Toronto Coun. Doug Ford's vision of developing a monorail, ferris wheel and mega-mall in Toronto's Portlands may be closer to reality than a blue-sky concept.

The city's economic development department has been working on the idea for months and a leading architect and a designer have also been retained.   

An architect regarded as one of Toronto’s finest, Mark Sterling was hired by the city-controlled Toronto Portlands Company about two months ago to see if the plan was possible.

"There is a program of those sorts of things that I was presented with as possible things that we might look at down there to see if there is capacity for them, whether there’s an appropriate way to we accommodate them," he said.

Sterling also wanted to clarify what a monorail might look like.

"The monorail, really, is shorthand for some sort of higher order transit linking the Portlands through east Bay Street and Front Street to the rest of the city, possibly through Union Station."

Urban designer also working on the project

The Portlands Company has also retained Eric Kuhne to come up with ideas. He's an urban designer responsible for waterfront revitalization projects around the world.

Members of the mayor's executive committee, including Coun. Peter Milcyzn, are weighing in with their support. 

"Toronto right now is one of the most vibrant development markets anywhere in the world," he said. "There is a lot of offshore money and local money that’s looking for great sites to invest in."

The city's plan for this site will be debated next week.

With files from CBC's Jamie Strashin