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top five names announced in contest to name newest waterfront park

The voting round for Name That Park is now underway. Until May 17, the public may vote for one of the five names chosen from the 448 suggested names received from the public. The name with the most number of votes will ultimately become the new name of the park.

“We’re extremely pleased that so many people are participating in the contest to help us name this spectacular new park,” said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. “It’s a reminder of how important the waterfront is for the entire city and how much the public values vibrant parks and public spaces.”

The public is being asked to vote for their favourite new name on the contest website at Name That Park from the shortlist of names. The shortlist of names includes:

  • Ataratiri Park: Ataratiri (pronounced “a-tar-a-TEER-y”) is a Huron-Wendat word meaning “supported by clay.” That’s fitting, because the park is built on top of a clay flood protection landform that will prevent downtown Toronto from flooding during a major storm event in the Don Watershed. If Ataratiri sounds familiar, that’s because it was also the name for a previous plan for the area.
  • Corktown Common: “Corktown” for the larger neighbourhood the park will form a new part of—a neighbourhood named to honour the Irish workers who settled there after their country’s famine—and “Common” because it will belong to everyone. Corktown Common would be the second of two recent east-end parks to share the “Common” designation: nearby Sherbourne Common opened in 2010.
  • Don River Park: As a park running alongside the 38-kilometre-long Don River, Don River Park as a name doesn’t need much in the way of explanation: it would be called what it is – a park designed to celebrate its location in one of Toronto’s most significant watersheds. (And it would get to keep Waterfront Toronto’s working name for it.)
  • King’s Reserve: King’s Park, stretching from Berkeley Street to Queen Street East to the Don River, was one of two reserves set out by Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe for public use when the Town of York was founded in 1793. (The other, on the western end of town, was the Garrison Reserve.)
  • Wonscotonach Park: Before Lt.-Gov. John Graves Simcoe renamed it after England’s River Don in the 18th century, the river that abuts the park was called Wonscotonach (pronounced Waw-sco-taw-NAWSH) by Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation people. In her diary at the time, Elizabeth Simcoe wrote that the word meant “back burnt grounds,” though some scholars prefer “burning bright point.”


The goal of the contest is to select a name that reflects the park’s unique setting on Toronto’s revitalized waterfront in the heart of what will become one of Canada’s newest, most technologically advanced and sustainable communities.

Currently known as Don River park due to its location near the Don River, the park is inspired by the site’s many inherent assets—its strong connections to the city, its proximity to the Don River, its unique ecological history, and its position on top of the area’s flood protection landform. The design maximizes the exceptional topography and capitalizes on the unique landscape to open sightlines to the Toronto skyline, the Don River and beyond.
At 7.3 hectares (18 acres) the park is the largest in the area and will become the heart of the new community. Located between Bayview Avenue and the GO/CN railroad lines, from King Street to the rail corridor in the south, the park is leveraging essential public infrastructure to deliver a magnificent public amenity.
Park names were submitted to The Grid’s Name That Park contest website between April 11 and April 25. The 448 proposed names reflected a wide range of the park’s strengths and advantages, including geographical, historical and environmental references.

The shortlist of five names was chosen by a selection committee made up of a broad range of community representatives and reviewed by the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department to ensure the proposed names meet the city’s naming policies.

The shortlist of names will be posted on the contest website from May 6 to May 17, where people will be able to vote for their favourite name. The name that receives the most votes will be declared the winner and will be announced on May 22, 2013. The winning name will be declared official following approval by the city.
Official contest rules and the City of Toronto’s Honourific and Street Naming Policy are available on the contest website.
Follow Waterfront Toronto and The Grid on Facebook and Twitter for the latest contest updates.

Waterfront Toronto
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.

The Grid
The Grid is Toronto’s weekly city magazine. It is a fresh, accessible voice that captures the energy of the city for people in their 20s, 30s, and 40s, reflecting the downtown lifestyle of its audience through its hyper-local focus on Toronto’s many neighbourhoods. Content, which ranges from politics, the arts, and pop culture to fashion, style, and food and drink, is always delivered in a smart, surprising, highly visual way.www.TheGridTO.com

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