in.

Rail Deck Park, recently announced by Mayor John Tory, is a 21 acre green space that will cloak the railroad tracks between Blue Jays Way and Bathurst Street in Downtown Toronto.

It has developers and investors excited about the prospect of condo towers overlooking a large green space ala Central Park in Manhattan.

“There is a lot of excitement in living in a very dense, urban city because there are so many things to do, but I think a lot of city dwellers crave access to nature as well; that’s probably why so many flee the city on weekends to cottages, wilderness, and camping to sort of reconnect with nature,” Wells Baker, director of conservation and sustainable design at the Minto Group, told Canadian Real Estate Wealth. “So having a very large, substantially-sized park right in the downtown core is, I think, an essential part of a dynamic and sustainable city living.”

The park has drawn comparisons to Chicago’s Millennium Park, Vancouver’s Stanley Park, and the aforementioned Central Park.

Not bad comparisons, especially considering what real estate around Central Park currently goes for.

“Having a park like Rail Deck Park would make it a lot easier for people to get to their own piece of nature. I think High Park is a phenomenal asset as well but it’s a little bit far for people to get to,” Baker said. “There are little tiny pockets in neighbourhoods that have green space but I think having something that large and that close to the core of the city is huge.”

Although it’s been announced, Rail Deck Park is far from a done deal. A financing plan, timeline, and design concept have not yet been announced.

But that means investors could scoop up properties at a better price before a formalized action plan is unveiled.  

“There’s always a risk with large budget and long-term projects that no matter how great a vision is it may not come to fruition or it was intended,” Baker said. “From an investment perspective, just knowing it is a possibility brings a lot of value.”

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