In 2010, the City established a ‘Relationship Framework’ requiring the ExPlace Board of Governors to ‘maximize revenue from all sources.’ This removed any incentive to develop and foster the lands as park or community spaces, instead giving a green light to direct these public lands into private hands, generating revenue for the City.
Goodbye, baseball diamond and desperately needed parks; hello, new parking lots, the Biosteel Centre, expanded BMO field, and
to Regeneration Areas
In 2006, the majority of ExPlace was converted from ‘Park and Open Space’ to ‘Regeneration Areas,’ allowing leases of longer than 21 years and for massive private development of the site.
The City considers leases in excess of 21 years ‘to be a form of disposal.’ Unlike Park and Open Space lands, Regeneration Areas can be sold.
Board seeks 21+ year leases for heritage buildings
The Board has now introduced an Official Plan Amendment allowing 21+ year leases of the Heritage Buildings (still located on Park lands)—transferring public assets to private hands. They did this at the behest of Muzik, which leases the Horticulture Building for 1/10 market rate, in exchange for repairs that remain undone. A chain link fence continues to surround the Horticulture Building and the Garden of the Gods statues.
No fostering of
All effort is directed at fostering privately owned event and entertainment facilities. No effort is directed towards fostering public spaces.
In 2008, a plan was formed to create a small ‘Festival Plaza’. But every new Three Year Strategic Plan delays its implementation.
- Maps don’t show the Rose Garden.
- The Bandshell is rarely used.
- Restaurants are closed.
- Wayfinding is a disaster.
- Public access is severely restricted during events.
Taxpayer subsidies for
Maintenance of all the event and entertainment facilities, which the public has to pay to enter, requires massive upkeep. Sweetheart deals like Muzik’s aren’t paying for it. Taxpayers are paying for it to the tune of $90 million over the next ten years in Capital Costs.