Love Park is open.

The new 8,100 m2 park, located at 96 Queens Quay W, responds to the growing population in the downtown core, the need for flexible public green space for local residents and nearby office workers, and the thousands of tourists who visit the central waterfront each year.

Love Park’s pond was designed and built as a natural pond, which mimics a wetland and uses a natural water filtration system, not chlorine. Foggy pond water with a green hue can occur for a few weeks while the water system balances its water chemistry. The pond water remains safe and is monitored and maintained as required. The changing water hue and clarity can be affected by fluctuating water temperatures, rainwater, sun and shade.

  • June 2020: Design
  • July 2021: Construction starts
  • Spring 2023: Construction complete
  • June 23, 2023: Park opens with ribbon-cutting ceremony and community celebration

The timeline is subject to change.

During the design process and before the park got its official name, it was referred to as York Street Park.

June 23, 2023

Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony

An official ribbon-cutting ceremony took place to celebrate the park opening with the community. There was live music, family activities and more.

January 2023

Construction Update

Construction of the new park is progressing. The park is scheduled to open on June 23, 2023.

An aerial image taken by a drone showing the construction progress for the new park, which shows the centre of the park outlined as a large heart shape and ongoing landscaping around this area, including dirt paths with patches of grass in irregular rounded shapes. The park is a construction site, with construction equipment ,cars, and dirt.

October 2022

The City is working in partnership with Waterfront Toronto (WT) to deliver this project. The park design is a result of an international design competition. The winning team, Claude Cormier and Associates (CC+A), was announced in October 2018, with the contract for construction completed by Waterfront Toronto. Construction started in July 2021 and the landscaped areas of the park are expected to be complete in December 2022.  Pond mechanicals and pond commissioning will be completed by spring 2023.

September 2022

Construction Update

Construction for the new park is progressing. The mosaic pond seat wall and pond liner are complete. The planting areas, berms and drains are in the process of being installed. Upcoming work includes concrete pouring for the mechanical room, irrigation, and excavation for future tree planting.

January 2022

Construction Update

Construction for the new park continues! Construction fencing has been pushed to the sidewalk on York Street and extends partially to the sidewalk along Harbour Street. The construction near Harbour Street includes below ground excavation and foundation work for the small mechanical building that will support the heart-shaped pond. The contractors have completed the excavation work required for the footings of the seat wall that will surround the pond. The concrete pouring for the seat wall will start in late January 2022.

Aerial drone image showing heart shaped excavation for future pond seat wall. The site is framed by York Street to the left, Harbour Street above and Queens Quay below.

September 2021

Construction Notice

Demolition work to remove the concrete pillars used to support the former York-Bay-Yonge eastbound off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway is underway. All construction-related work will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Loud noise is expected during the demolition and an increase in dust and construction vehicle traffic. Mitigation measures include:

  • Dust control fabric has been installed on hoarding and fencing
  • During demolition, water will be sprayed on surfaces to prevent dust from becoming airborne
  • Steel netting will be used to prevent debris from going over the construction hoarding to protect the public right-of-way near demolition areas.
  • Mud mats will be installed at the York Street access point of the site to remove mud from truck tires before they exit
  • The east sidewalk at York Street between Queens Quay and Harbour Street will be closed to pedestrian passage during construction. Pedestrians will be re-routed to the sidewalk on the west side of York Street.
  • If required, a flag-person will re-direct pedestrians to a safer area during the removals.

Community Engagement

Community engagement played an essential role in developing the York Street Park (Love Park) plan. A variety of consultation activities provided diverse opportunities for people to give their input:

  • A public meeting and open house were held in January of 2018 in order to launch the design competition and to get initial input regarding what was important to the community in the design of the park.
  • A Stakeholder Advisory Committee (SAC) was assembled as a part of the design competition process.
    • The SAC provided input on the terms of reference for the competition and provided comments on each of the five proposals before the jury made the final selection.
  • The design teams’ submission panels were displayed at City Hall for a two week period and the public was invited to submit written comments and vote for their preferred proposal.
  • Surveys were available online during the design competition period, and the information collected was incorporated into the selection of the winning entry. The survey is now closed.
  • An afternoon pop-up public consultation was hosted in the building lobby adjacent to the park.

The design team will present the proposal to Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel in December and will begin to refine and develop the plans early in 2019. There will be scheduled opportunities for the public to see the revised plans as they progress.

The Stakeholder Advisory Committee will be invited to provide input on the plans at key milestones. The first SAC meeting will likely be held in March of 2019. A public information and update session will also be held once the schematic design is further developed.

October 2018

Winning Park Design Announced

On October 9, 2018, the winning design submission is announced for York Street Park. The jury unanimously selected Claude Cormier et Associés (CCxA) “Love Park” design.

February 2018

Design Competition Launch

On February 28, 2018, the City, in partnership with Waterfront Toronto, call on international design professionals to develop a design for York Street Park and Rees Street Park. The design competition will follow a two-stage process which starts with this Request for Qualifications (RFQ).

Love Park is located at York Street and Queens Quay West in the Financial District and Harbourfront neighbourhood. Before the park site became parkland, it was used as the York-Bay-Yonge eastbound off-ramp of the Gardiner Expressway. The park design was shaped through an engagement process that included the public, the York Street Park (Love Park) Construction Liaison Committee, the York Street Park Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the York and Rees Street Parks Design Competition, Waterfront Toronto’s Design Review Panel, and the City of Toronto’s Technical Advisory Committee.

Love Park was designed by Claude Cormier and Associés (CCxA) and includes the following features:

  • A large, shallow, heart-shaped pond at the centre of the park defined by a red mosaic-tiled seating wall
  • New and existing trees providing lush greenery and tree canopy to help screen out the surrounding buildings and bustling city streets
  • A gently swirling pathway network providing opportunities for pedestrians to move through the park quickly or stroll and enjoy the respite from the city streets
  • Seating areas and a terrace for casual lunches with colleagues, get togethers, people watching, or quiet reflection
  • A fully fenced-in dog’s off leash area, north section of the park
  • Art including nine bronze-cast Canadian animals
  • An artistic trellis designed by GH3
  • Moveable café-style tables and chairs
  • A drinking fountain and dog bowl fountain

Design Competition

In February 2018, the City, in partnership with Waterfront Toronto, launched a two-stage international design competition inviting talented and experienced design teams to pre-qualify for a competition seeking bold and vibrant design proposals for York Street Park (Love Park) and Rees Street Park. The following aspirations were applied to help guide the park design:

  • 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 that will seek design proposals for Toronto’s York Street Park and Rees Street Park, integrating them into a growing collection of vibrant public spaces along Toronto’s waterfront.

This project is funded in part by the Government of Canada through the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Government of Ontario logo with the following text: Funded by: Federal Economica Development Agency for Southern Ontario. Finance par: Agence federale de developpement economique pour le Sud de l'Ontarion.