Loading articles...

Two new parks to be added to Toronto's waterfront

Toronto’s Waterfront will soon see two brand-new and innovative parks.

Where a parking lot now sits at the corner of Rees and Queen’s Quay will soon become Rees Street Park and just a couple blocks east at York Street, another two-acre park is in the works.

Through a design competition, the city and Waterfront Toronto have taken proposals from more than 40 international design teams and chosen 10 finalists, with the designs coming in from Montreal, Vancouver, New York and even Stockholm.

Rees Street Park Design Submissions

York Street Park Design Submissions

The designs followed strict criteria, including being able to welcome people of all ages and abilities, both office workers and residents.

Some of the must-have features were market spaces, water features and space for public art. The design teams have tackled those challenges in unique ways.

“I think it’s great, it means the world is looking at Toronto,” said Mark Sterling, Director of the Master of Urban Design Program at the University of Toronto.

“I think when you look at the projects that are being put forward, they have that interesting mix of being from here, and from being somewhere else. Some of them seem like they are from outerspace.”

So what will these two new parks look like?

Well that’s up to you – the designs are now online and on display at City Hall and the public has until July 24 to comment on them.

From there, a jury of design experts will choose two winners.

“The challenge would be trying to make this interesting, robust to take pretty heavy use.” said Sterling.

“Certainly you can hear it now, there’s a buzz around in terms of noise from the expressway and I think that’s another challenge; how to create quiet spaces.”

After a design is chosen, it’ll be a few years before these parks are ready for your picnics.

Construction for York Street Park and Rees Street Park is slated to begin in 2019 and 2020 respectively.