The City is improving Anniversary Park with the help of local community feedback. The objectives of the park improvements are to enhance the infrastructure and amenities in order to support its current and future use and to improve park accessibility and safety. The proposed improvements may include additional seating, water bottle filler and new plantings.

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 Rachel Weston at 416-937-3481.

  • Winter 2023: Hire a design team
  • Spring to Fall 2023: Community engagement
  • Spring to Winter 2023: Design development
  • Early Winter 2024: Hire a construction team
  • Spring 2024: Construction starts
  • Winter 2024: Construction complete

The timeline is subject to change.

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Draft design options were developed based on the feedback collected during Community Engagement Phase 1. In Community Engagement Phase 2, these designs were presented to community members for feedback. Based on this input, the design team will develop a single preferred design option that will also takes into consideration the available budget, site conditions, and operational requirements for the park.

Design Option 1

The image shows design option 1 for the revitalized Anniversary Park. It has an angular-linear form along the south side of the site. There is a water feature in the center of the site, and it is open to both the Gerrard Slip Lane and Parliament Street.
Legend

  1. Long bench
  2. Vertical misters water feature
  3. Decorative paving
  4. Tables and chairs
  5. Vertical gateway feature
  6. Native pollinator planting
  7. Existing tree
  8. Proposed tree
  9. Tree in grate with soil cells
  10. Column lighting
  11. Water bottle filler

Design Option 2

The image shows design option 2 for the revitalized Anniversary Park. It has a curvilinear form along the south side of the site. There is a water feature on the Northeast side of the site and is open to both Gerrard Slip Lane and Parliament Street.

Legend

  1. Vertical gateway feature
  2. Curvilinear bench seat wall
  3. Decorative paving
  4. Bubblier water feature on exposed glass concrete pad
  5. Table and chairs
  6. Native pollinator planting
  7. Existing tree
  8. Proposed tree
  9. Tree in grate with soil cells
  10. Column lighting
  11. Water bottle filler

During this phase of the community engagement process, the City and the design consultant worked with residents and stakeholders to define a renewed overall vision for the park, including a series of Design Principles to guide the development of design options in Phase 2.

Community Engagement Activities in this phase included:

  • Community Stakeholder Workshop
  • Online Survey
  • In-Person Community Pop-Up

Outcomes

Vision Statement

Anniversary Park will be a green and calm urban oasis that supports community safety and comfort. It will be a welcoming place for people of different backgrounds, ages, and interests to meet and spend time, creating a vibrant new entrance to the Cabbagetown neighbourhood.

Design Principles

  • Community safety and belonging: support community safety, comfort, and accessibility for all ages and abilities as a top priority
  • Balance space for socializing and relaxation: enhance amenity options, while balancing space for socializing and relaxation
  • Champion resilient approaches: enhance green spaces through plantings that provide shade and environmental benefits
  • Integrate with neighbourhood: improve entrances and park edges, creating a design that connects with surrounding areas and feels less isolated

Community Stakeholder Workshop

In April 2023, the project team held an in-person workshop with community stakeholders. Participants included representatives from local neighbourhood organizations that serve patrons of the park. The workshop allowed participants to share their thoughts about opportunities, challenges, and ideas for the future Anniversary Park. Approximately 13 community stakeholders provided feedback at this workshop. Three members of the project team were available to collect feedback and answer questions.

Key Feedback

  • Ensure it is an inviting, inclusive space for all park users
    • Welcoming for all community members, demographics and abilities
    • A child-friendly space
    • Support local businesses by providing a place to sit and eat
  • Introduce an updated water feature
    • A water feature that takes less space and offers positive visual and audio impacts (e.g., decorative fountain or mister)
    • Water draws people together and is healing
  • Prioritize greenery and calm spaces
    • Provide calm, lush areas to sit, linger and relax
    • Provide shade so people feel comfortable to stay in the park longer
    • Add pollinator-friendly planting
  • Improve safety
    • Provide lighting throughout the park
    • Ensure good visibility into, out of, and through the park
    • Provide furniture that cannot be moved or lifted
  • Provide a wide range of seating options
    • Ensure seating is accessible
    • Include a mix of group and individual seating
    • Include tables/places to eat
  • Space for community events and gathering
    • Demarcate a flexible space for community events such as markets, pop-ups, or installations
    • Provide electrical power and outlets for events
  • Other key suggestions from the workshop include:
    • Make the park look and feel like a gateway into Cabbagetown
    • Upgrade the drinking fountain (bottle filler and drinking fountain)

Review the workshop summary board.

