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2014 Neighbourhood Development Project

City of Toronto, Ontario, and Waterfront Toronto

Corktown Common

Population:  Project duration:  Total project value:
2.8 million 2010–2014 $26 million

Transcript

To optimize key flood protection infrastructure and promote active living in nearby neighbourhoods, the City of Toronto created Corktown Common. The beautiful multi-use park is located atop the Flood Protection Landform, a sophisticated engineered feature that has eliminated flood risk for 210 hectares of prime Toronto real estate, including a portion of the financial district.

Designed for year-round use, the 7.3-hectare park is already a popular destination, offering leisure and recreational features and breathtaking views of the Toronto skyline. Almost 60 species of trees and shrubs have been planted and Corktown Common is already home to a variety of animals. When completed, it will improve Toronto's walking and cycling network by connecting the Martin Goodman and Don Valley River trails.

Corktown Common and the Flood Protection Landform are helping to transform a former brownfield into a vibrant neighbourhood that is an integral part of the emerging mixed-use West Don Lands community.

Results

Environmental Economic Social
  • Stormwater recycling system irrigates the park and flushes the marsh

  • Flood Protection Landform is a strategic piece of flood protection infrastructure

  • Over 700 trees planted and 1,110 m2 of aquatic habitat created

  • An innovative and cost-efficient use of critical infrastructure

  • Catalyst for neighbourhood regeneration and economic development

  • Brownfield site redeveloped as a functional, multi-use space

  • Four-season park is a new hub for active, multi-modal transportation

Challenges

  • Developing a world-class urban green space without compromising a key piece of flood protection infrastructure for a much larger area was a complicated undertaking.

  • A diverse group of stakeholders — including the community, designers, the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority, city parks staff, and others — needed to collaborate on design, scheduling, budget, and construction management issues.

Lessons learned

  • Collaboration and consultation among orders of government and with community and business partners must begin early in the development process.

  • Encourage flexible approaches to ensure a successful outcome for innovative projects.

  • Waterfront Toronto and its community and business partners recognized the early development of parks as anchors for neighbourhood redevelopment.

Page Updated: 21/12/2015