The Downsview Park lands are comprised of 260 hectares (644 acres) of which 235 hectares (581 acres) are managed by Parc Downsview Park Inc. (PDP). A total of 130 hectares (320 acres) are designated for parkland and recreational and cultural uses. The remaining lands will be leased to generate funds for the development of the park and the site’s infrastructure. The various land uses depicted on the map are outlined below.
Parkland (89 hectares/220 acres)
The core of Downsview Park is located in this land-use district. This portion of the park is approximately 89 hectares (220 acres) and will be the location for a wide variety of passive park activities (hiking, walking, jogging, dog walking) and natural areas. Landscaped open spaces will provide areas for picnics, informal sports and various sizes of gatherings. The park design will be based on the principle of environmental sustainability and will provide the opportunity to implement leading edge ecological practices, establish natural processes and re-generate or create natural areas. The park will also recognize the significant heritage of the Downsview area.
The Recreational/Cultural Campus is part of the parkland, but with a focus on intensive recreational and cultural uses that could utilize the several existing historically significant structures. These buildings include de Havilland’s original manufacturing facility and a 479,000 square foot World War II aircraft hangar. Existing uses in these buildings include an indoor soccer academy that is managed by the Ontario Soccer Association and an aerospace museum in its infancy. While future uses are still undetermined, possible uses include: small museums, studios, interpretive program areas related to the parks themes, farmers market, space for craft and flower shows, etc. More detailed planning for this area will occur following the completion of the park design competition.
The development of this area focuses on the re-use of the existing 910,000 square foot Supply Depot building. At present this area is being used by a wide variety of warehousing and film making companies. Over the long-term, a number of high technology research, office and other commercial uses are contemplated within and around this building.
The lands east of the runway have been designated Sports and Entertainment, however PDP is currently working with the City of Toronto and the community to revise the land use plan for these Lands.
Although Canadian Forces Base Toronto was closed in 1996, the Department of National Defence (DND) has ongoing operational needs in the Greater Toronto Area. To this end, a new facility will be built east of the runway to meet the requirements of DND’s Land Forces Central Area (LFCA).
A parcel of land has also been reserved to the north-end of the runway for the outdoor training requirements of DND’s Land Forces Central Area (LFCA).
The Defence and Civil Institute for Environmental Medicine (DCIEM) is an existing use located at the corner of Sheppard Avenue and Yukon Avenue. DCIEM undertakes high technology “human factors” research for defence applications. The DCIEM building houses numerous high technology instruments including a centrifuge (for jet aircraft simulations) and a hypobaric chamber (for deep-water diving simulations).
A 21 hectare (52 acre) residential enclave, which will be compatible with the parkland and existing neighbourhoods.
A 19 hectare (48 acre) residential enclave, which will be compatible with the parkland and existing neighbourhoods.
A portion of the remaining decommissioned east-west runway has been reserved for de Havilland for their ongoing manufacturing operations. This land is currently not being utilized.