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I have noticed that there is no big park in or near the downtown core.

There are the areas of trinity-bellwods and cabbagetown but they are not big enough.

Plenty of lands has been repurposed but none of that has gone to parks.

Is there hope for a big park in central Toronto or is gone?


Could Toronto have its own Central, Hyde, Regent Park?

 

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It's been one of the few things Toronto doesn't have. The Toronto Islands are great but you need to take a boat to get to it while High Park isn't downtown. It looked like there was no way Toronto would ever get its own Central Park, Mont Royal, Stanley Park, Hyde Park but a proposal last year changed everything. It's called the Rail Deck Park.

The Rail Deck Park would deck over the rail lines from Bathurst Street to the CN Tower/Skydome. The idea is to create a much needed large tract of green space in the core. It's really our last option available. Early estimates peg the cost at $1.7 billion but the cost would likely go much higher. It's my hope that not only will we get the Rail Deck Park but do the same thing on the east side of Union Station. Of note is that the CIBC Square development under construction will incorporate a mini rail deck park. It's directly east of Union Station.




Courtesy of the City of Toronto

CIBC Square park over the rail lines east of Union Station

Courtesy of ivanhoecambridge
 

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well it looks quite small, yes that's a park but one that hundreds or thousands of cities have.

The islands could be a park but there should be a rapid transit that links them to the city.

East bay waterfront seems to be currently mostly not developed, any chance?
And what about Lower Don Lands?
 

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The Islands are already a park. No development is allowed there. East Bayfront has small parks here and there + Corktown Common (opened 2 years ago). The Don Valley represents the biggest potential park. It currently supports a road, highway, rail line, and power lines. There are proposals to re-align a lot of that infrastructure, increase pedestrian access, then protect the whole thing as a park.

The Portlands will have lots of parkland but that's not really downtown any more.
 

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Cities with huge central parks, like New York City, benefit from the planning of hundreds of years ago. Cities grew up around the parks; you cannot reverse the process; to make a park that size in downtown Toronto, you'd have to bulldoze everything from Bloor Street south to Queen Street, and bulldoze entire neighbourhoods to the east and west.

In 2018, that is simply impossible in a highly developed and built up downtown area.

The islands could be a park but there should be a rapid transit that links them to the city.
But, the islands are a park, and have been so for two centuries. In fact they are our most superb urban park, and are widely adored by Torontonians; they are also our largest downtown park, but they are separated from downtown by a ten minute ferry ride. They are car-free and about the same size as Central Park. . Rapid transit links would be a huge mistake. The islands are a bit of nature right next door to downtown Toronto that should not become overly commercialized; it would destroy the tranquility. People who want to go will take the old fashioned wooden ferries that have been running since the 1830's and will enjoy the ride. That would be like putting a nice big paved four lane road through Boston Commons to make it more accessible; definitely not necessary. And you'll have to trust me on this one, the Islands are most definitely not a park that hundreds of thousands of other cities have.

The largest park on the mainland in downtown Toronto is High Park, and it is 3.41 km², which is half the size of Central Park,and considerably larger than Hyde Park in London. It is no further away from the central business district than Central Park is in New York, or than Hyde Park from "The City" in London.

Toronto has lots of beaches, and lots of parks; 1473 named parks to be exact. We sit on the edge of a fresh water lake the size of Wales, so have lots and lots of shorelines. I could not possibly show photos of all but here are some snapshots of downtown parks including Toronto Islands, Queen's Park, High Park, Scarborough Bluffs, Riverdale Park, and some of our beaches. I've not really organised or grouped them well as it is close to my bedtime!:
There is a massive ravine system that runs most of the way from the south to the north of Toronto, and is quite a massive amount of green space. As it stands, Toronto has enormous green cover; I cannot actually think of a city that has more.
If you are interested in Toronto parks, here is a really interesting thread to read:
http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=1508467&highlight=parks






























This shows you how close the Toronto Islands are to the CN Tower:






















































Winter fun down the ravine hills in Riverdale Park:




























































ravine system:






















and finally, a few photos that are not mine:






https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2016/08/07/why-our-ravines-are-the-city-below-toronto.html





Queen's Park downtown:




http://www.eyeinsky.ca/old-vs-new-aerial-photos/






http://www.hgtv.ca/real-estate/phot...sion-back-on-the-market-asking-17-8m-1899111/





 

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Rail Deck park is the closest we'll get to a big park downtown (21 acres) but overall Toronto easily beats both NY and London when it comes to parkland/nature. It's not a close call imo.
 