Online Survey

From April 6 to April 23, 2023, over 120 people responded to an online visioning survey. The feedback collected in this survey has informed the Vision Statement and Design Principles, and will guide draft design options for the park.

Download the survey summary.

In-Person Pop-Up Event

In April 2023, over 80 community members participated in a pop-up event at Yonge Street Mission Davis Centre, located on Gerrard Street East, north of Anniversary Park. The pop-up allowed community members to engage in dotmocracy exercises and provide feedback in person. Two members of the project team were available to collect feedback and answer questions.

Key feedback, with the total number of ‘agree’ responses in parentheses, follows.

  • Existing features that community members enjoy:
    • The central water fountain feature (16)
    • The nature and green space (14)
  • Preferred future park character:
    • Calm: A place to sit, linger, eat lunch, and relax (20)
    • Green: Lush with trees and plantings (14)
    • Social: A place for meeting and gathering with people (14)
  • Preferred future park activities:
    • Relaxing in a seating area (nine)
    • Eating at a table or picnic area (nine)
    • Attending community events (seven)
  • Words that reflect the vision for the future park:
    • Green
    • Calming
    • Peaceful
    • Water/Fountain
    • Safe

In this phase of the community engagement process, the City and the design consultant used the outcomes of Phase 1 to inform two design options, called concept options, for the park improvements. These designs were presented to the community for feedback, with the input collected used to develop a preferred design for the park.

Community Engagement Activities in this phase:

  • Community Stakeholder Workshop
  • Online Survey
  • In-Person Community Pop-Ups

The anticipated phase outcome includes the selection of a preferred design option.

July 2023

Online Survey

From July 6 to July 30, 2023, 342 community members responded to an online survey. Participants were able to review and provide feedback on the draft design options and their components. They were also able to select their preferred design option and share ideas on how to improve the designs so that they better align with the community-led park vision and design principles.

Download the survey summary.

In-Person Community Pop-Ups

On July 20, 2023, the project team held a pop-up event from 3 to 5 p.m. at Yonge Street Mission, located at 270 Gerrard St. E., close to Anniversary Park to engage patrons of the community facilities at Davis Centre and Genesis Place. That same day, the team visited Anniversary Park from 5 to 6 p.m. to hear directly from park users and those passing by. The pop-up events allowed community members to engage in dotmocracy exercises and provide feedback in person. Three members of the project team were available to collect feedback and answer questions.

Key feedback, with the total number of ‘agree’ responses in parentheses, follows.

Overall preference with Design Option 1 (six)
  • There are good connections to surrounding areas (four)
  • The pathways allow me to move easily (six)
  • There is a balance between paved surfaces and green space (three)
  • There are enough new trees and plantings (six)
  • There is enough comfortable seating options (four)
  • I like the style of seating (nine)
  • I like the water feature (13)
  • I like the Cabbagetown gateway feature (five)
  • There is enough flexible space to hold community events (four)
Overall preference with Design Option 2 (10)
  • There are good connections to surrounding areas (four)
  • The pathways allow me to move easily (four)
  • There is a balance between paved surfaces and green space (three)
  • There are enough new trees and plantings (six)
  • There is enough comfortable seating options (six)
  • I like the style of seating (seven)
  • I like the water feature (seven)
  • I like the Cabbagetown gateway feature (three)
  • There is enough flexible space to hold community events (four)

Community Stakeholder Workshop

In July 2023, the project team held an in-person workshop with community stakeholders representing local neighbourhood organizations. The workshop included a presentation of the design options followed by a facilitated roundtable discussion with participants who shared their feedback on the options and their specific components.

Review the workshop summary board.

