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New Toronto Varsity Stadium proposal is back

Rocket Robin

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This story from the Toronto Star (their GTA section, not sports news)but from the day before the announcement for trouble with the York University Stadium.

like now the neighbours don't object to a smaller 5000 seat stadium?

Actually this would be a nice small, fillable stadium for an A-League Toronto Lynx team :)

what are we going to bring to the bake sale?


Apr. 21, 2005. 08:34 AM

Varsity Stadium plan gets an A



After several false starts, a proposal to redevelop the University of Toronto's Varsity Stadium site seems to be on track.

The plan, which includes a new 5,000-seat stadium, an eight-lane track, a new athlete support centre and a refurbished arena, received strong community support when it was presented last month, says the area's councillor. It will go to the university's governing council on May 10 and could be approved as early as June.

The previous stadium — first built in 1924 — was demolished in 2002 due to safety concerns, including seating that had to be shored up with jacks, nails protruding from seats and plumbing headaches.

"This is something that's desperately needed by the students and it's a welcome addition to the neighbourhood," said Councillor Olivia Chow (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina).

Several previous projects, including a 25,000-seat stadium for the Argonauts and the Soccer Association of Canada, were "way too big" and not compatible with the community, Chow said. "The local residents are fine with (the project) ... In fact, throughout all the consultation of the previous incarnations, residents have said up front if (the stadium) is 5,000 seats, they can support that," she said.

"There has been a great deal of dialogue. They (the university) have given us an opportunity for our input. By and large, I think we've got something we can work with now," said Neil Wright of the Harbord Street Business Improvement Area.

"(The proposal) is more in keeping, I think, with the aesthetics and context of the neighbourhood ... and although Toronto is morphing each day with all the new developments that are coming, I think this one's a pretty well-thought-out plan. It accommodates the university ... and it's sensitive to the neighbourhood around it."

Ron Venter, the vice-provost of space and facilities planning, said different plans have been on the drawing board to redevelop the stadium site since the late 1990s, including a big-box store, student housing combined with commercial space, and the Argonauts project. Venter said the university needed a new stadium with artificial turf for football, a track, a new athletic centre, a renovated arena and new seating.

The field will be covered with a "bubble" so it can accommodate year-round use, he added.

The project, if approved, will cost $60 to $65 million. The university has agreed to finance part, but fundraising will be needed for the rest, he said.

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