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Thread: Toronto Parks

  1. Default

    Just my quick two cents.......

    I live in the east end, so I'll comment on those parks first....

    Best: Withrow, I grew up right across the street, but thats not blurring my vision, the playgrounds, the tree canopy, the gardens, the rink all make this park one of the best. I would like to see more of a gathering area, not just in withrow but all parks. In toronto we tend to place these little isolated benches, a few hundred feet apart. I love in NYC that benches line paths and gardens makign people interact or at least the illustion of that.

    Worst: Riverdale. The playing fields are a great asset, the views are outstanding, but there is no reason to be "in" the park. Unless it's for sport there is no anchor there. the playground straight up sucks and again no gathering spot.

    Another bad one: Jimmie Simpson. I use this park all the time with my son, the playground is so so, the fields are OK but again, no place to gather, 3 benches on the queen side that are always in disrepair. The basket ball courts are an up swing, great to see young people actually using the park for something other than smoking pot in the bushes.

    One with great potential" Monarch Park. It has the same feel as Withrow, great trees, nice feel, but zero gardens save for one or two small beds. zero benches.

    I love whats happening with Allens Gardens, the benches lining the paths are whats need in every toronto park, a reason to be there, to mingle, to relax.

    This is a great thread keep it up!!


  2. #32
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    Default Moss Park - June 2, 2009

    Thanks for the comments! Keep 'em coming . As stated in the first post of this thread there was a fair amount of negative comments on various threads about the poor or declining state of our parks. I love Toronto's parks so I set out to document downtown parks as best I can so that fair and balanced debate can be had regarding these spaces. I'm not doing private parks, only City of Toronto parks in the downtown area. Everyone is welcome to document parks in their neighbourhood, downtown or elsewhere in the City and post them here for discussion.

    And so I find myself passing Moss Park between Jarvis & Sherbourne, north side of Queen St. E.

    At first glance I was tempted to continue right on by just like I have for the last twenty or so years and continue walking on Queen East. From the street it is a park which appears to be lined with trees but sorely lacking trees inside the actual park, but I soon came to understand why. There were a few (very harmless) sketchy types drinking and such but I braved it and once I wandered in I was really taken by the great variety of amenities here, I'll see if I can recall them all. Two baseball diamonds, soccer posts (actually, one seems to be missing), basketball courts, a splash pad and jungle gym type area for children and tennis courts. As if all this wasn't enough I come across 2 or 3 separate community gardens growing vegetables near the north end of the park by Shuter Street. How cool is that?

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  3. #33
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TorontoApartments View Post
    Toronto is a beautiful city but it is sad to see its parks in such a bad shape. I think authorities must take some action if they are really concerned about the city.
    What parks are these? Examples? And what in your mind constitutes "bad shape"?
    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  4. Default

    This is a great thread. I've just come back from a week in Vancouver and Victoria, and what struck me is how seriously they take their flower gardens over there. The parks and all the random plots of greenery here and there are suffused with a riot of colour right now -- rhododendrons in bright reds and pinks and purples, and wild poppies lining the seashore in shocking oranges. Our green spaces, by comparison, are mostly just green.

  5. #35
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by bleeepbluuup View Post
    This is a great thread. I've just come back from a week in Vancouver and Victoria, and what struck me is how seriously they take their flower gardens over there. The parks and all the random plots of greenery here and there are suffused with a riot of colour right now -- rhododendrons in bright reds and pinks and purples, and wild poppies lining the seashore in shocking oranges. Our green spaces, by comparison, are mostly just green.
    I'd suggest in fairness to Toronto, Vancouver and Victoria's climate is more conducive to spending and maintaining the level of flowers (perennials/annuals) that they have in public gardens & parks there.
    A high school buddy who I'm still friends with relocated and married in Victoria about 15 yrs. ago & started a successful landscaping company. He emails me every February with no text, only photos of the Cherry Blossoms in full bloom just to get my goat while we suffer through what is usually the coldest month of the year here!
    That all said, Toronto could do better.
    Last edited by dt_toronto_geek; 2009-Jun-05 at 04:02.
    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

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  6. Default

    Vancouver's climate helps, but they also do take this stuff more seriously. They elect their Parks Commissioner, who is much more powerful than any bureaucrat here. They spend more, too. And it shows, in the city's landscaping, parks included.

    Having lived in Vancouver, though, it would take some awfully nice flowers and lots of them to make me feel even the slightest bit envious of anyone living in Vancouver (or Victoria).

  7. #37

    Default

    I also noticed that (downtown at least) many of the green spaces in Vancouver had built in sprinkler systems and were watered regularly. This in a city with a high level of natural rainfall.

    Outside a few showcase parkettes it seems that Torontonians have a different mindset about parks than most large city residents in the world. Green space and the responsibility for it is privatized to an almost unheard of level. Even in some of our most dense areas many people enjoy access to private outdoor space, yards, patios and large decks. Parks therefore tend to take on utilitarian functions like hosting large sports fields or a place for the dogs to run etc. In this sense the city parks take on characteristics more like those in a town or small city.

    On thing I would like to see more of is public art in the parks.

  8. #38
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by TrickyRicky View Post
    I also noticed that (downtown at least) many of the green spaces in Vancouver had built in sprinkler systems and were watered regularly. This in a city with a high level of natural rainfall.
    That's interesting. Self watering systems in smaller parks/parkettes would be a terrific upgrade to Toronto parks.