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We also can do some Land Reclamation at Lake Ontario to create a Park
Leslie Spit is largely reclaimed land and protected green space. It's 600 acres and will become increasingly vital parkland as our population grows. Few people use it today. I've only been there once since I moved here in 2001.

Leslie Spit/Tommy Thompson Park


Courtesy of cargocollective


Courtesy of tripadvisor
 

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Don Valley Super Park, 480 acres



There's also the 480 acre 'super park' the City is planing in the Don Valley. That's larger than either Hyde Park or Regents Park in London. The envisaged park will stretch from the Evergreen Brickworks south to Lake Ontario and mark the eastern boundary of downtown. Toronto still has the potential to realize a big park downtown but there are major obstacles in the way.

The City has built roads, a highway, 2 rail lines, and major power lines in the Don Valley while narrowing the river to a tiny creek. Reversing some of these and/or re-locating others will be a big challenge. There's a youtube video that sheds some light on the issue:

 

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Rail Deck park is the closest we'll get to a big park downtown (21 acres) but overall Toronto easily beats both NY and London when it comes to parkland/nature. It's not a close call imo.
According to Greenspace, 47% of London is green space. If some campaigners plans go through, London will be the first National Park City.

And it's not just the parks of Hyde, Regent, Richmond, Hampstead Heath, etc. There are leafy squares dotting the city, and the 14km Regent's Canal snaking across London (not to mention the Grand Union Canal to Birmingham). And also lots of walking trails, such as the Capital Ring Walk.
 

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According to Greenspace, 47% of London is green space. If some campaigners plans go through, London will be the first National Park City.

And it's not just the parks of Hyde, Regent, Richmond, Hampstead Heath, etc. There are leafy squares dotting the city, and the 14km Regent's Canal snaking across London (not to mention the Grand Union Canal to Birmingham). And also lots of walking trails, such as the Capital Ring Walk.
London certainly doesn't feel greener. Having lived many years in both cities I'd question what they're counting. Walking around London you have to head to a green or park to find greenery while in Toronto most streets will have greenery lining it.

If you look at aerial views of both cities Toronto looks much greener. It's not even close. I suspect that London study only counts areas designated as parks whereas Toronto has a ton of greenery everywhere but most of it wouldn't get counted. None of the trees on my street would get counted, for instance. I doubt any of Toronto's ravines were counted either as it's not designated as parkland.

Typical Toronto street but none of this would count in that study

Couresy of wrockitpromo

I doubt any of this tree canopy is counted as green space in Toronto

Courtesy of UT
 

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It's great that London is heading in that direction. More green space is much needed. The intent in calling London 'the first city in the world to be designated as a National Park' is very misleading imo. It suggests that it's the world's greenest city when it's not. What it will do is get London to a point that many cities around the world are already at; sans designation.
 

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I'm late to the conversation, but isn't High Park in the core? Sure, it's not right in the Financial District, but what cities have huge parks right at their Downtowns? Chicago with Grant Park? Boston with Boston Common (which isn't a true landscaped park anyway)? More often than not, the big parks are close, but not in, the Downtown core. Central Park was built away from Lower Manhattan, and all of Manhattan is now a central business district, it seems, but it was away from the original Downtown. Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is away from the CBD. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is away from the CBD. City Park in New Orleans is away from the CBD. There are more, less-famous examples of big parks a little distance away from Downtowns.
 

