Toronto's Entertainment District to become city's masterpiece; Business Improvement Area launches 'Master Plan'



    
     Plan ensures Entertainment District's vision provides a template
        for ongoing transformation - one tied to economic development
               and progressive self-management of future growth
    

    TORONTO, June 16 /CNW/ - The Entertainment District Business Improvement
Area (BIA) today announced the launch of its Master Plan - a vision for the
future that will ensure the needs of existing and future businesses,
residents, tourists and the citizens of Toronto are harmonized within the
area's ongoing transformation and revitalization.
    The Master Plan - developed through a highly collaborative, open, public
planning process between the BIA, its member organizations, the City of
Toronto, Resident Associations, the Planning Partnership and the public - has
been put forth to protect and reinforce the distinct and defining
characteristics that are central to the Entertainment District's sustained
success, and to retain and attract the kinds of businesses and organizations
that make it unique within the city.
    "Like London's West End, and New York's Broadway, Toronto's Entertainment
District will now be able to take its rightful place among the world's leading
tourist and urban destinations," said Toronto Mayor David Miller. "The
Entertainment District BIA has done a tremendous job of working with all
members of the community to ensure that this remarkable area remains a key
economic and cultural engine within the City of Toronto."
    Elements of the Master Plan were officially unveiled today at a press
conference at 225 King Street West (Atrium) at 10:15AM where the plan and its
impact on Toronto were discussed by Councillor Adam Vaughan and executives
from the BIA. One of the key priorities identified through the Master Plan
development process is recognizing John Street as a Cultural Corridor. This
'Spine' is a natural starting point for which the Master Plan aims to develop
and highlight. Envisioned as a pedestrian-oriented destination, John Street is
named in the plan as a focal point that will link the District's major civic
and cultural attractions and provide a central north-south connection linking
its five Character Areas. This morning's discussion of the plan was aided by
artistic renderings of the area's potential future state. Digital versions of
those renderings are posted on the Entertainment District BIA's website
http://www.torontoentertainmentdistrict.ca
    "Toronto's Entertainment District BIA continues to achieve significant
milestones such as this Master Plan - a document that will give its' diverse
stakeholder groups a cohesive vision to guide future change. It also provides
groups beyond the BIA's borders with a sense of what could be by providing a
vision that could link the AGO to the waterfront as an extension of its
cultural corridor," said Adam Vaughan, Toronto City Councillor,
Trinity-Spadina. "Through continued dialogue, improvements in the area's
architecture, and design of public spaces, we will create a safe, well managed
neighbourhood that mixes creative businesses, housing, vibrant day and
nightlife, and well thought-out, planned development."
    Added Jack Robinson, COO, CN Tower and chairperson, Entertainment
District BIA Board of Directors: "Toronto's Entertainment District BIA is an
extremely important area with a number of the country's most recognizable
organizations as its members. This vision, and its prioritized list of
developments, will ensure that those assets have the best possible showcase,
and that individuals will continue to build, thrive and invest within one of
the City's most vibrant neighbourhoods."

    
    The Plan's guiding principles include:

        -  To Protect historic and character buildings, current height
           patterns, and balance of mixed use spaces;

        -  To Promote local businesses, tourism, and heritage environments;
           and

        -  To Enhance streetscapes, open areas, and livable and pedestrian
           environments.
    

    "As the City of Toronto continues to grow, this Plan will help to ensure
that the Entertainment District continues to transform in a coordinated and
desirable way," furthered Michael Emory, president & CEO, Allied Properties
REIT and chairperson, BIA Master Plan Advisory Committee. "The Plan strikes a
successful balance between this extraordinarily diverse and dynamic community,
one that emphasizes the mutually reinforcing nature of the many different
parts-new buildings alongside heritage structures, cultural venues and
corridors in the midst of commercial concentrations and entertainment venues
bordering residential condominiums."
    Funding for plan implementation is expected to come from a number of
public and private partnerships. The next steps towards its implementation
include technical designs and any necessary studies to ensure successful
implementation of the plan over time.

    About the Entertainment District Business Improvement Area

    Established in 2008, the Toronto Entertainment District Business
Improvement Area's (BIA) mandate is to promote, improve, and preserve this
dynamic area of Toronto. Benefiting from economic, environmental and social
factors driving downtown growth, the Entertainment District is in the midst of
a renaissance, firmly establishing itself as a thriving and vibrant district
for living, creating, working and entertainment.
    The Entertainment District is comprised of some of the country's most
nationally and internationally recognized businesses and culturally
significant organizations, including: the CN Tower, the Royal Alexandra
Theatre, the Princess of Wales Theatre, the Rogers Centre, the Toronto Blue
Jays, the Air Canada Centre, the Toronto Maple Leafs, the Toronto Raptors, the
Toronto Rock, the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Roy Thomson Hall, the
Toronto Symphony Orchestra, CTV, CBC, NFB, the Four Season's Centre for the
Performing Arts, the National Ballet of Canada, the Canadian Opera Company and
the Bell Lightbox (soon to be located at King & John).





For further information:

For further information: or to arrange an interview, please contact:
Mansfield Communications on behalf of the Entertainment District BIA, Mark
Cohen, (416) 599-0024 x 240, mark@mcipr.com; Toronto Entertainment District
Business Improvement Area Contact: Janice Solomon, Executive Director, (416)
926-1337, jsolomon@entertainmentdistrict.ca


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