Earlier this summer Toronto saw the opening of Corktown Common, an 18-acre park located on the eastern edge of the fast rising West Don Lands.  In the few months since Waterfront Toronto opened the Michael Van Valkenburgh-designed public space, the park has become quite a hit with local cyclists, joggers, insect enthusiasts, schoolchildren, and basically everyone else who doesn't fit into the above demographics but has wandered in to see it.

Corktown Common and Pavilion, image by Jack Landau

The 8.9-acre “dry side” of the park opened at the end of June, and was originally scheduled to close on September 1 to allow for work to be completed on the eastern “wet side” of the park. The man-made berm, or Flood Protection Landform, was mandated to protect the park and neighbourhoods to the west from the (recently more common) flooding of the Don River.

Northern edge of Corktown Common viewed from near the top of the FPL, image by Jack Landau

After the successful soft opening—and rave reviews from both the design community and the general public—we are happy to pass along the news that the planned closure has been bumped back several weeks, meaning Corktown Common will stay open until Thanksgiving. This gives everyone an extra month and a half to get out and enjoy the park before it is temporarily cordoned off. When completed next spring, the east half of the park will feature almost 8 acres of urban prairie along the west bank of the Don River.

Landscaping at Corktown Common, image by Jack Landau

If the outstanding attention to detail seen in the open half is any indication of what is to come, then this already exceptional public space may soon become Toronto's gold standard in park design, making use of native vegetation and creative landscaping to better our appreciation for public greenspace. With only five weeks until fences go back up around this gem of a park, we hope you get a chance to visit Corktown Common if you haven't yet.

Raised pathway above Corktown Common's small artificial marsh, image by Jack Landau

A comprehensive collection of information and pre-construction renderings can be found in this project’s dataBase entry, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum thread, or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of the page.

Related Companies:  Maryann Thompson Architects, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, urbanMetrics inc., Waterfront Toronto