Construction continues on a new park in Toronto's rapidly densifying Fort York community. The City of Toronto's June Callwood Park, designed by landscape architects gh3, is beginning to take shape as landscaping work and tree planting transforms the wedge-shaped piece of land bounded by Fleet Street, Gzowski Boulevard, Fort York Boulevard, and Bastion Street.

June Callwood Park, gh3, City of TorontoLooking south across the site of June Callwood Park, image by Jack Landau

Named in memory of the late Canadian journalist and social activist June Callwood (1924-2007), ground was ceremonially broken in June of 2013, and just over one year later, grading, site servicing, the reflecting pool foundation, and the installation of the lighting are complete. Approximately 25% of the granite has been laid and 25% of the trees have been planted. The next steps in construction of the park will include the installation of public art, a hedge maze, rubberized surfacing, and granite mulch. The Time Strip Gardens are expected to be planted by the Garden Club of Toronto in late summer/early fall, with the entire park slated for completion by late fall.

June Callwood Park, gh3, City of TorontoLandscaping and tree planting under way in June Callwood Park, image by Jack Landau

As work on the park progresses, we anticipate watching its main feature come together; "I Believe in Kindness", a phrase spoken by June Callwood during her final audio interview before her passing, will be visually transcribed using the recording's sonic waveform into a series of clearings and openings spanning throughout the park.

June Callwood Park, gh3, City of TorontoLooking east across the site of June Callwood Park, image by Jack Landau

The completed park will contain a number of unconventional features, including a ‘Puddle Plaza’ that collects pools of rainwater to create splash pads as well as 'Ephemeral Pools' - an urban wetland that will act as a splash pool in the summer and a mist garden in the fall.  Other features include a curvy maze, incorporating advanced “can-and-string” technology, a ‘Puzzle Garden’ featuring a series of uniquely shaped benches, a ‘Pink Field' with a rubberized play surface and the ‘Time Strip Gardens’. The park will also feature a lone apple tree—the 'Callwood Tree'—which will stand at the point where all of the park's paths converge.

June Callwood Park, gh3, City of TorontoAerial plan of June Callwood Park, image courtesy of gh3

We will return for more looks at the park's construction in the coming months. In the meantime, additional information and several renderings of the park's landscaping can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the related Forum threads or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.