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York Street and Rees Street Parks Design Competition

York Street Park and Rees Street Park are two new parks along the north side of Queens Quay that aim to set new standards for inclusive design, sustainability, and climate resilience.


Located at the southern foot of York Street and Rees Street respectively, these two parks will be designed to respond to the pressing issues of our growing city and the Central Waterfront and South Core neighbourhoods. At a distance of only 650 metres apart, the planning for these two parks is being coordinated by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto, so that they serve the diverse needs of local residents, office workers, and visitors as part of Toronto’s vibrant waterfront parks system.


Several objectives will help to guide the design of these two parks. They will take into consideration the wider context of the waterfront parks system in order to:


  • Offer compelling new park experiences and support a range of social activities for a diverse group of people and community groups.
  • Provide opportunities to incorporate innovative public art and art programs
  • Act as key gateways and arrival points to the waterfront by welcoming visitors and creating memorable experiences
  • Strive to uphold a high standard of design excellence and quality of place that has been achieved across the waterfront 

Quick Facts


0.95 ha (2.3 acres) (Rees)
0.80 ha (2.0 acres) (York)

Operated by:

City of Toronto - Parks, Forestry and Recreation


Partnership between City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation

International Design Competition

In early 2018, Waterfront Toronto (in partnership with the City of Toronto Parks Forestry and Recreation) launched a two-stage design competition for the design of York Street Park and Rees Street Park. The process began with a Request for Qualifications (RFQ), that allowed Waterfront Toronto to pre-qualify and shortlist design firms or collaborative design teams. Pre-qualified teams were invited to respond to one of two design briefs Request for Proposals (RFP) and compete in a design competition with a separate stream for each park. As part of the competition, the design proposals were shared with the public for comment and feedback that informed the decision-making of the competition’s selection committee.


The winning design proposals were announced later in 2018. The winning teams were awarded design contracts by Waterfront Toronto to complete detailed design of the parks. Upon completion, the two parks will be owned and operated by the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation division.


Public Consultation & Engagement

Since 2016, the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry & Recreation division has hosted two public meetings to get feedback from the public on the Rees Street park site (318 Queens Quay West). Building on that work, Waterfront Toronto embarked on a new round of public consultation and engagement to help inform the design competition and evaluation criteria.


  • Community Consultation – Monday, January 22, 2018 (View meeting materials here)

Public Exhibition

Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation unveiled ten creative design proposals as part of the international design competition for York Street Park and Rees Street Park.  Five design proposals were on display for each park at Toronto City Hall from July 3-17 and an online survey was open from July 5-25 so that members of the public had the opportunity to provide their feedback.  

A new website for the design competition allowed Torontonians to explore the design proposals.  

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