The City is improving Moss Park and John Innes Community Recreation Centre (CRC) to better serve all community members.

  • Spring 2021: Procurement of architect and landscape architect design services and community engagement consultant
  • Summer/Fall 2022: Community Engagement Phase 1, Building a Vision
  • Fall 2022/Spring 2023: Community Engagement Phase 2, Exploring Design Options (current phase)
  • Winter/Spring 2023: Community Engagement Phase 3, Setting the Direction
  • Spring 2024: Hire a construction team
  • Summer 2024 to Fall 2027: Community Recreation Centre construction
  • Spring 2027 to Fall 2029: Park construction

This timeline is subject to change and is separate from the Metrolinx Ontario Line subway line and station construction scheduled to happen during the same time frame.

The project was slightly delayed in fall 2021, when the local Councillor, City staff and Metrolinx worked to resolve technical issues in relation to the construction of the new Ontario Line station.

How to Get Involved

We are working closely with members of the community throughout the project. Collaboration helps us learn about uses, amenities and features that best serve the diverse communities of people that use the park and community recreation centre (CRC).

As a member of the public, you can:

  • Sign up for the newsletter
  • Provide feedback by contacting the project team

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Sign up for updates related to the Moss Park park improvements and John Innes Community Recreation Centre Replacement project or unsubscribe from the mailing list.

Elements of the Engagement Process

Engagement continues to be an important part of the process. Close involvement of local residents and organization, Indigenous community members and youth will inform a redesign that honours local communities, meets current and future needs and delivers accessible and welcoming spaces for all members of the extended Moss Park neighbourhood.

The following groups are participating in this project as part of the community engagement process. Applications closed in May 2022.

Local Advisory Group (LAG)

The LAG is a group for focused discussions with local stakeholders including residents, members of nearby businesses, service providers, community groups and organizations operating within the vicinity of the park. In Spring 2022, members were selected using a civic lottery to ensure the membership is diverse and representative of the local community in terms of demographics and facility use. Through the civic lottery process, all households within two kilometres of the site received an invitation to volunteer for the committee. Those who volunteered were asked a series of demographic questions. Members were then selected at random from those who volunteered, controlling for demographic factors, including age, gender and ethnicity, so that the final group is a reflection of the community as a whole.

Throughout the project, the design team meets with the LAG to workshop and gather feedback on design progress before bringing information forward to the general public at public meetings for feedback.

Selection Process
  1. Researched demographics of the Moss Park ward, prioritizing three lenses (gender/sexual orientation, race and age)
  2. Representative distribution targets based on research
  3. Set revised targets to prioritize equity-deserving communities
  4. Revised based on application received to ensure diverse connections to park and CRC

Network of Project Champions

Project Champions are community leaders with strong relationships within the Moss Park community. The team of champions engage and consult park and community recreation centre users, gathering insights for the project. The goal of the Champions program is to connect with communities who are often not included in formal planning processes. For example, people experiencing homelessness, communities for whom English is not their first language, single parents or youth. Similar to the LAG, Project Champions are involved in workshops with the design team where they provide input and feedback before information is shared with the general public. Project champions are paid for their work and receive training and support from the project team.

Indigenous Engagement

Led by an Indigenous project partner who specializes in Indigenous engagement, the project team is engaging local Indigenous service providers, residents, organizations and treaty holders through one-on-one and group-based consultations about the project, spaces and programming. As a member of the park design team, Two Row Architect, an Indigenous-owned architecture firm based at Six Nations in Brantford, is providing an Indigenous design lens to the project and its integration of Indigenous place-keeping elements and approaches to land and water in the park.. All of our Indigenous process participants are offered a small honoraria.

Youth Designer/Artist Mentorship

As part of the project, the City created a mentorship opportunity for local youth to participate in a design/art project. One to three youth (age 13 to 18) community members will work with an artist on the project team to help develop an art or design component for the project.

