(Left to right) Councillor Pam McConnell; Bal Gosal, Minister of State (Sport) and MP for Bramalea, Gore, Malton; Mark Wilson, Chair, Waterfront Toronto; Joe Oliver, Minister of Finance and MP for Eglinton-Lawrence; Norm Kelly, Deputy Mayor, City of Toronto; Cindy Wilkey, Chair, West Don Lands Committee.
On Thursday July 10th, Toronto scored an impressive new park as government officials and community leaders came together to officially open Corktown Common.
Spanning 18-acres along the West Don Lands in the downtown eastside, Corktown Common came about thanks to the collaboration of all three levels of government. The park itself is an exercise in balance: infrastructure and green space come together as do a number of different recreational functions. There’s a splash pad and playground, bike trails, community tables as well as naturalized sections that look as through they were transplanted from cottage country.
The river side of the park features an urban prairie, an upland meadow and a low wetland meadow. Not only is it a site to behold, these aspects of the park also help park irrigation and work as an ecological stormwater management system. The 1,300-square foot marsh features plant communities native to the Don River Valley.
As Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly noted in his speech, the new green space is far beyond what parks were typically like decades ago: this combines recreational and environmental features together.
“It is a beautiful new green space that has connected this long neglected area to surrounding neighbourhoods, Toronto’s Don Valley and waterfront trails and the rest of the city,” he said.
See our pictures of the park and the ceremony below:
Mark Wilson takes the podium at the start of the ceremony. Behind him, left to right, are Cindy Wilkey, Norm Kelly, Glen Murray (Minister, Environment & Climate Change and MPP for Toronto Centre), Pam McConell and Joe Oliver.
Joe Oliver takes the podium.
Glen Murray thanked George Smitherman for his efforts on the waterfront project.
Tedd Konya, who won the contest to name the park, spoke about the area’s history.