‘Love Park’ with Heart-Shaped Pond to Replace Demolished Gardiner Off-Ramp

York Street Park
Joe Cressy/Twitter

Editor’s note: This article was updated from a previous version that said the opening date was 2021, but the park is to open by 2022. 

The former F.G. Gardiner Expressway off-ramp that’s transforming from a slab of concrete into a vibrant urban oasis is set to open in the coming years.

Design team Claude Cormier + Associés collaborated with gh3* to reimagine the former off-ramp, located at the northeast corner of York Street and Queens Quay West near Toronto’s waterfront.

The nearly two acres of space will create a lush urban oasis that creates a playful and immersive experience secluded from busy downtown life, according to Waterfront Toronto.

Known as the ‘Love Park’, the public green space will invite visitors to “rekindle their relationship with the stillness and enduring beauty of nature,” and is expected to open to the public by 2022.

READ: City Looking to Secure Air Rights for 3 Acres of Rail Deck Park

Undoubtedly the main attraction at Love Park will be the heart-shaped water feature that will provide adjacent office towers with a unique aerial view of the pond, which will be softly illuminated by a glowing pink heart suspended above the feature.

But more importantly, the new park will offer a welcomed escape from Toronto’s concrete-heavy downtown, with the addition of a lush tree canopy that will surround the park, giving new life to the space. Tree-lined sidewalks will also outline the entire perimeter and internal pathways of the park site, marking the transition into a calm urban refuge.

Waterfront Toronto

Those looking to lounge can sprawl along the rolling, elevated grassy slopes that will provide a further buffer from the adjacent roadways and offer space to relax and enjoy the park from different vantage points.

Moreover, Love Park will include a series of spaces that seamlessly flow into one another, from walkways and large paths that will provide space for seasonal pop-up markets to tiered ‘wedding cake’ seating platforms that will overlook the pond.

Shovels are expected to hit the ground early spring 2020, with a slated 2022 opening.

Love Park’s $7 million design budget is made possible through Waterfront Toronto’s funding partners, the City of Toronto.

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