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City Council gives final go-ahead to downtown plaza

Construction will take 37 weeks, beginning almost immediately
2020-09-25 Dowtown Plaza 2
Downtown plaza

Our over-budget downtown plaza is now a done deal.

City Council agreed tonight to let Avery Construction Ltd. build the landmark project for $8,594,531.

Construction on the site behind the Bay Street Tim Horton's is to begin almost immediately.

The work is expected to take 37 weeks, ending in January 2023.  

The new plaza will include an ice rink, splash pad, stage area and audience seating.

Ward 5 Coun. Matthew Scott expressed concern that some building materials are currently in short supply, but Tom Vair, the city's deputy chief administrative officer, said the plaza job is believed to be on track for timely completion.

Scott voted against awarding the construction contract, saying he's concerned about the cost and timing and would prefer the money go to fixing roads.  

Ward 3 Coun. Matthew Shoemaker and Ward 4's Marchy Bruni were also opposed.

Mayor Provenzano emphasized that the plaza isn't just a hastily developed plan to fill a vacant lot, but part of a holistic plan that's been many years in the making.

That plan includes the rebuilding of Bay and Queen Streets, moving the Mill Market downtown, and turning Spring Street into a woonerf.

Subject to budget approval, the work on Queen Street is to be undertaken next year, councillors were told. 

The final price of the downtown plaza was negotiated down from Avery's original bid of $8,791,900.

No levy increase will be necessary to cover the remaining $1,318,569 budget overrun, which will be paid using unallocated cash from the Canada Community Building Fund.

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David Helwig

About the Author: David Helwig

David Helwig's journalism career spans seven decades beginning in the 1960s. His work has been recognized with national and international awards.
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