Church Wellesley Update
News from the Church Wellesley Neighbourhood Association
Neighbourhood parks update
Barbara Hall Park
The City is collaborating with the local Church-Wellesley Village community to develop a new vision and Master Plan for Barbara Hall Park. The objectives of the park vision and Master Plan are to enhance the park’s function for everyday use and, as a central gathering space for the City’s LGBTQ2S+ community, a space capable of accommodating passive and active uses, special events, moments of reflection, and to improve park maintenance and safety.
Community consultations have started; a final plan should be decided upon by the end of the year, with the goal of budgeting for the project in 2024. See the City's page on Barbara Hall Park Improvements for more information and to sign up for updates.
James Canning Gardens
Of the three linear parks running between Charles and Dundonald Streets, James Canning Gardens underwent a rebuild and was re-opened to the public in 2021. Since then the lot immediately to the east, at 14 Dundonald, has been transferred to the City as parkland. However, the new open space has not been integrated into the design of James Canning Gardens. There will be a future opportunity to expand the park and make the combined space more useful.
George Hislop Park and Norman Jewison Parks
In 2020 and 2021 the City hosted two public consultations and two stakeholder meetings on the redesign of the other two linear parks, George Hislop and Norman Jewison Parks; as well as Alexander Street Parkette. (See the Yonge Street Linear Park Improvements page at Toronto.ca for background.)
Revitalizations of George Hislop and Norman Jewison Parks had been projected to start in late 2022; however, there have been delays with the projects. The detail design stage of work for the two parks is complete and the construction contract is about to be awarded. Construction will start in May, 2023.
Among the improvements, George Hislop Park will feature an LGBTQ2S+ art installation; artist Catherine Tammaro has been engaged to create Indigenous placemaking elements in Norman Jewison Park.
Unfortunately, George Hislop Park has been fenced off from public access since the summer of 2021, after the City cleared an encampment. Looking forward, there is a good possibility that George Hislop Park will have a small expansion to its southwest as a part of two proposed development projects to its immediate west.
A larger image of the George Hislop Park plan is here (after opening, click the image for maximum size).
A larger image of the Norman Jewison Park plan is here (after opening, click the image for maximum size).
Alexander St. Parkette
Alexander Street Parkette's improvements will not very likely not take place in 2023, as they must be coordinated with a garage roof replacement project for 25 Maitland Street's underground parking. The City is now in discussion with the property manager of 25 Maitland (The Cosmopolitan). The goal is that the projects would be completed sequentially but a time frame has not yet been determined. The park plan is below.
15 Wellesley Green P Parking Lot
Looking further forward, the Green P parking lot that sits across from the Wellesley subway station has been promised, in Toronto's Official City Plan, as parkland for many years.
In the recently released, "TOCore Implementation Strategy: Downtown Parks and Public Realm Plan," 15 Wellesley East is listed as one of the “New Parks Secured through Development and Acquisitions.”
The City has not yet determined if the entire lot will go to parkland or if some will be allocated to affordable housing. Given the significant increases in our neighbourhood's population in the past years -- and for many years to come -- the CWNA supports the allocation of the entire lot to parkland.
Improvements to existing parks and the addition of more green space will be very welcome in our rapidly densifying neighbourhood.
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