6: Evaluation process

The evaluation process follows a standard EA approach through the development of a comprehensive set of criteria. The design concepts, displayed in Station 5, will be evaluated using public feedback and the EA evaluation criteria to determine a preferred design of the public spaces.

Feedback from the October 27, 2022 public engagement event and this Virtual Public Engagement Room will be considered in the next design iteration and updating the evaluation criteria in which each concept will be evaluated. Preferred concepts for each of the five focus zones will then be brought together as an overall site plan for final review, evaluation, comment and refinement.


The primary objectives of the evaluation process within the Category C Environmental Assessment (EA) are to:

  • Ensure that impacts on the natural, socio-economic and cultural environments are identified and mitigated.
  • Solicit feedback from the public, stakeholders and Indigenous communities into the decision-making process.
  • Ensure that the most appropriate design concepts are tested and considered, while retaining flexibility for future design iteration and refinement.

How are we evaluating and selecting a preferred design? 

  1. The design team has developed conceptual designs for evaluation.  
  2. Prior to formal evaluation, the EA team will be working with stakeholders and the public to help establish appropriate evaluation criteria that:   
    1. reflect the goals and objectives of the project, and;  
    2. can be measured against performance thresholds. 
  3. Once finalized, the EA team  will evaluate how each conceptual design performs against the criteria.    
  4. Through the evaluation, potential modification(s) to conceptual designs will be identified to help mitigate any negative impacts realized through the evaluation process.  
  5. The EA team  will then re-evaluate modified concepts (‘alternatives’) based on revised design. 
  6. Finally, the preferred design will be recommended and presented for feedback, including mitigation measures.  

Criteria development

Evaluation criteria for the Category C EA evaluation process are grouped into six main categories: 

Natural Environment
Social Environment
Cultural Environment
Technical Environment
Economic Environment

Each category includes a set of study-specific objectives in which each design concept will be evaluated. Objectives for each of the six main categories are outlined below.    

Table 2. Objectives for the six main categories. 

Natural EnvironmentProtect and enhance terrestrial and aquatic natural features and linkages. 
Protect terrestrial and aquatic species including birds, mammals, fish and insects. 
Maintain or improve air quality. 
Social EnvironmentSocial acceptability (i.e., outcome of a collective judgement or opinion of a project or plan). 
Facilitate recreational opportunities. 
Facilitate educational opportunities. 
Provide a comfortable environment for site users. 
Cultural EnvironmentHeritage: Conserve1 and promote the cultural heritage value and attributes of the property, including built heritage resources and cultural heritage landscapes.  
Cultural: Protect traditionally used or Indigenous valued components (e.g., water, air, land) 
Technical Environment
Potential for the concept to be easily implemented. 
Facilitate multi-modal access. 
Floodplain management. 
Sediment management. 
Remediate existing contamination. 
Upgrade or replace infrastructure and buildings. 
Maintain flexibility for future programming.
Economic EnvironmentConstruction costs. 
Operation and maintenance costs. 
Economic benefits. 
SustainabilityReduce contribution to climate change. 
Include sustainable infrastructure and buildings. 
Incorporate Sustainable Communities (solution-based approach for sustainable urban renewal and climate action). 

Footnote: 1 Conservation (conserve) is defined as all actions or processes that are aimed at safeguarding the character defining elements (heritage attributes) of a cultural resource so as to retain its heritage value and extend its physical life. This may involve “preservation,” “rehabilitation,” “restoration,” or a combination of these actions or processes. 

Evaluation criteria

In order to evaluate and compare the conceptual design concepts, category-specific criteria were developed to measure each objective.  

The full list of draft criteria can be viewed at the links below. To provide an overview, examples for each category are: 

Natural Environment 

  • Protect and enhance terrestrial and aquatic natural features and linkages, criterion includes:  
    • Riparian/aquatic systems and habitat, measured by the overall area of habitat; 
    • Surface water systems, measured by an increase or decrease in water quality parameters (e.g., contaminants); 
    • Terrestrial systems and habitat, measured by the area of habitat created or removed including trees, native vegetation, wetlands and structures. 
Graphic of four people standing side by side

Social Environment 

  • Social acceptability (i.e., outcome of a collective judgement or opinion of a project or plan), criterion includes:  
    • Create a concept that is acceptable to the public and area users that is guided by feedback during consultation and engagement. 
Graphic of five hands in a circle

Cultural Environment 

  • Conserve and promote the cultural heritage value and attributes of the property, criterion includes:  
    • Compatible use with identified built heritage resources and cultural heritage landscapes, measured by the design’s ability to meet conservation strategies and reduce negative impacts on resources and landscapes. 
Graphic of a traffic cone

Technical Environment 

  • Potential for the concept to be easily implemented, criterion includes: 
    • Constructibility, measured by the ease of construction and construction techniques; 
    • Alignment with regulatory standards, measured by permitting requirements and timelines for permits and approvals. 
Graphic of a hand and coins

Economic Environment 

  • Construction costs, criterion includes:  
    • Estimated cost of construction compared to other design concepts. 
  • Economic benefits, criterion includes:  
    • Ability to offer contract procurement, jobs, or economic benefits from operating the park, measured by the number of opportunities with each concept (e.g., rentals, food and beverage sales). 
Graphic of recycle symbol with a leaf


  • Reduce contribution to climate change, criterion includes:  
    • Low atmospheric emissions (e.g., air, greenhouse gas) associated with each option, measured by a change in emissions compared to baseline conditions; 
    • Heat island effect, measured by the overall area of vegetation, ability to provide shade throughout the site, and overall area of hard surfaces. 

Input gathered from various sources (e.g., City of Toronto), agency consultation (e.g., Toronto Region Conservation Authority), and feedback from the public and Indigenous communities is being used to refine the criterion and the respective measures throughout the Category C EA process. Evaluation criteria will continue to be refined through the Fall 2022 engagement stage.  

Links to the complete draft evaluation criteria tables for each category are below.

Natural Environment table
Social Environment table
Cultural Environment table
Technical Environment table
Economic Environment table


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5: Design concepts