In December of 2016, locals and pedestrians alike within the Kensington Market neighbourhood first came upon construction fencing around the site of Bellevue Square Park. Bookended by Augusta and Bellevue Ave to the east and west, and Denison Square and Wales Ave to the north and south, the popular park is now in the midst of a a year-long revitalization to better serve Toronto's growing Downtown population.

Aerial view of Bellevue Square Park pre-construction, image via Apple Maps

Before construction commenced, the park had been showing visible signs of aging for a number of years. The existing water feature was becoming outdated, the pedestrian walkways were unpaved, and the bathroom facilities were in frequent need of repair. While the park continued to be a popular destination, the underutilization of its space—and its ageing features—prompted a new vision to be brought forward in 2015, some 40 years after the park was last renovated.

Construction underway at the site, looking north, image by Stefan Novakovic

Once construction is completed this coming December, the revitalized park will boast significant changes and additions. On the east side, a small plaza will open as a northeast gateway into the park—at the site of the old public washrooms—accompanied by a new paved walkway. Where the splash-pad once stood, an open lawn will provide more leisurely space. A small water feature will be installed where the walkway opens up near the central point, while a wooden deck will occupy the space just south of the new plaza, spanning the length of the east side lawn. 

Site plan of the new Bellevue Square Park, image via Kensington BIA

Just south of the new open lawn, another paved walkway will welcome pedestrians at the southeast corner of the site. Along some areas of the new walkways, seat walls and steps will be installed, providing flexible seating options throughout the space. The central walkway along Wales Ave will be taken out and will be converted to a much larger open lawn space that will span nearly the length of the park along the south end.

Site-clearing on the southwestern end of the site, image by Stefan Novakovic

Although the west site will remain relatively intact—with the addition of a few more benches—the north side of the park is being reprogrammed. While still comprised of a children's playground, the new design will see additional playground equipment throughout the designated space, surrounded by a fence and landscaping along the north, east and west sides. On the southern side of the playground, a much larger water feature—programmed as a 'play space'—will make its presence known as a—hopefully—more modern and engaging successor to the former splash pad. Just a few steps northeast will be a one-storey pavilion, providing new bathroom facilities. 

Trees will be preserved through the course of the revitalization, image by Stefan Novakovic

We will keep you up to date as construction advances to its latter stages, and the park's re-opening nears. Want to share your thoughts on the Bellevue Square Park revitalization? Feel free to leave a comment in the space below this page.