A green oasis of calm and refuge is coming to the busy heart of the City’s waterfront. The open space on the site of the former Gardiner Expressway off-ramp at York Street and Harbour Street is being turned into a brand new park.
The timeline is subject to change.
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.
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.
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.
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:
Community engagement played an essential role in developing the York Street Park plan. A variety of consultation activities provided diverse opportunities for people to give their input:
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.
York Street Park (Love Park) will be a 2-acre park located at the southern foot of York Street and Queens Quay West in the southern Financial District and Harbourfront neighbourhood. Reclaimed as public space from its former use as the Gardiner Expressway’s York-Bay-Yonge eastbound off-ramp, the park will be the ultimate expression of connection, community and nature.
An international design competition was held and the “Love Park” proposal by Claude Cormier + Associés, Landscape Architects, was selected as the winning submission. The key features of the new open public space will meet the needs of area residents, local office workers and the thousands of tourists who visit the City’s central waterfront each year: