A small patch of land in downtown Toronto was nothing more than a ramp descending from the Gardiner Expressway just a few years ago, but the footprint of this erased automotive infrastructure will soon be returned to pedestrians as the city’s newest public park. .
Known as Love Park, the new public space in York St. and Queens Quay W. has been under construction since mid-2021, when the last remnants of the former elevated spiral ramp were reduced to rubble.
Since then, Waterfront Toronto has surrounded the site with colorful billboards, obscuring views of its progress into the public space. But a new aerial update reveals the first major feature in the playful design of the 8,000 square meter park by Claude Cormier Associés in collaboration with gh3*.
Love Park will be the heart of the waterfront – literally! You can see the heart-shaped pond emerging from the construction. pic.twitter.com/rerARWe14k
— Waterfront Toronto (@WaterfrontTO) January 13, 2022
The centerpiece of Love Park will be a large heart-shaped pond, the outline of which now becomes apparent as crews dig a trench around the feature. The edge of the pond, aligned to face north, will form an uninterrupted 165-metre seating area, finished with glass mosaic tiles in a range of red hues.
Floating above the center of the pond, a heart-shaped light will glow surreal shades of pink over park visitors, sure to be an Instagrammable favorite for tourists and locals alike.
But more than a quirky photogenic pond is coming to this once inhospitable stretch of land, the park will see 37 new trees on top of the five mature trees being preserved, along with a variety of shrubs and other greenery.
In the meantime between the ramp’s demolition in 2017 and the start of park construction, the grass-covered spot was a popular spot for dog owners who lived in the surrounding condo towers.
At the opening of the new park, a space for these four-legged friends will be created on the northeastern edge of the park along Harbor Street in the form of an off-leash area.
It will feature specially designed K9 turf, a material that can resist the build-up of odors and bacteria without irritating paws, which has had early success at Aitken Place Park.
Love Park should be ready in the fall of 2022.