A new 420m2 park is coming to 1 Defries St, as part of a residential development project at Defries Street between Mark Street and Labatt Avenue in the Regent Park neighbourhood.

  • Spring 2022 to Spring 2023: Community engagement and design development
  • Summer 2023 to Winter 2023: Detailed design
  • Early 2024: Construction starts
  • Late 2024: Construction complete, park opens

The timeline is subject to change.

Sign Up for Updates

Sign Up Now

Sign up for updates related to the new park at 1 DeFries or unsubscribe from the mailing list.

May 2022

Phase 1: Vision for the Park

To help understand the community’s priorities for the future park, the City engaged the community in an online survey, classroom workshop and park pop-up event. The design team will use the feedback collected to develop a proposed design for the park.

Online Survey

From April 8 to May 27, 2022, 240 community members participated in an online survey where they shared a total of 194 ideas and over 3,800 ratings of those ideas for the new park. Review all raw ideas and rankings.

Key Feedback Highlights

  • When asked what types of programming they would like to see in the park, 87 per cent of participants selected seating with trees and planting, 49 per cent selected a play area, and 40 per cent selected outdoor fitness equipment
  • Benches were the preferred type of seating for the park (65 per cent), followed by café style tables (50 per cent) and Muskoka chairs ( 49 per cent)
  • Sliding, climbing and swinging were the preferred types of playground activities
  • Pull-up bars and push-up bars, followed by step benches and climbing structures were the preferred types of fitness equipment
  • Respondents felt that lighting, wide pathways, and clear visibility and sightlines were important to providing a sense of safety in the park

The most popular ideas within the project scope for the new park were:

  • Ensure the new park has plenty of green space, trees, and as well as pollinator, hardy and native plants to support the creation of a healthy ecosystem and relaxing park space
  • Provide a sense of safety by ensuring there are no blind spots and that the park is well-lit. Provide clear sight lines toward adjacent roads and the slope located to the east of the new park
  • Ensure the new park design considers noise from nearby roads, including Dundas Street East, Bayview Avenue, River Street and the Don Valley Parkway.
  • Create a park that provides plenty of opportunities for residents and visitors to meet and get together with friends and family, including areas with wheelchair-accessible tables and seating to enjoy meals and relax
  • Ensure the park is fully accessible to those of all ages and abilities, including those with mobility devices, sensory, and other special needs.
  • COVID-19 has emphasized the importance of public park space for residents’ mental health, their ability to spend time alone outside of their homes, and safely meet with neighbours, friends, and family. As such, ensure the new park includes plenty of diverse seating options, tables, and park features that support person-to-person interaction
  • Provide park features that appeal to teens, as well as younger and older adults.
  • Provide a drinking fountain or station to provide park users access to water to keep hydrated
  • Ensure the park is clean and well maintained by providing a sufficient amount of garbage bins, including cigarette disposal receptacles and/or ashtrays, as well as pet waste bins to help mitigate litter in the new park

Classroom Workshops

On May 24, 2022, the project team held four classroom workshops at Nelson Mandela Park Public School for approximately 80 students in grades one, two, three, five, six, seven, and eight.

Popular ideas  from younger students (grades one to three) were:

  • A set of swings
  • A ball pit
  • Monkey bars
  • A basketball net
  • A hopscotch board
  • A treehouse
  • A fresh fruit garden
  • Café tables
  • A climbing wall
  • A flower garden
  • Publish washroom
  • A decorative water fountain

Popular ideas  from older students (grades five to eight) were:

  • An obstacle course
  • Monkey bars
  • Larger slides for older children and teens and smaller slides for younger children
  • Swings for older children and teens
  • A zip line
  • A flower garden
  • Plenty of umbrella tables
  • A bike lane or biking infrastructure
  • Large green spaces
  • Several sports courts and fields including a volleyball court, half-basketball court
  • Vending machine
  • Water fountain

The new park at 1 Defries St will be about the size of a basketball court and will front Labatt Avenue and Defries Street. A portion of the park will be located on the existing Labatt Avenue right of way, which will be closed to vehicles. The park will be accessible and include various amenities and seating areas. A dogs off-leash area will not be included in the design due to the park’s limited size.

The park design will evolve through consultation with nearby schools, area residents and the general public in order to design a space that meets the needs of the growing 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 Katie Black at 437-788-7245.

An aerial map showing the location of the new park in light green, which is bounded by residential development to the north, DeFries Street to the west, Labatt Ave to the south, and open space to the east. The location of a new path parallel to Bayview Avenue is show in dark green.