The Yonge Street Linear Park network provides vital green space and a popular pedestrian route parallel to Yonge Street in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood. The revitalization project includes George Hislop Park, Norman Jewison Park and Alexander Street Parkette. The park improvements will be guided by the Yonge Street Linear Park Master Plan 2017.

The improvements to George Hislop Park, Norman Jewison Park and Alexander Street Parkette are guided by the Yonge Street Linear Park Master Plan 2017, which established design principles through consultation with a focus on the creation of continuous accessible pathways, quality seating and site furnishings, maintaining existing trees, adding welcoming lighting and new features, and enhancing safety for all park users.

James Canning Gardens was included in the Master Plan and is under construction as a separate project to be completed in 2020.

James Canning Gardens

Following the Master Plan, construction began in 2018 for the James Canning Gardens improvements. This project is associated with the development at 587 Yonge St. Originally targeted for completion in early summer 2020, the work at James Canning Gardens is held up by a legal issue involving the developer. The City is working to find the best way forward in order to allow for the completion of the park improvements.

George Hislop Park

The George Hislop Park Improvements will be guided by the 2017 Master Plan with refinements and revisions to the plan as needed to meet current and future community needs.

Norman Jewison Park

The Norman Jewison Park Improvements will be guided by the 2017 Master Plan with refinements and revisions to the conceptual Master Plan as needed to meet current and future community needs.

Alexander Street Parkette

The Alexander Street Parkette Improvements will undergo park improvements as part of a larger revitalization project in the Church-Wellesley neighbourhood. This Parkette was not included in the Yonge Street Linear Parks System Master Plan 2017 but is located in the same corridor, just east of Yonge Street.

Yonge Street Linear Park System Master Plan 2017

In 2017, the City completed the Yonge Street Linear Park System Master Plan, which included a comprehensive conceptual plan for three parks in the linear system – James Canning Garden, George Hislop Park, Norman Jewison Park. All three parks are built over the Yonge Street subway system and together form an important “green spine” and a north-south pedestrian commuter route in the Church Wellesley neighbourhood, just east of Yonge Street.

Alexander Street Parkette was not included in the Master Plan but it is located in the same corridor just east of Yonge Street and has been added to this project to achieve a comprehensive approach to the neighbourhood parks.

Following the Master Plan, construction began in 2018 for the James Canning Gardens improvements. This project is associated with the development at 587 Yonge Street. Originally targeted for completion in early summer 2020, the work at James Canning Gardens is tied up in a legal issue involving the developer. The City is working to find the best way forward in order to allow for the completion of the park improvements.

Background Reports

Church Wellesley Village Neighbourhood Plan

The State of the Village Study and Neighbourhood Plan Report was undertaken by The 519 Church Street Community Centre to answer two questions central to the Church-Wellesley Village and LGBTQ2S+ “villages” around the world:

  • What is the role of an ‘LGBTQ2S+ Village’ in a modern and progressive city?
  • What must be done to support the Church-Wellesley Village to solidify its role as a major cultural community hub in the Toronto context?

These questions were brought on by unprecedented social and economic changes underway in Toronto and across North America. More visible than ever before but in a complex state of transition, the Church-Wellesley Village community faces questions around the future of the neighbourhood. How can the Church-Wellesley Village and the LGBTQ2S+ community work best with the forces of development, changes in societal norms, and the dispersal of LGBTQ2S+ hubs across the city to create a 21st-century community that honours its cultural diversity, identity and history, while retaining and reinvigorating its cultural relevance and economic vitality? A central objective of the project was to understand the Church-Wellesley Village community, draw lessons from other LGBTQ2S+ communities, and set a path towards building a stronger, healthier community prior to the international spotlight of World Pride 2014 and the 2015 Pan American Games and with lasting impact beyond these events.

A multi-phase public engagement strategy will begin in September 2020 to gather feedback from the community, community groups and stakeholders on the Yonge Street Linear Park improvements. Information will be shared here when the details are confirmed.

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