Toronto mayor unveils Port Lands plan

Mayor Rob Ford unveils plans for a glitzy Port Lands that would include a giant Ferris wheel, retail space, and a monorail.

Mayor Rob Ford has unveiled plans for a glitzy Port Lands that would include a giant Ferris wheel, retail space, and a monorail.

Toronto Mayor Rob Ford unveiled his vision for Port Lands development Tuesday.

The presentation to the mayor's executive committee Tuesday was the official unveiling of Ford's multimillion-dollar vision, which would require the reclaiming of land from Waterfront Toronto.

The revitalization scheme would cost millions more than the current, more modest plan by Waterfront Toronto that emphasizes livability and green space.

The mayor said the massive remake could happen within 10 years. Costs have not been determined yet.

"This is a plan that would create jobs and revitalize the Port Lands," Ford said.

To expedite things, the mayor said the city would need to take control of the Port Lands away from Waterfront Toronto, a partnership of three levels of government and put it in full control of the Toronto Port Lands Company, a city-run company.

Toronto Port Lands has already hired Eric Kuhne, an international consultant who has done massive waterfront remakes around the world.

"This is an extraordinary opportunity. There are no waterfronts like this in North America that come close to how special and unique Port Lands is for Toronto," Kuhne said.

Ford's proposal is likely to meet resistance from city councillors who support the Waterfront Toronto plan, which envisions a mixed-use community of residential, commercial and retail space as well as 130 acres of parkland and public space.