Connecting with the wider Public

The consultation plan includes public engagement throughout the project. This involves connecting with a diversity of stakeholders and members of the public through:

  • public information meetings, workshops and open houses;
  • online engagement (project website, online surveys and project newsletter);
  • pop-ups (creative outreach to the general public, including story mapping or illustration-based inputs); and
  • school engagements (outreach to students and youth through pop-ups or other creative methods, such as online games)

Moss Park and the 70-year-old John Innes CRC are being redesigned to serve the evolving needs of the diverse community. This includes supporting vulnerable and equity-deserving populations in the local area and growing numbers of community residents by offering improved park amenities and recreational facilities.

The new facilities at the John Innes Community Recreation Centre (CRC) and in the park will serve local communities by responding to the experiences and goals of the diverse array of community members who enjoy the park and CRC today. Consultation with the community has informed work to date and the creation of the following Big Moves and Design Principles.

Previous Public Consultations: More Moss Park

The new facilities at the John Innes Community Recreation Centre (CRC) and in the park will serve local communities by responding to the experiences and goals of the diverse array of community members who enjoy the park and CRC today. Consultation with the community has informed work to date and the creation of the following Big Moves and Design Principles.

A New Round of Work

In 2019, Toronto City Council adopted the implementation strategy for Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan, which included recommendations for an updated plan to replace the John Innes CRC, remodel the Moss Park Arena facade and improve the park.

In addition to new consultation, key takeaways from the More Moss Park consultation process are being carried forward to inform the current City-led project.

The project provides an opportunity for a holistic redesign of the park and community recreation centre, which will lead to better outcomes for the community. The aim of the project is to create welcoming, safe and accessible spaces for all, including the most vulnerable members of the community.

In particular, safety has surfaced as a priority consideration—however, safety means different things to different people. We will be engaging community members on how they define safety and what strategies might support creating a safe and inclusive environment for the diversity of users.

What Will Be included

Replace John Innes Community Recreation Centre

  • A 25-metre, six-lane lap pool
  • A leisure/tot pool
  • Community, multi-use spaces
  • Double gymnasium with a mezzanine running track
  • Fitness studios
  • Dance studio
  • Common and administrative areas, including a large lobby
  • WIFI access throughout
  • Universal washrooms and change rooms
  • A green roof or rooftop community access (to be determined)
  • Service spaces
  • Main entrance remaining on Sherbourne
  • Current plan for some parking spaces between CRC and the arena

Extensive improvements to Moss Park

  • Passive and active recreation amenities including playground, splash pad, community gardens, off-leash dog area, and walking paths, with other features to be determined such as tennis, basketball, etc.
  • Safety such as sight lines, lighting and animation to create more eyes on the park
  • Flexible, multi-use spaces for different activities
  • Consider food security and urban agriculture
  • Indigenous place-keeping elements and approach
  • Input from local Indigenous communities
  • Enhance ecological and social sustainability and resilience of the park
  • Broader connectivity to parks and public realm network

The amenities and features proposed are subject to change as the designs evolve in response to ongoing community consultation.

This phase of the community engagement process started in summer 2022. In this phase, the project team used many of the engagement outcomes from the More Moss Park project as a starting point for this project. The City worked with residents and stakeholders to confirm an overall vision, including Design Principles and Big Moves, which will guide the redesigns of the park and CRC. The vision will likely evolve as the community engagement process continues.

This section is organized as follows:

  • Design Principles and Big Moves
  • John Innes Community Recreation Centre
  • Community Engagement Meetings and Events

Design Principles

  1. Ensure the design of the CRC and park supports equity, belonging and inclusion
  2. Ensure the CRC and Park are accessible to all
  3. Create a space that makes safety for all users a priority
  4. Design an open, permeable and transparent environment
  5. Maximize, enhance and improve green spaces
  6. Celebrate and share information about the Indigenous history and character of Moss Park
  7. Contribute to food security
  8. Be sustainable and carbon neutral

