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Toronto Parks

Barbara Ann Scott Park (College Park) - May 10, 2009

Located between Yonge & Bay, north of Gerrard Street nestled behind College Park this is a great space which needs a re-thinking, and some TLC on the water feature. Note that these were taken May 10th and the water feature hadn't yet been cleaned for the season or activated.
A good deal of the park space was lost when the RoCP towers & town homes were built. Despite my personal dislike of the RoCP project I do like how the town homes fit into the park setting as opposed to facing a noisy Bay Street which is how it used to be. You'll notice a nice mix of deciduous and coniferous trees here too. I believe that when (if) Aura is built funds have been allocated from the project that will go into revitalizing this park. Otherwise, it's a relatively quite and relaxing place to sit and enjoy a warm afternoon with a book or to people watch.

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Wading pool cleaned up with fountains now working, June 24-09

 
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Winchester Park - May 15, 2009

Winchester Park is on Ontario Street at Winchester St., about halfway between Carlton & Wellesley. Not a particularly great park, but it does have a baseball diamond, dog run area and splash pad for children in the summer. New benches are needed here and some landscaping would help too.

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Riverdale Park West, Cabbagetown - May 29th

Upper Riverdale Park West, entering at Winchester & Sumach Sts. Unfortunately the splash pad isn't operational yet.
Another great place to spend some time in this area is the Necropolis on the north side of Winchester St. Obviously it's not a park, so I didn't document it. The Necropolis really has to be seen and experienced.

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Lower Riverdale Park West



At the top of Riverdale Park near the end of Winchester St. is the Riverdale Farm. I remember this being the Riverdale Zoo when I was a kid, before the Metro Toronto Zoo was built.

 
Downtown Park Update

Toronto's parks are in a very poor state or repair. Even the gems such as High Park are showing age. The paths could use a repaving, the flower-beds could use some more flowers. The parks need more benches as well. Many large parks have lots of trails, but very few benches. The benches that are in parks are either broken or ugly. Anyone who has been to Europe or visited New York City knows the classy looking benches in city parks.

We have lots of work to do. In general, Toronto does an awful job of maintenance. Case in point: New trees planted last fall in North York (along Yonge, and along Finch), are dead now. Does anyone in the city actually follow up with what was recently planted or do spot checks to see it's it's still alive? It's sad to see trees planted only to have them die in less than a year. It doesn't help Toronto's urban forest renewal strategy.

I've now documented 16 downtown parks and only one park was "average" (Winchester Park). I've found the rest of the parks that I've done so far to be well landscaped, lots of park benches - almost all benches in good to excellent condition, clean and seemingly well maintained. Water features (fountains, splash pads etc.) are not on yet, if I recall they're usually cleaned, maintained and ready to go by early to mid June.

I'll finish uploading what I've done so far on or before Sunday May 31st so huge update is coming. I'm planning on photographing another couple of dozen over the next month.
 
Cawthra Square Park - May 22-09

Located on the east side of Church Street north of Wellesley this is my closest nabe park, and a great one to boot. This park includes a water feature, a new kids play area, a gated off-leash dog area and of course the AIDS Memorial.

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Yorkville Town Hall Square - May 13-09

A parkette on Yorkville Avenue, west of Yonge

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Yonge-Dundas Square - May 21-09

Not really a park, but a gathering place none the less

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Queen's Park (North) - May 20-09

A great gathering place for events on weekends, or a quiet and relaxing space to meditate on a quiet weekday afternoon. I'm always amazed how the large mature trees (many of which have been lost in the past couple of years) greatly shield the noise from surrounding traffic along Queen's Park Cresc. East & West inside the park. A rather surreal event is the sound of the University subway vaguely rumbling beneath the park. The park includes a war memorial at the north end, a statue of King Edward VII in the centre of the park, a water feature and plenty of benches and picnic tables.

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

 
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Moss Park

I've now documented 16 downtown parks and only one park was "average" (Winchester Park). I've found the rest of the parks that I've done so far to be well landscaped, lots of park benches - almost all benches in good to excellent condition, clean and seemingly well maintained. Water features (fountains, splash pads etc.) are not on yet, if I recall they're usually cleaned, maintained and ready to go by early to mid June.
Hey how about Moss Park? I think you'll be surprised at how this heavily used active park is maintained.
 
Hey how about Moss Park? I think you'll be surprised at how this heavily used active park is maintained.

I'll get there :)
This is a LOT of work!
 
Village of Yorkville Park - May 12 -09

The showplace of Yorkville spring through fall. A great place to see, and be seen.

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Harold Town Park - May 13 - 09

A parkette on upper Church Street

 
Allan Gardens - May 29-09

The park is still pretty sketchy by day but nowhere approaching unsafe. Some great improvements have been made since I've last been through here in the summer months. I visit the greenhouses two or three times in the depths of winter, I find it incredibly therapeutic spending a few hours wandering through.
The park has a water feature, tons of benches, great landscaping around the greenhouses and two off-leash areas for dogs. Plans for the revitalization of the grounds continue. The City needs to figure a way to get more people and events happening in the park to better integrate it into the city and better promote the underused horticulture buildings.
Allan Gardens is truly one of Toronto's lesser known treasures.

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dt, I realize how much work this is, and thought I would write to say that it's very much appreciated.
 
dt, I realize how much work this is, and thought I would write to say that it's very much appreciated.

Thank you!!!!
I'm enjoying doing it, I'd really like to see a bit of discussion on what people think of the parks - the good, the bad and what could be improved.
 

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