parks and public spaces
Great cities are defined by their public spaces. We are delivering a new generation of iconic waterfront parks and public spaces.
Toronto is often described as a city within a park. Our residents enjoy about 1,500 parks and green spaces that help to connect neighbourhoods through our ravines and down to the lakefront.
Waterfront revitalization building upon Toronto’s great tradition of parks. Twenty-five per cent of the waterfront area is reserved for parks and public spaces. Our Waterfront Parks and Public Spaces Framework, developed in 2003, identifies more than 90 parks and public spaces. We are working to design and build parks that further connect us to our lakefront and ravines and create a front door to new and emerging waterfront communities.
Parks are critical to the development of new neighbourhoods and we design communities so that parks and public spaces are their focal points. We are investing a significant portion of our government funding to build parks and public spaces that invite and draw people into new neighbourhoods. Our successful parks demonstrate that change is happening.
new parks and public spaces
Since 2004, Waterfront Toronto has opened 25 new or improved parks or public spaces including:
- Outer Harbour Recreation Node (April 2015)
- Portland Slip (July 2014)
- Canada/Ontario Square (July 2013)
- Corktown Common (June 2013)
- Tommy Thompson Park (May 2013)
- Port Union Phase 2 (fall 2012)
- Mimico Phase 2 (fall 2012)
- Underpass Park (Phase two: July 2015; Phase one: July 2012)
- Sherbourne Common (North: July 2011; South: September 2010)
- Canada’s Sugar Beach (July 2010)
- East Bayfront Water’s Edge Promenade (Phase one: July 2010)
- Leslie Street Greening and Martin Goodman Trail Improvement in the Port Lands (Phase two: July 2010; Phase one: 2007)
- Port Union Waterfront Park (Western Gateway: June 2010; Phase One: September 2006)
- Martin Goodman Trail at Ontario Place (September 2009)
- Rees WaveDeck (August 2009)
- Simcoe WaveDeck (June 2009)
- Spadina WaveDeck (September 2008)
- Cherry Beach Sports Fields (September 2008)
- Mimico Waterfront Park (July 2008)
- York Quay improvements including Water’s Edge Promenade and finger piers (2007)
- John Quay Water's Edge Promenade improvements (2006)
- Martin Goodman Trail from Marilyn Bell Park to Ontario Place (2006)
- Western Beaches Watercourse (2006)
- Marilyn Bell Park improvements (2006)
- Cherry Beach improvements (2004)
parks and open space guideline
Learn how we ensure that the parks we design and build are sustainable. Click to open in PDF.
waterfront parks and public spaces framework
Read the comprehensive framework that guides our planning of waterfront parks and public spaces. Click to open in PDF.
major waterfront parks
Throughout the waterfront, a number of new, iconic public parks are being created. Each park is designed to offer unique visitor experiences that enhance the quality of the communities that surround them.
The 1.5-hectare (3.7-acre) Sherbourne Common which opened in September 2010, is a spectacular green space in the centre of the new East Bayfront neighbourhood. It includes an urban river and dramatic zinc clad pavilion. It is also the first park in Canada to integrate a neighbourhood-wide stormwater treatment facility into its design.
Canada’s Sugar Beach which opened in July 2010 is a stylish, urban beach on the waterfront which welcomes visitors with brightly coloured umbrellas, candy-striped rocks and a plaza for public performances.
Corktown Common in West Don Lands is the cornerstone of the new neighbourhood as well as a destination for the entire city. Opened in 2013, the park features a rich, diverse mixture of landscapes to experience.
One of the first undertakings of its kind in North America, Underpass Park in West Don Lands converted the inhospitable space beneath a series of road overpasses into an inviting, dynamic recreational space. It opened to the public in 2012.
Mimico Waterfront Park includes a continuation of the popular multi-use waterfront trail, a breakwater island to protect aquatic plantings, new sand dunes and cobblestoned beaches for recreational enjoyment.
In the east end of Toronto, Port Union Waterfront Park includes improved recreational access to the waterfront, shoreline protection, cobblestoned beaches, 3.6 kilometres of waterfront trail, pedestrian lookouts and connections, and newly created terrestrial and aquatic habitat.