Toronto’s new heart-shaped Love Park is officially opening this weekend

Toronto is set to welcome a new urban sanctuary this weekend as Love Park, formerly known as York Street Park, opens its gates to the public. Designed by CCxA in collaboration with gh3*, the park aims to provide a serene and immersive experience, offering respite from the bustling city life.

Spanning across two acres, Love Park is strategically located at the southern foot of York Street and Queens Quay, catering to the demand for flexible public spaces in the southern Financial District and Harbourfront neighbourhood.

The park’s site was previously occupied by an off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway. Love Park stands in stark contrast to the concrete-dominated landscape of downtown Toronto, preserving the existing mature trees while adding numerous new ones. Encircled by tree-lined sidewalks, the park’s internal pathways and perimeter create a seamless transition into a tranquil urban refuge. The park also features gently rolling grassy mounds, offering visitors various vantage points to unwind and revel in the park’s offerings.

To mark its official opening, the City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto are inviting the public to join them at Love Park on June 23 from 12 to 4 p.m. The celebration will feature live music, guest speakers, engaging activities for all age groups, complimentary snacks, and an exciting surprise for attendees.

Photo: @waterfront.to/Instagram

At the heart of Love Park lies its captivating centerpiece: a heart-shaped water feature, symbolizing love and aligned with true North. The water feature is accentuated by a mature Northern Catalpa tree standing on its own dedicated island. Office towers neighbouring the park will enjoy a unique aerial view of the heart-shaped pond, the wisteria-covered trellis, Catalpa island, and the lush greenery surrounding it. Park furniture, specifically designed to encircle the water feature, can be freely moved to suit visitors’ preferences and provide optimal comfort. Additionally, bronze-cast sculptures of native Canadian animals bring a playful touch to the park, enhancing its natural charm.

Love Park has been designed with both short and long-term flexibility in mind, allowing it to adapt to the evolving needs of its users while staying true to its original design concept. The pathways within the park are spacious enough to accommodate pop-up markets and event staging. Furthermore, a designated area in the park’s northeast section has been allocated as a dog off-leash area, ensuring that our furry city-dwelling friends can also enjoy the love and tranquility of the park. Upon its opening, Love Park will cater to a myriad of activities, including passive pursuits like dog walking, people-watching, and outdoor picnics, as well as small gatherings to meet the needs of local residents, office workers, and visitors to the waterfront.

Named after its heart-shaped pond, Love Park is a testament to the city’s commitment to revitalizing underutilized spaces. The pond will feature a surrounding ledge that can double as seating, while an additional 63 moveable chairs, generously contributed by the Waterfront business improvement area (BIA), will provide visitors with the freedom to utilize the park in their own unique ways. From lunching office workers to tourists and residents of nearby buildings, Love Park aims to cater to diverse communities, offering a place of solace and joy for everyone.

Originally posted 2023-06-21 15:46:18.


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