Pick a Park

After Waterfront Toronto heard what people want in two new parks on Queens Quay, they held an international design competition for York Park and Rees Park. Five winning teams were selected for each, now on display in great detail at yorkreesparkdesign.ca, and also exhibited in the Rotunda at City Hall.  Everybody is invited to comment in a survey and pick their favourite designs. Deadline for participating is July 17. The designers were asked to name their park projects, but the official naming is expected after construction starts in 2019.

The two parks are very different in nature. The two-acre York Park will be a green retreat with a water feature, tall trees, art, seating areas, an event space, and possible repurposing of the contentious concrete pillars (bents) that held up the former traffic ramp. Here is an image of “Gardiner Green” from PLANT Architects in Toronto and Mandaworks from Stockholm.

The site for Rees Park is 2.3 acres and currently a parking lot. A vibrant park with year-around activities will fill this gap in Queens Quay by including a pavillion, market activities, an open lawn, art and space for dogs. Snohetta from Norway designed “The Nest” for the competition. They also included a unique integration with Lake Shore Boulevard by providing a bike path under the Gardiner Expressway.

Save the trees!

The access ramps in our neighbourhood to the Gardiner will be redesigned. The circular ramp at York and Queens Quay is coming down and a new park will be created from the green space inside.  YQNA has saved this parkland from various proposed  developments — from sewage treatment plant to roadways for parking. Because of our long fight to keep this park on the Waterfront, we are taking stock of the many trees on the site. They are fully grown and some appear very healthy. It is our wish to get a green park that is not dominated by hard surfaces, and to keep as many trees as possible. Here is a beautiful maple tree, ready to shade the centre of our new green entryway to the Waterfront.