Great Oak tree update

By Sean Delaney

On November 26, 2020, Toronto City Council authorized the purchase of the property at 76 Coral Gable Drive to create a public parkette, with a commitment to pay the fundraising shortfall.

This is excellent news for the residents of Emery. Many people have spent countless time and energy helping to save what could be perhaps, Toronto’s oldest living tree.

The owner has been notified that the City of Toronto waived the fundraising clause and would proceed with the purchase. There is now a 90-day due diligence period (environmental assessment, condition of the building), which could be extended by 60 days if needed. Once the due diligence is completed to the city’s satisfaction, then it would be 45 days until closing.

The next steps in the creation of the parkette will see the city complete some due diligence, including the closing of the sale, demolition of the house, site restoration, development, and finalization of a park plan which will include public consultation before moving to the construction phase.

The development of a park plan will include a site analysis and early concept plans, detailed designs, and final construction drawings, with public consultation and input at critical stages throughout.

Development of the park plan can begin once the transaction is closed in 2021 and environmental investigations and site analysis complete.

In time, city staff will undertake a variety of public consultation activities throughout the design process. The city staff will engage the public on themes, principles, and programming that suits the distinct context of the site and complement the red oak tree as the central feature of the park.

The timing of construction and opening of the park is dependent on the various steps in the restoration and design processes and on securing parkland development funding (which has not yet occurred).