A new 14,570 m2 park is coming to 160 McAllister Rd., south of The Toronto Heschel School at Faywood Boulevard and Sheppard Avenue West.

  • Fall 2023: Community Engagement Phase 1
  • Winter 2023/2024: Hire a design team
  • Spring/Summer 2024: Community Engagement Phase 2
  • Fall 2024: Detailed design and Community Engagement Phase 3
  • Winter 2024/2025: Hire a construction team
  • Spring 2025: Construction starts
  • Fall 2025: Construction complete, park opens

The timeline is subject to change.

Level of Engagement

This project has been classified as a high-level Consult project based on the International Association of Public Participation Public Participation Spectrum. This means we invite ideas and aspirations for the design and obtain public feedback on existing analysis, alternatives and/or proposals.

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In this phase of the engagement process, the project team collected community feedback to develop a draft vision statement for the park and a series of guiding principles which will guide the development of design options in Community Engagement Phase 2.

Draft Vision Statement

The vision is co-created with the community to describe the ideal future park or facility. It is a big-picture statement that should inspire everyone toward a common understanding of the project’s overall goals and objectives.

The new park at 160 McAllister should provide opportunities for sports and imaginative play. The new park should also provide the opportunity to relax and reflect in nature, and to socialize with friends and family. The park should be accessible and welcoming to community members of all ages and abilities.

Draft Guiding Principles

The guiding principles are high-level directions that reflect the community’s most important values and ideas for how the park should look and feel. They help to clarify the vision statement and guide how the park should be designed by describing the desired outcomes.

  • Active, athletic and playful: support athletic and social activities for all ages, as well as open space and activations for kids to engage in imaginative outdoor play.
  • Green and sustainable: enhance the space through plantings that provide shade and environmental benefits while retaining open green space and existing trees.
  • Peaceful: create opportunities for people to quietly connect with nature.

Preferred features:

  • open green space
  • drinking fountain/water bottle filler
  • shade feature and/or pavilion with seating
  • sports fields
  • children’s play equipment
  • seating to eat, drink, and socialize
  • trees and plants
  • quiet reflective spaces

Community Engagement Meetings and Events

December 2023

Online Thought Exchange Activity

From November 13 to December 5, 309 community members completed an online thought exchange activity where they shared 288 ideas and 6,594 idea ratings. The project team will use the feedback to create draft park design options, which will be shared for further feedback in Community Engagement Phase 2.

In this activity, many community members wanted the neighbouring Heschel School to continue to have access to the space to use and enjoy. The project team has reached out to the school to help establish continued access.

The following summarizes the most popular ideas collected in the activity that were within the project scope. Review a full summary of the results in an interactive report.

The highest-rated responses to the main question, “The new park at 160 McAllister Road should be a place where…”:

  • kids can run, socialize and get away from their screens in an open green space.
  • people can relax and rest in nature, shaded in part by the mature trees that are on site, and enjoy a calm atmosphere.
  • all in the community can enjoy a welcoming, inclusive, safe and accessible public space.
  • people can enjoy sports and athletics. Many comments requested that the existing baseball diamond and soccer field be revitalized and that a walking and running track is installed.

The survey included multiple-choice questions in addition to the main open-ended survey question. Those questions, and the responses that scored over 40 per cent, follow.

The preferred character for the new park was:

  • active and athletic (61 per cent)
  • green and sustainable (58 per cent)
  • playful (53 per cent)
  • peaceful (47 per cent)

The most popular park uses were:

  • relax in open green spaces (66 per cent)
  • walk, exercise and be active (60 per cent)
  • play sports (58 per cent)
  • use a children’s play area or playground (54 per cent)

The preferred park features were:

  • drinking fountain/water bottle filler (66 per cent)
  • shade feature and/or pavilion with seating underneath (65 per cent)
  • sports fields (64 per cent)
  • quiet reflective spaces (42 per cent)

The preferred playground features were:

  • senior play equipment for ages five to 12 (75 per cent)
  • climbing structures (67 per cent)
  • junior play equipment for ages two to five (55 per cent)
  • swings (54 per cent)
  • slides (50 per cent)

The preferred sports to play in the park were:

  • soccer (72 per cent)
  • baseball (61 per cent)

The preferred seating was:

  • benches (68 per cent)
  • picnic tables (48 per cent)
November 2023
In-Person Pop-Up Event

On November 13, pop-up boards were set up at the entrance to Dublin Heights Elementary and Middle School to share information about the project and collect feedback on the vision for the park. Participants were asked to select their preferences for the park’s character, features and seating options, and provide additional comments or suggestions. Approximately 75 people, mostly youth, participated using stickers to indicate their preferences, with the total number of responses in parentheses.

  • Participants would like the park to feel social (34), playful (18), active (five), natural and sustainable (five), green (three) and educational (three).
  • Participants want the park to include soccer (38), baseball (35), pickleball (two) and no sports (two).
  • Participants want to climb (21), spin (18) and balance if there were a playground at the new park.
  • Participants shared that the most important features to include in the new park are trees and plants (14), places with shade (four), places to eat (four) and games tables (three).
  • Participants shared that the most important seating to include in the new park are Muskoka chairs (10), seatwalls (nine), café seating (six), picnic tables (three) and rock seating (one).
In-Person Classroom Workshop

On November 13, the project team supervised four University of Toronto Urban Studies students while they facilitated a classroom workshop at Dublin Heights Elementary and Middle School. Grade eight students discussed their favourite parks in small groups and worked together to illustrate their vision for the park’s character and features. Sixteen students participated.

Download a shortened version of the students’ report.

In summary, based on their discussions, the students want the new park to be:

  • Social and designed to include spaces to gather, sit and eat and spend time together.
  • Flexible and designed with multipurpose spaces and features that would encourage various uses, imaginative play and be accessible during all seasons.
  • Accessible and inclusive for all community members.
  • Active and athletic to accommodate space for sports.
  • Use landscape design for function, like small hills or large rocks to encourage imaginative play or to separate areas within the park. Students also proposed using landscaping to create an amphitheatre or auditorium.
  • Nature-focused; students included nature as a key feature and associated it with a sense of calm and reflection.
  • Aesthetic, such as gazebos, lanterns, lit archways, flower beds and flowering trees. Another example was an art project co-created by park users to foster a sense of ownership and togetherness.

In this phase of the community engagement process, the City and its design consultant will work off the outcomes of Community Engagement Phase 1 to develop two to three design options for the new park. These will be presented to the community for feedback, which will be used to develop a preferred design for the park.

The anticipated community engagement activities in this phase include:

  • An online survey
  • A gallery wall on site
  • A workshop

The anticipated outcome of this phase is the selection of a preferred design.

In this phase of the community engagement process, the City will share the preferred design with the community to collect feedback. When the preferred design is confirmed, the project will move into the detail design phase, where the design team will finalize the design by working through the technical details and developing detailed plans and drawings for the construction contractor.

The anticipated community engagement activities in this phase include:

  • An online survey
  • A gallery wall on site
  • An in-person community pop-up event

The anticipated outcome of this phase is a refined preferred design.