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New parkette overdue for some tender loving care

It’s tough to be an unloved child, never mind an orphan.

But that’s the status of a parkette created in 2016 by the TTC, as part of the new streetcar facility under construction on Lake Shore Blvd., east of Leslie St.

A new parkette was built in 2016 at the southeast corner of Leslie St. and Lake Shore Blvd. as part of a rebuild of an adjacent TTC operations facility. But it has yet to be turned over to the city and the drinking fountain has not been hooked up to water, leaving people to wonder why it doesn't work.
A new parkette was built in 2016 at the southeast corner of Leslie St. and Lake Shore Blvd. as part of a rebuild of an adjacent TTC operations facility. But it has yet to be turned over to the city and the drinking fountain has not been hooked up to water, leaving people to wonder why it doesn’t work.  (JACK LAKEY)

The TTC began a substantial project a few years ago to build a facility to service the low-floor fleet of accessible streetcars that will replace the old ones — if Bombardier ever gets its act together and delivers them.

The new Leslie streetcar barns, which are still in the final stages of work, are being “built to Toronto Green Development standards,” says the TTC’s website, including “enhanced streetscaping.”

Some of the streetscaping involves the Leslie-Queen St. area, while the rest if it is around the periphery of the new facility, particularly at the southeast corner of Leslie and Lake Shore.

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A reader who asked not to be named has sent us two emails in the past year (and at least that many to city officials) about the parkette, saying it was completed in the fall of 2016 but is still waiting for finishing touches.

“Other than grass cutting, the city has neglected this park, as all the flower beds are overgrown with weeds and no new plantings or soil tilling has been done since October 2016,” he said.

“Leftover construction pylons as well as large sheets of plywood still lay on the ground beside the fountain, remnants of the construction.”

His main concern is the new drinking fountain, just steps away from the Martin Goodman Trail, which he says has never worked and would be appreciated by people using the recreational trail.

We went there and found the scrap wood, signs and pylons next to the very dry fountain; it was obvious that the parkette could indeed use some tender loving care.

STATUS: Matthew Cutler, a spokesperson for the parks department, sent us a note saying “the construction on this property is a TTC project, but it will be operated and maintained by our division once it is handed over. We’re working with the TCC to get the handover completed as soon as possible.”

But he provided no timeline for the transfer, and with fall just around the corner, it’s likely that it won’t be assumed by the city before next year, which means it’ll probably be a long time before the fountain is wet.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Email jlakey@thestar.ca or follow @TOStarFixer on Twitter

TORONTO STAR