Corktown Common is Waterfront Toronto’s Newest Park
Corktown Common, Waterfront Toronto’s newly named park in the West Don Lands, opened to the public on June 28. A key component of the revitalization of the area, Corktown Common is destined to become the heart of this emerging new waterfront community.
Great parks and public spaces are a vital part of the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Since 2004, Waterfront Toronto has opened 20 new or improved parks or public spaces.
At 7.3 ha, Corktown Common, formerly known as Don River Park, is the largest park in the area. Innovatively positioned atop the flood protection landform that has removed the flood risk for 210 ha of prime Toronto real estate, including part of Toronto’s financial district, Corktown Common is a creative use of vital infrastructure and another example of Waterfront Toronto’s approach to revitalization. The park also capitalizes on the unique landscape to open sightlines to the Toronto skyline, the Don River and beyond.
Toronto and East York Community Council approved Corktown Common as the new name for the park on June 18. Corktown Common was chosen by the public through Name That Park, a 6-week online naming contest sponsored by Waterfront Toronto and The Grid.
Corktown Common offers something for everyone. The playgrounds, splash pad, athletic field and large central lawn can be used for informal gatherings or organized activities. The flexible outdoor space, tables, benches, barbecue and fireplace create welcoming spots for the community to meet and socialize.
With more than 700 trees and thousands of shrubs, groundcovers, and aquatic plants, Corktown Common is a diversely planted habitat with ecological richness that will encourage biodiversity and a healthy forested area within the park. The large marsh, which is an integral part of the onsite stormwater management system, is already home to birds, bugs, frogs and ducks.
The practical needs of the park are well served by the striking and sustainable pavilion at the play hill. The park’s washrooms, small management office, stormwater management equipment and utility space are located within the pavilion, and in keeping with Waterfront Toronto’s sustainable building approach, solar panels have been included on the pavilion to supplement onsite power needs.
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