Waterfront opens Corktown Common park in Toronto

14 July 2014 (Last Updated July 14th, 2014 18:30)

Waterfront Toronto has opened the new Corktown Common park at the West Don Lands in Toronto. The Canadian government-led initiative is aimed at delivering a revitalised waterfront to the city.

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Waterfront Toronto has opened the new Corktown Common park at the West Don Lands in Toronto. The Canadian government-led initiative is aimed at delivering a revitalised waterfront to the city.

The post-industrial site at the West Don Lands has been transformed into a sustainable urban park by Arup, in collaboration with Waterfront Toronto and Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

The 7.3ha park intends to protect Toronto's eastern downtown from flooding and also serve as a multi-use urban green space.

Arup Toronto office leader Andrew McAlpine said: "As the engineers for Corktown Common, not only did we have the opportunity to design a highly sustainable park, we also were able to help create a wonderful space for the community in which we live and work."

"Waterfront Toronto is delivering on our mandate to transform under-utilised brownfields into beautiful new waterfront neighbourhoods that deliver environmental, social and economic benefits." 

Being the largest park in the area, Corktown Common has more than 700 trees and thousands of shrubs, groundcovers and aquatic plants.

The park offers locals playgrounds, a splash pad, an athletic field, flexible outdoor space, tables, benches, a living marsh, fireplace and a large central lawn for informal gatherings or organised activities.

In addition, Corktown Common has its own solar panels for meeting onsite power needs and a pavilion that contains washrooms, stormwater management equipment and utility space.

The park also has systems to collect rainwater for irrigation purpose and systems to treat sanitary sewer.

Waterfront Toronto chair Mark Wilson said: "Corktown Common shows that Waterfront Toronto is delivering on our mandate to transform under-utilised brownfields into beautiful new waterfront neighbourhoods that deliver environmental, social and economic benefits and to position the City of Toronto, as a world leader in creating sustainable communities."

Minister of Finance Joe Oliver said: "Through the Corktown Common project and other infrastructure initiatives, we are helping to create jobs and economic growth, while supporting a vibrant waterfront that will attract the citizens of Toronto and new businesses to the area."


Image: The living marsh at Corktown Common park in the West Don Lands, Toronto. Photo: courtesy of Arup.