Aitken Place Park is a multi-purpose space connecting Bayside to the broader East Bayfront community. The park includes places for children and pets to play, as well as quiet spots to relax and enjoy waterfront views.
Located just east of Lower Sherbourne Street and south of Queens Quay, the 0.75-acre park is just east of Bayside’s Aquavista development. The park connects north to Queens Quay via a shared street named Kanadario LaneWay. To the south of the park is local street Merchants’ Wharf and the continuous Water’s Edge Promenade along Lake Ontario.
Aitken Place Park was designed by Forrec Ltd. with lead designers SWA/Balsley Associates to reflect the continuous Water’s Edge Promenade and strengthen neighbourhood connections. It was conceptualized as an urban refuge with sheltered spaces to work or watch the water, and spaces to play – a different experience to complement the other parks in East Bayfront, Sherbourne Common and Sugar Beach.
a versatile space
The design creates a variety of different experiences for park-goers. A new landform lifts the entire park landscape, creating a knoll which slopes down towards Lake Ontario, an ideal spot for sunbathing in the summer and sledding in the winter. At the top of the slope, an overlook offers a place to sit and enjoy views of the water. A zigzagging trail runs down the slope towards an urban porch at the park’s southern edge. Outfitted with swivel lounge chairs, this slightly elevated urban porch provides views beyond the sidewalk to the lake. The sides of the lawn and edges of the park will be heavily planted with tall grasses, ground cover, shrubs and trees to create an escape from urban surroundings. On the western edge of the park is a garden promenade with views all the way from Queens Quay to the lake. A tree-covered promenade has been populated with multi-use seating, spaces for individual work or group meals. Children’s play equipment also runs through this space. At the northern edge of the park, a dog relief area has become a separate space thanks to planting along its edges.
Aitken Place Park features a number of sustainability best practices. Examples of sustainability features incorporated into the park’s design include easy access to public transportation and low energy lighting. Drought-tolerant native plants, FSC-certified wood and locally sourced materials were used.
As part of the East Bayfront Public Art Master Plan, an art installation is integrated into the park’s design. A Request for Qualifications for public art in Aitken Place Park was released in September 2015 and issued to Caitlind Brown & Wayne Garrett with Studio North Inc.in November 2016.
The park has been designed to be fully accessible, including the knoll, pavilion, porch and dog run.
In April 2015 we asked for your feedback and input on the programming (needs and uses) for the park. An updated design was then presented at a public meeting in July 2015.