Parks, Forestry & Recreation (PF&R) are the keepers of our common grounds – the parks, recreation facilities and natural spaces where Torontonians come together to make connections, develop skills, and build the kind of city in which we all want to live. In PF&R’s role as builder, steward and animator of these spaces, it ensures that parks, playing fields, recreation centres, ice rinks and pools, along with trails, forests, meadows, marshes, and ravines are beautiful, safe and accessible, and that they expand and develop to meet the needs of a growing city, and are filled with vibrant, active, and engaged communities. PF&R’s work is divided into three services:

  • Community Recreation
  • Parks
  • Urban Forestry

Download the Budget Analyst Notes for Parks, Forestry & Recreation for detailed information on service levels, key initiatives, challenges and performance measures. You can also review budget highlights below.

Parks, recreation and forestry services are key drivers of social and economic capital, contributing to Toronto’s livability and overall health. It is in community centres and parks that children and youth first learn a new sport or skill, and where youth, adults and seniors build social networks and civic connection. Splash pads, playgrounds and picnic areas are our urban living room, where we meet our neighbours and develop community trust and safety. Our ravines and urban canopy provide access to nature right in our urban backyard while performing a key ecological role and mitigating the impacts of severe weather in our city.

A vibrant, healthy and accessible system of parks, recreation facilities and programs, healthy and growing natural environments and a strong and resilient urban canopy are essential to maintaining a livable and sustainable Toronto.

Download the Parks, Forestry & Recreation Program Map to better understand the services and activities PF&R delivers on behalf of the City.

Operating Budget

The total cost to deliver these services to Toronto residents is $476.5 million gross, and $324.9 million net.

Highlights

  • 0.5% Budget increase over the 2018 Approved Net Operating Budget driven by funding for enhanced service priorities.
  • $1.396M Operating Impact of new recreation facilities, parkland, offset by small technology enabled efficiency savings.
  • $1.468M New/enhanced funding to provide recreation program access through an additional 7,500 spaces, continue the advancement of tree maintenance, increase downtown east Parks maintenance and ensure security at the Jack Layton Ferry terminal.
  • 2020/2021 Increases primarily for known inflationary adjustments and operating impacts of new community centres, park assets and pool openings.

Key Challenges

  • Toronto has one of the highest rates of recreation provision and utilization in North America and continues to face growing demand that exceeds capacity.
  • Extreme weather events are creating increased pressures on park maintenance and forestry service calls.
  • Maintaining parkland provision across the City is becoming increasingly difficult in the face of high growth, decreasing availability and increasing cost of land acquisition.

Priority Actions

  • Complete Toronto’s Parkland Strategy and the implementation plan for the Facilities Master Plan – key strategies that will guide our investments and planning for the next 20 years.
  • Lead business and digital transformation that improves user experience across key systems including booking, registration and work management.
  • Deliver an implementation plan for Toronto’s Ravine Strategy to guide various City programs and partners in protecting, celebrating and investing in our natural spaces.

Capital Budget and Plan

The 10-year Capital Plan is $1.889 billion supports an investment of $790.906 million in community centres and $776.134 million in growth-related projects. Capital projects funded are in keeping with the Parks and Facilities Master Plan adopted in 2017.

Highlights – 1 Year

  • $36.983M Continue the construction of 2 multi-stakeholder Community Centres – Canoe Landing and Bessarion.
  • $9.943M Complete construction of the Wellesley Community Centre Pool.
  • $31.059M Proceed with implementation of the Parks Plan, continue with design of Rees Street and York Street Parks, start construction of Grand Avenue Park, complete revitalization of Queens Park North, and continue with other Parkland developments across the City.
  • $50.563M To continue state-of-good-repair to maintain parkland and recreation facilities.

Highlights – 10 Years

  • $790.906M to provide for the construction of 13 new community centre facilities and provide state-of-good-repair to existing ones across the City.
  • $167.667M New parks, parkland improvements and major rehabilitation work comprise the Parks Development 10 year Plan.
  • $35.506M Continue Information Technology Projects – Enterprise Work Management System and the new Registration, Permitting and Licensing System.
  • $38.490M Replace three Ferry vessels.
  • $24.706M Remediate damage arising from the 2017 High Lake Effect Flooding and the 2018 Wind Storm.

Find more information on specific City issues, opportunities and challenges in the briefing notes and reports prepared by City staff. Documents will be posted as they become available.

Presentations made to committee and City Council provide an overview of the 2019 City budget. Documents will be posted as they become available.