The park is currently under construction. The Project Updates section of this page has more information.
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.
- July 2021: Construction starts
- 2022: Construction complete
The timeline is subject to change.
About the Project
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:
- A large, shallow, heart-shaped pond will lie at the park’s centre and both existing and newly planted trees will provide a green canopy to help screen out the surrounding buildings and bustling city streets.
- A gently swirling pathway network will provide opportunities for pedestrians to move through the park quickly or stroll and enjoy the respite from the streets.
- Seating areas and a terrace will be present for casual lunches by employees of the neighbouring offices, for meet-ups, people watching or just quiet contemplation.
- A small dog-relief area is proposed in the north section of the park.
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 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:
- 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.