Big Moves

  1. Maintain a large area of open parkland with frontages onto Queen and Shuter by building the new CRC along Sherbourne, over the existing footprint
  2. Establish a cohesive design language between the CRC and the Arena and a strong relationship between both buildings and the future Moss Park subway station
  3. Optimize opportunities for rooftop access to the new CRC
  4. Incorporate spaces for prayer and ceremony
  5. Ensure washroom access from the outside of the building
  6. Create a new urban gateway at Queen and Sherbourne
  7. Integrate Indigenous place-keeping throughout the park
  8. Establish a renewed urban canopy of trees on Queen to match the Shuter edge
  9. Maintain and enhance key pedestrian pathways and access points into the park
  10. Maintain and enhance existing permeable park edges and protect the existing urban canopy along Shuter
  11. Maintain the strong Sherbourne urban built edge and enhance the relationship between the CRC/Arena/Park and Metrolinx Station with improved visual and physical connectivity and accessibility
  12. Remove the baseball diamond to accommodate a wider range of park uses
  13. Add a fenced, dedicated dogs off-leash area to the park to support the growing number of residents with dogs in the intensifying neighbourhood, and to protect other park amenities and park users from conflicts with dogs

John Innes Community Recreation Centre

Building on the vision and big moves, and in collaboration with the community and staff, the project team developed a preliminary plan for the community recreation centre. The bubble diagrams below show the general massing of the building, programming, amenities and relationship to the park. The building’s design will continue to be refined in collaboration with the local community.

While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this site. If you require alternate formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings, or any other content, please contact Suzanne Cooke-Wooland at 416-395-6773 or Nancy Chater at 416-338-5237.


Community Engagement Meetings and Events

August 2022

Pop-Up Events

There were five days of pop-up events at Moss Park, John Innes Community Recreation Centre, and in the local community. Community members and park and CRC facility patrons were engaged in conversations about the project. They were asked what they like about the park and facilities now and what they would like to see in the redesign.

Combined Local Advisory Group and Project Champion Meeting 2

The project team hosted a virtual meeting in which initial design ideas for the John Innes CRC were shared followed by a discussion in which Advisory Group members and Project Champions provided input.

Download the combined summary.

Indigenous Communities Meeting 1

The project team hosted a virtual meeting in which initial design ideas for the Park and the John Innes CRC were shared. Indigenous community members provided feedback and input as well as ideas about Indigenous place-keeping.

Download the summary report.

July 2022

Online Survey

From June 20 to July 3, 2022, an online visioning survey took place to collect feedback to help shape the vision, including the design principles and big moves, for the community recreation centre and the park. The survey received 483 responses.

Project Champion Updates

One-on-one calls, meetings and correspondence with the project team in which Champions reported on their community/peer outreach in relation to the project.

June 2022

Combined Local Advisory Group and Project Champion Meeting 1

Virtual meetings were held during which the project team and Advisory Group members introduced themselves, the project was reintroduced and draft design principles and big moves were confirmed.

Download the combined summary.

Open House

On June 20, 2022, community engagement for the project begins with a virtual open house. The community was invited to learn more about upcoming engagement opportunities and the emerging guiding principles and big moves for the community recreation centre and park.

Download the:

April 2022

Local Advisory Group, Network of Project Champions Call for Applications

In April 2022, the project team resumed the community engagement program by launching a call for applications for the Local Advisory Group, Network of Project Champions and Design Mentorship. See the Get Involved section for more information.

This phase of the community engagement process started in fall 2022. In this phase, the City will work with the community to develop and present early design ideas for both the park and CRC. The designs will be refined with the help of community input and will be developed into a preferred design for the park and for the CRC.

Community Engagement Meetings and Events

November 2022

Online Survey

From October 20 to November 17, 2022, the project team conducted a survey to gather insights on the preliminary designs for the John Innes Community Recreation Centre. A summary of the results will be posted on this page when available.

October 2022

Virtual Open House

On October 20, 2022, approximately 49 people attended an open house. The open house was specifically focused on the emerging designs and programming for the CRC (an open house for the park improvements will be scheduled in 2023). A summary report will be posted here when available.

