Downsview Lands Community Voice Association  

Information forum on Downsview Park for residents and park enthusiasts 

Newsletter 66                                                                                          April 2021       


In two earlier newsletters, it was incorrectly stated that the area of the (protected) existing woodlot was 30 acres or half the size of the entire William Baker neighbourhood.

In fact the entire William Baker neighbourhood is approximately 62 acres (25 hectares) and the existing woodlot is 20 acres (8.1 hectares).  The woodlot is approximately 1/3 of the William Baker neighbourhood.

William Baker Mega-Development
On February 21, Canada Lands Company (CLC) submitted its Application for District Plan setting out streets, zoning, proposed uses, density, heights of buildings, etc. for the entire William Baker neighbourhood.
  • To everybody's surprise, CLC has increased the number of condos to 3985 from 3534 
  • In another suprise they have applied to build condos on 4 sites that are currently parkland

Sites A, B, C and D are all designated to have "built form"  yet are existing parkland

Site A: 1-4 storey Apartment Neighbourhood,  25 condos

Site B: 1-4 storey Apartment Neighbourhood, 25 condos

Site C: 1-4 storey apartment Neighbourhood, 25 condos

Site D: 1-4 storeys, Mixed Use Neighbourhood, including 100 condos


Here is Canada Land's proposed version of how they want to build on site

No matter how much they finesse it, CLC should not be beefing up their condo numbers by building on existing parkland 

As a crown corporation and custodian of all of Downsview Park, the CLC should have more on its mind than simply maximizing real estate values.

At least the old Secondary Plan protected the entire woodlot.  The proposed District Plan "eats away" at the old margins by proposing what they call "intensification". 

DLCVA's objection to the District Plan as submitted to the City  

Call for volunteers: 
If you are looking for a way to get involved in Downsview's rapid growth, consider becoming part of a working group on new street signs that will give Downsview a unique identity.  We need people of all ages and backgrounds to provide ideas & review submissions. Any questions, contact Rosanna @ or sign up on the Councillor's website @



Farmer icon man growing tree sketch cartoon character Free vector in Adobe  Illustrator ai ( .ai ) format, Encapsulated PostScript eps ( .eps ) format  format for free download 2.40MBEntrepreneurship at Downsview Park

The Park's extended urban farm is an incubator of small business

What started out as 5 acres and 3 greenhouses along Keele St has morphed into a number of small agro-businesses

1.    Fresh City Farms founded in 2012, is a city farm and retailer of locally sourced organic produce, groceries, artisanal breads and chef-inspired prepared foods.  It is the head tenant and operator of the Downsview Park Urban Farm.  This growing season it is shifting its greenhouse and designated plots to its new location at the south end of the park.

2.    Toronto Black Farmers & Growers Collective develops and creates organic food products from the locally grown produce.  In addition to growing "clean food", the collective creates safe food spaces for food insecure people, shares its knowledge  and ensures best practices  via training workshops. 

3.     Sundance Harvest: (1/3 acre + 2 greenhouses) has a special place in its heart for the marginalized.  It is a food justice initiative stressing organic growing methods, education and growing things "all rooted in justice". 

4.    Member farmers are various individuals subleasing small plots on the Keele St side from Fresh City Farms on a year-to-year basis.  Some of these growers have been doing this for a couple of years.  Commonly planted are greens, herbs and flowers, often for sale

Recently spotted at Downsview Park  
Neotropic cormorant is smaller bird on left, double-crested cormorant is on the right

The double-crested is more commonly seen

The neotropic is "quite possibly the last species I ever expected to see here but I guess that's birding for you.  It also reaches the milestone of being the park's 220th bird species."  (R. Walsh, March 25)

After a number of complaints about poor visibility and hard-to-see road markings on Keele St. from Sheppard Ave W to Hwy 401, DLCVA finally gets an answer from Toronto Hydro: 

On March 24, Michael Costantino of Toronto Hydro advised: "We have reviewed this stretch of Keele and have determined additional lighting is required.  Specifically we will be adding lighting at the intersections of Keele/Tavistock and Keele/ Calvington which will bring this section up to the City’s standards for roadway lighting."

      Customized dog park latest addition to Downsview Park


Dogsview Park Rules 

  • Pick up your dog’s waste and dispose of it in the designated bin
  • Keep an eye on your dog at all times
  • No pit bulls, female dogs in heat or any dangerous animals – see the Dog Owner’s Liability Act.
  • Ensure your dog has a visible municipal license tag and has been vaccinated.


Relocated Downsview Park Urban Farm
  • Fresh City Farms (for profit tenant) has begun planting at the new location at the south end of the Park.  They have installed two low-tech moveable greenhouses called "caterpillar tunnels” or "hoop houses".  These tunnels do not require electricity and extend the growing season to December.   
  • Rather than turning over the soil, they are covering existing grassland / alfalfa with tarpaulins to naturally suppress unwanted growth
  • Fresh City will be using these tunnels to grow seedlings and early spring crops, and later to grow tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers and eggplants.

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