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What is this National Park designation? Who would be giving out the designation?
I don't think there is a universal designation on national parks, as each national park is designated by their country's respective governments. So this National Park City designation is a UK-specific designation. The Canadian government can copy this and declare Toronto or Vancouver as a National Park City. As with any designation, there are benefits, such as enhanced protection on green spaces (which 47% of London is), increased accessibility on said parklands, probably a more stringent enforcement in tackling air pollution, etc. Of course, you don't need a designation for these things, but it does help.
 

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I don't think there is a universal designation on national parks, as each national park is designated by their country's respective governments. So this National Park City designation is a UK-specific designation. The Canadian government can copy this and declare Toronto or Vancouver as a National Park City. As with any designation, there are benefits, such as enhanced protection on green spaces (which 47% of London is), increased accessibility on said parklands, probably a more stringent enforcement in tackling air pollution, etc. Of course, you don't need a designation for these things, but it does help.
Sounds like what we have already although calling it 'The World's First National Park City' is brilliant PR. I hope Londoners aren't fooled into thinking London is leading the way on this front. :hmm:
 

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is the natural zone in Don Valley already a park for normal citizens?
The Don Valley is a diamond in the rough. I'm taken aback that we have such an amazing natural asset right downtown that we've wrecked, dismissed, and ignored. The Don Valley is not designated as a park but you can't build anything there.

It's there for the people of Toronto but so disjointed that it doesn't get used by very many people. The city will have to invest a lot of money to undo many of the decisions made decades ago, return it as closely as possible to its former natural state, and turn it into a seamless green swath. The re-naturalization of the Don River is already under way although the initial work focuses on the mouth of the Don.

The biggest problem, imo, is the presence of the Don Valley Parkway. It's a fabulously scenic drive into the city but having a highway right next to a park isn't ideal. I've been down there many times and there's a constant hum from the thousands of cars traveling on the DVP.

Here's a link to re-naturalizing the mouth of the Don: http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/nbe/...aturalization+and+port+lands+flood+protection

What the Mouth of the Don Looks Like Now

Courtesy of wwf

One Proposal for the Mouth of the Don

Courtesy of waterfront toronto

Mouth of the Don, Flood Protection, and the Portlands

Courtesy of waterfront toronto
 

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I don't think there is a universal designation on national parks, as each national park is designated by their country's respective governments. So this National Park City designation is a UK-specific designation. The Canadian government can copy this and declare Toronto or Vancouver as a National Park City. As with any designation, there are benefits, such as enhanced protection on green spaces (which 47% of London is), increased accessibility on said parklands, probably a more stringent enforcement in tackling air pollution, etc. Of course, you don't need a designation for these things, but it does help.
If it is a designation you are creating to bestow upon yourself then it is a bit of hype, but I do like the intent to create greener cities!



I'm late to the conversation, but isn't High Park in the core? Sure, it's not right in the Financial District, but what cities have huge parks right at their Downtowns? Chicago with Grant Park? Boston with Boston Common (which isn't a true landscaped park anyway)? More often than not, the big parks are close, but not in, the Downtown core. Central Park was built away from Lower Manhattan, and all of Manhattan is now a central business district, it seems, but it was away from the original Downtown. Fairmount Park in Philadelphia is away from the CBD. Golden Gate Park in San Francisco is away from the CBD. City Park in New Orleans is away from the CBD. There are more, less-famous examples of big parks a little distance away from Downtowns.
This has always been my point, too. High Park is not far from downtown and as I said earlier it is no farther from the CBD than Central Park in NYC or Hyde Park in London. Big cities normally do not have massive
parks in their Central Business core. High Park is big; only half as big as Central Park but bigger than Hyde Park.

By the way, anyone who has ever visited Kensington Gardens in London will recognize the twin of this wonderful statue of Peter Pan for children. This particular statue was made from the same mould and placed in Amsterdam Park here in Toronto.


















Amsterdam Park also has a lovely stone memorial fountain dedicated to the Netherlands:



 
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