This phase of the community engagement process will start in winter 2023. In this phase, the City will present the preferred designs for both Moss Park Park and John Innes Community Recreation Centre,  for further refinement through community engagement. The preferred designs will also be presented to the Design Review Panel for input.

Once the preferred designs are confirmed, the project will move into the detailed design phase, where the design team will finalize the preferred design by working through things like mechanical and plumbing details and developing detailed plans and drawings to be used by the construction contractor.

All information and material regarding the community engagement process is located in Community Engagement Phase 1: Building a Vision, Community Engagement Phase 2: Exploring Design Options, and Community Engagement Phase 3: Setting the Direction.

November 2021

The Moss Park Park improvements and John Innes Community Recreation Centre replacement are paused while the local Councillor, City staff and Metrolinx work to resolve technical issues in relation to the construction of the new Ontario Line station. We hope to have this resolved soon and will provide updates as more information is available and the process can resume.

June 2021

Public Information Meeting Cancelled

The public information meeting scheduled for June 30 about Moss Park Park Improvements and the John Innes Community Recreation Centre replacement was cancelled and rescheduled for a later date.

Leading up to the public meeting, the project team had conducted pre-consultation interviews with community leaders to share preliminary plans for the design process and gather some feedback. Through these conversations, it became clear that there are still some issues that need to be resolved and more information needs to be collected.

We want to ensure this project is a success and results in the construction of renewed City assets that will serve the community well for many years. Rescheduling the meeting allowed us to deliver a more informed project launch.

The trees along the south side of the park, next to Queen Street, will be removed by Metrolinx in order to construct the below and above ground portions of the Moss Park subway station for the Ontario Line. The City did advocate for the preservation of the trees, however due to the “open cut” method being considered to construct the below ground portion, the trees could not be retained. The City recognizes the significant loss of the tree canopy. The City has negotiated a specific agreement for Metrolinx to pay for new trees that the City will replant in the park upon completion of the subway construction. The park improvement plan that is being led and delivered by the City will be designed to enhance the urban canopy in the park. The City’s park improvement plan will also include larger trees at planting to help mitigate the loss of tree canopy along Queen Street. The City Moss Park Project Team is working with local Indigenous communities and Elders to lead a ceremony for the removal of the trees. The City Project Team is also working to use the wood from the trees in the new community recreation centre, the park and by the woodshop at John Innes Community Recreation Centre. More information will be shared as it becomes available.

For more information about the tree removal, contact Metrolinx.

Metrolinx is constructing the Ontario Line, a subway line that will run from the Ontario Science Centre in the northeast to Exhibition Place in the southwest and will include a subway stop at Moss Park. According to Metrolinx website, the new Ontario Line station at Moss Park will create a “vital connection to the subway network for the densely populated and fast-growing Moss Park community”.

The construction schedule of the new Ontario Line station is planned for the period from 2023-2030. The subway construction by Metrolinx will require a portion of the park for its construction staging. The southern half of the park will be closed to the public during this period. Ontario Line construction will overlap in time with the construction of the John Innes Community Recreation Centre, however the two construction sites will be separate. The John Innes Community Recreation Centre replacement construction is planned from 2024-2027. The City’s park improvements construction will be phased with the goal of being completed as Metrolinx completes the subway and leaves the site. The construction for the whole park is planned from 2027 to 2029. All schedules are subject to change.

While we aim to provide fully accessible content, there is no text alternative available for some of the content on this site. If you require alternate formats or need assistance understanding our maps, drawings, or any other content, please contact Suzanne Cooke-Wooland at 416-395-6773 or Nancy Chater at 416-338-5237.

An aerial map showing the project area. There will be no park access during construction for the new four-storey John Innes Community Recreation Centre, which will occur from 2024 to 2027. There will be no park access during the Ontario Line construction, which will occur from 2023 to 2030. The future Metrolinx station will be located parallel to Queen Street East, near Sherbourne Street and the existing Moss Park Arena. The existing trees along Shuter Street and Sherbourne Street will remain and the trees along Queen Street East will be removed.