    Outside a few showcase parkettes it seems that Torontonians have a different mindset about parks than most large city residents in the world. Green space and the responsibility for it is privatized to an almost unheard of level. Even in some of our most dense areas many people enjoy access to private outdoor space, yards, patios and large decks. Parks therefore tend to take on utilitarian functions like hosting large sports fields or a place for the dogs to run etc. In this sense the city parks take on characteristics more like those in a town or small city.
    I don't think I'd like to see our parks privatized.

    On thing I would like to see more of is public art in the parks.
    Statues memorializing the person or group a park is named after, and public art by local artists. Absolutely, yes!
    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  9. #39
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    Default

    I decided to walk from the subway to my lawyers office on Sheppard W. it being such a great day. At Sheppard Ave. W. & Beecroft Rd. there's a great little park (I forget the name of it). I wandered in for a few minutes and found it so different from what I see downtown. It was nice, had a water fountain, lots of benches, plenty of perennials and a gazebo but it seemed very sterile and proper. I pulled out my camera but the batteries were dead. Next time I get up there perhaps I'll finally document a suburban park!
    Last edited by dt_toronto_geek; 2009-Jun-05 at 04:04.
    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  10. #40

    Default

    ^I wasn't suggesting park privatization. I was just mentioning that if you look at the green space as a whole of which public parks are just a fraction, so much of it is made up of privately owned spaces (such as back yards) or city owned lands tended by private individuals (rights-of-way where trees are planted next to the road). I think this has an impact on how we relate to our public parks because so many Torontonians don't need to go to the park to sit outside on the grass or walk under a canopy of trees.

  11. #41
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    Default Toronto Music Garden

    I'm cheating a bit here because this is not really so much a park as an open air public garden but it is managed by Toronto Parks & Rec. so it really is part of the City park system. This is one of my favorate spots in the city so I can't resist.

    Located east of Bathurst Street on the south side of Queens Quay. This is a relaxing spot to take a break off the Martin Goodman Trail along the boardwalk and shore of the lake. It's a great break from the Harbourfront crowds a 1/2 mile or so east. If your lucky, you may catch a free mid-afternoon or early evening classical concert which perform under the willow trees with great views from the stepped lawn.

    The photos below capture only a portion of what can be seen here, and when experienced in person and in context, it's a true delight. This is an unusually large post, so I hope it's worth it.

    More on Toronto Music Garden's concept and design here:
    http://www.toronto.ca/parks/music_index.htm

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  12. #42
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    Default Ireland Park

    1500 views in the first month of this thread, not bad!

    Ireland Park is located at the south end of the Canda Malting Silos at the foot of Bathurst Street. To access the park (parkette) walk or drive to the end of Bathurst where the ferry goes to the Island Airport, walk east along the cracked sidewalk & pavement, disregard the "No Tresspasing" signs and you'll be there in two minutes.

    Ireland Park honors the 40,000 destitute and sick Irish Immigrants who arrived in Toronto during the famine in the mid 1800's. 1100 souls died.

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  13. #43
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    Default Queens Park (South)

    The south, and east side of the building and environs. This is a follow up to Queens Park North (page two)

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  14. #44
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    Default 'East of Yonge' Parkettes Revisited

    Quote Originally Posted by dt_toronto_geek View Post
    There's been some debate about the state of Toronto parks in various threads, sometimes running off topic. More to the point, the condition of our parks such as Grange Park, the parkettes east of Yonge, south of Charles St., Alexander Street Parkette, Allan Gardens, Metro Hall Park etc. I thought it might be interesting to get some views on our parks going here and to consolidate it into one thread.

    For those unfamiliar with this area, these parkettes were parking lots until about 10 years ago.

    ***

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

    George Hislop Park, between Charles & Isabella Sts., aside Casa




    Norman Jewison Park, between between Isabella & Gloucester Sts.


    James Canning Park, Gloucester & Dundonald Sts.

    *

    The photos above were taken on April 25th, some have been removed from the original post for space considerations.

    Below is an update which puts these parks in an even better light since leaves are now on trees and flowers in bloom. Photographed on June 3rd.

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

    George Hislop Park, between Charles & Isabella Sts., aside Casa



    Norman Jewison Park, between between Isabella & Gloucester Sts.



    James Canning Park, Gloucester & Dundonald Sts.

    Last edited by dt_toronto_geek; 2009-Jun-15 at 06:23.
    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

  15. #45
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    Default Cloud Gardens

    The Cloud Gardens is located between Yonge & Bay, Richmond & Temperance Sts.

    This half acre parcel of land was donated to the City and designed at a cost of $5M in the late 1980's by the original Bay Adelaide developers in a deal to secure additional height on their building. The site also includes a greenhouse known as the Cloud Forest Conservatory. Beautifully designed by a partnership of Baird, Sampson Neuert Architects, the MBTW Group/Watchorn Architects, and two artists, Margaret Priest and Tony Sherman.

    This is a small but terrific space and a real favorate as mine as you'll see by the number of photos.

    By spring, summer and fall this can be a busy spot mid-day with nearby office workers eating lunch, sure to be only more popular next summer once BA is occupied. By night it is quiet, beautifully lit and tranquil.

    Click on the thumbnail to enlarge, then click again on the image for full size.

    “Our roads are not here for automobiles. Our roads are here for people to get around.” - Michael Bloomberg, Mayor of New York City - July 10, 2012

    Original photographic images posted on this forum by dt_toronto_geek are not for publication, display or dissemination of any kind except on the Urban Toronto discussion board, altered or otherwise, without expressed written permission from the owner.

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