Design Option 1 specific feedback
  • Less favoured design option by participants
  • Some participants preferred the paving pattern in Design Option 1
  • Some participants preferred the Vertical Misters Water Feature in Design Option 1 over the Bubbler Water Feature in Design Option 2
  • A participant suggested relocating the clustered seating away from the busy intersection and closer to Parliament Street and the Gerrard Street slip lane
  • A participant liked that the water feature is both ornamental and provides cooling in the summer
Design Option 2 specific feedback
  • Most favoured design option by participants
  • A participant preferred this option because of the unique curved bench that draws people into the park from adjoining streets and crossings
  • A participant liked the way the curve in the bench creates a natural amphitheatre oriented towards the flexible paved area and water feature, which could be used as seating for performances and community events
Park layout and programming feedback

Some of the comments shared by participants included:

  • The overall layout is easy to understand and navigate in both design options
  • pathways lead to entrances and exits and there are no dead ends in both design options
  • The space is divided into smaller areas/zones with the west side being more passive and the east side more active
  • There is a good balance of programming that will help prevent the park from being dominated by one group of users at the exclusion of others
  • Concern that both the park design options may be oriented too much towards the north/east, and that consideration should be given to the experience of the park from the south side of Parliament Street
Water feature feedback
  • A participant noted that both the bubbler water feature and vertical misters water feature are child and family-friendly
  • A participant suggested putting the vertical mister water feature in Design Option 2, but relocating it or realigning the posts to create more event space
  • A participant was concerned about maintenance and the potential for clogged drainage in the bubbler water feature
  • A participant liked the bubbler water feature┬áin Design Option 2 as it resembles the look, sound and feel of water
  • A participant was concerned that the water feature in either design would create underutilized space when not in use during winter months.
Water bottle filling station feedback

Several participants liked the water bottle filling station proposed in both designs.

Seating feedback
  • Some participants liked the integration of lighting under the long bench in Design Option 2
  • A suggestion was made to include armrests on the long benches in either design
  • Some participants liked the inclusion of clustered seating; some felt that more should be added in both Design Options, particularly along the Gerrard Street slip lane.
  • A participant liked the backless benches adjacent to the slip lane as they contribute to a pedestrian-friendly realm in combination with the upcoming complete street improvements, and provide a visual cue to drivers that it is a slow/pedestrian-friendly zone
  • A participant suggested including games tables to provide additional passive recreation options in the park
Flexible space feedback
  • Several participants liked the flexible space provided in both design options, and that it would support programming and community events; some participants felt that the flexible space in Design Option 2 would be more accommodating for events than Design Option 1
  • A participant was concerned that the flexible space may be under-programmed and underutilized
Plantings feedback
  • Several participants liked the inclusion of the large pollinator planting bed in both designs
  • Several participants appreciated the preservation of existing healthy trees
  • Participants noted that consideration should be given to:
    • Sightlines, which should not be obstructed by plant material
    • Year-round interest in the planting palette
    • Shade for seating areas
Gateway feature feedback
  • Several participants liked the location of the gateway features in both designs and felt that they were well-positioned for visibility to people approaching the park
  • A participant suggested that a gateway feature be included at both locations in the preferred design
  • A participant suggested making the gateway feature bolder and brighter
  • A participant was concerned that the cabbage motif ideas presented were too obscure and difficult to read or identify and suggested using a clear and graphic cabbage motif that can be readily identified
  • It was noted that consideration would need to be given to safety in the design of the gateway feature(s), to mitigate the potential for climbing, or damage
Decorative barrier fence feedback

A participant liked the low barrier fence on the south side of the park along Gerrard Street and felt it would be important to deter unsafe jaywalking across the busy street, but noted that it also needs to be visually appealing for views to the park from the south.

Historical considerations feedback
  • A participant noted the Victorian history of “Cabbagetown” that is still present in the architecture
  • They also shared how it was once an unfavourable name that the community has since embraced
  • This participant suggested possibly incorporating Victorian elements into the preferred design

During this phase of the community engagement process, the City will share the preferred design option to the community. Once the preferred design is confirmed, the project will move into the detail design phase, where the design team will finalize the preferred design by working through the technical details and developing detailed plans and drawings to be used by the construction contractor.

Community Engagement Activities anticipated in this phase will be shared at a later date.

The anticipated phase outcome is the refined preferred design.