Love Those Parks

In Toronto we are lucky to have some beautiful green spaces. I have written about many of them before. But I have not yet told you about the park that is Almost finished in time for Valentine’s Day…

Many readers will have visited some of the 1473 parks in the city. This number includes big parks, river trails that lead to open spaces, and tiny parkettes on street corners. All of them lend an element of nature to a city that is densely populated and dominated by towers of concrete and glass.

One of the most popular green spaces is High Park, home to family attractions: a swimming pool, a zoo, walking trails through woods, an off-leash dog park, and swan-viewing in the pond. Each season brings a new delight: snowshoeing in the winter, cherry blossoms in the spring, Shakespeare in the summer, and brilliant colours in the fall. There is even a restaurant, (although don’t expect linen tablecloths or bar service).

High Park in the spring – coming soon!

Peter and I have visited many other parks, but our all-time favourite is right at the end of our street: Humber Bay Park. We have gone there so many times we can almost walk around blind-folded. I have often written about our adventures there. A couple of times I told you about how I tried to convince myself that swimming in the lake was a good idea, only to be thwarted by chilly temperatures even in August. Not too long ago I described a stand-off with an eccentric visitor trying to take over My Park Bench! And I have recounted strolling along the lakefront in the winter and admiring the natural ice sculptures created by the wind.

Two very special city parks are whimsical in nature: Sugar Beach wearing plastic pink umbrellas, and Berczy Park with its eye-catching dog fountain. Both of these people-friendly spaces were designed by landscape architect Claude Cormier. Cormier grew up on a farm in Quebec, and most of his designs are located in Montreal. But he has other projects on the go in Toronto too. One of them is a new park at the end of the Leslie Street Spit. And the most recent is a Valentine-themed oasis: LOVE PARK.

Located in the cosmopolitan desert that was for many years an off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway, and recently an empty space at the corner of Queen’s Quay and York Street, this densely-inhabited area desperately needs something green. Cormier’s design is intended to transition the space into a “calm urban refuge.”

The beginning of Love Park – outline of a pond in the background.

According to Cormier’s description, there will be rolling grassy mounds, walking paths, and lots of trees. Love Park goes in for lots of romance too. In the centre will be a heart-shaped pond, edged with a red mosaic tile bench. The idea for the mosaics came from Anton Gaudi’s Park Guell in Barcelona, where mosaics rule! Love Pond will also have its own tiny island with an ornamental catalpa tree and plentiful bleeding heart flowers around it.

The description also says that “a myriad of open-ended activities could be accommodated here.” On Valentine’s Day, one might be forgiven for imagining marriage proposals. Or, what about comfy lounges hidden around the periphery, and maybe a booth selling cozy blankets? A perfect place for… afternoon naps!

Or were you thinking of something else??

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Love Park – artist rendition

3 thoughts on “Love Those Parks

  1. Beautiful.  I hope it turns out so well. And Happy Valentine’s Day!  I bought myself some lovely tulips. 


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