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New map shows off the massive park system in Toronto

Posted by Derek Flack / February 17, 2014

Toronto Parks MapToronto has been referred to as "the city within a park," an observation that tends to ring true when one takes a look at this map put together by Kyle Baptista of Park People, a local organization devoted to improving our green space. There are over 1600 parks plotted on the map above, which naturally stand out against a background devoid of streets or other cartographic information.

Perhaps what's most interesting about this map is the degree to which one can easily pick out our ravine systems and long lost rivers. The Humber and Don are, of course the easiest to spot, but a good eye should also be able to locate the remains of Garrison Creek in the spotty remains of parkland running up from Fort York. Other features like the Belt Line Trail and High Park are also a cinch to pick out.

The map is obviously pared down to the barest essentials, but on account of this very strategy, it highlights the degree to which we're spoiled with green space in Toronto. It may be a bit of a challenge to spot your local park on this map, but the next time you're looking to explore for an extended period of time, this could very well be used as a starting point.

Check out a high resolution version of the map here.



W. K. Lis / February 17, 2014 at 08:16 am
Though there are people who would rather pave paradise and put in a parking lot, they would take all the trees and put them in a tree museum...
Rob & Sandro Ford / February 17, 2014 at 08:27 am
Yeah, shows the park we want to buy on Edenbridge. p s we're on our honeymoon!
Yardl / February 17, 2014 at 09:16 am
Not seeing Downsview park on this. Shame no road names to provide orientation.
al / February 17, 2014 at 12:16 pm
True there are lots of parks in Toronto, but I find that nature is still not integrated enough in the city. Otherwise the mentality is that trees belong in parks. Most downtown sidewalks are bare exposed concrete with no trees to line them and provide respite from the hot sun in the summer for example look at Dundas st between yonge and bathurst, dufferin st, most of yonge this to NYC, Montreal.
Rob & Sandro Ford / February 17, 2014 at 12:53 pm
We're not gay! (just bisexual - for convenience) I have a lot of pride in Sandro's buttocks! We eloped!
Satan / February 17, 2014 at 01:07 pm
Cool parks bro. Too bad I can put this together in 30 seconds on ArcMap. Since when is displaying a single layer innovative?
k-man / February 17, 2014 at 01:30 pm
Yardl - Downsview is missing. Its all white space. Odd but perhaps because its been getting re-zoned lately with all the changes. Anyone?

My first thought was like usual blogTO's toronto emds at bloor or lawrence in a strerch. Well done for a change reaching past the 401 and west of high park! (Probably just to
W. K. Lis / February 17, 2014 at 03:31 pm
Would bike paths (IE. West Toronto Railpath) considered part of parks and recreation, or part of transportation?
stopitman / February 17, 2014 at 04:00 pm
Maybe Downsview isn't included because it's not a "city" park, but rather owned by the Federal Government/Federal Agency? That's all that would come to mind for me. It may also be that they used the park dataset from Toronto's open data, which might not have Downsview.

@Satan - they never said it was innovative and I can do it in 10 seconds in ArcMap or QGIS ;)
MapMan replying to a comment from Satan / February 17, 2014 at 04:04 pm
Exactly my thought.
ian f. robertson / February 17, 2014 at 04:24 pm
It would be interesting to overlay a map of all the private golf courses in the same area. I've often wondered how much larger and more connected, especially in the premium ravine real estate, our city's park system would be if all of that use-specific open space were converted to public use and integrated with the existing park system. In a densely populated city like Toronto, I see little value for golf courses which by and large cater to a small and much more affluent segment of the population.
asas / February 17, 2014 at 04:27 pm
and some small town looser told me last week Toronto doesn't have any trees/ green space
the lemur / February 17, 2014 at 05:36 pm
Parks & Rec manages the Railpath, so it should be on here as a linear park like the Belt Line and that stretch of former railbed in Don Mills.
Kevin / February 17, 2014 at 09:59 pm
Many of these 'parks' are worn out thread bare open spaces that are in serious need of renovation. The City can't even muster enough juice to carry out the trash.
John / February 17, 2014 at 10:07 pm
It would be interesting to add all the hydro corridors, school yards, green spaces around old apartment towers, etc. that all function as parks to some degree.
R-b F--d / February 18, 2014 at 07:38 am
Connect all the dots on the map & get a pic of me & Sandro in the cubicle in Coquitlam! Yowzir!
Theo / February 18, 2014 at 08:24 am
Not too hard to find my local park, took me about five seconds
Ryan replying to a comment from Satan / February 18, 2014 at 11:08 am
This. You don't even need Arc, you could use QGIS which is free. It doesn't even have a scale bar and should probably credit the City of Toronto website for the data (which is freely available).
whitebox replying to a comment from Rob & Sandro Ford / February 18, 2014 at 11:58 am
I guess congratulations are in order. It was probably the most hideous gay wedding ever. but whatevs...true love blossoms in a pile of shit.
whitebox replying to a comment from al / February 18, 2014 at 12:00 pm
Yeah and many of the trees that are planted along busy thoroughfares die and are reduced to ugly stumps.
whitebox / February 18, 2014 at 12:02 pm
I think it's worth noting that the parks are fairly evenly distributed across the city.
assistanceReq / February 18, 2014 at 12:28 pm
It would be nice to have an optional added street name overlay for the directionally challenged and those not so familiar with Toronto's layout.
Kim replying to a comment from al / February 18, 2014 at 03:17 pm
I don't know, I have a newspaper clip from a couple years ago of an aero photo depicting Montreal island as an island of concrete...I do enjoy their parks, but they are few and far between. One thing is for sure though, Montrealers know HOW to enjoy their parks and greenspace...sitting and laying on the grass whenever and wherever, very cooperative and social behavior there, it is a pleasant sort of culture shock coming from conservative Ontario to expressive Montreal to live. Now Im back in North Bay where I belong....nature, nature, everywhere!
Kim replying to a comment from ian f. robertson / February 18, 2014 at 03:24 pm
I feel an aerial photograph in colour, on a clear day would be best used to identify green space in general. Then we can decipher what is parks, residential, private, city, federal, etc etc. Even if it is a series of photos "taped together" would be much more useful than the above map.
Kim replying to a comment from al / February 18, 2014 at 03:26 pm
Agree...and if one isn't from Toronto and thoroughly familiar with it, this isn't a helpful depiction...which one is High Park? Too much white space (lol)
Kim replying to a comment from al / February 18, 2014 at 03:27 pm
Suzuki's gone soft on us...he needs to be turned on again, kick some ass like the old days...but I still love him
Elaine replying to a comment from ian f. robertson / February 18, 2014 at 10:34 pm
I have to disagree with you. All the green space we have in Toronto is just that - green space. Not every park in Toronto has a kiddie park, tennis courts, a bike path, or even a ice lolly truck. Just expansive green space. Due to our climate and and property tax assessments costs it would be very costly for the city to build a "Central Park" type facility in Toronto because the yearly operating costs, maintenance, and taxes vs the revenue generated would not balance, just another deficit for Toronto. Which is where I think about private golf clubs not being such a bad thing, because the facility has to pay taxes on the land, so the city is making money hand over fist for land they don't have to maintain or even think about. So build the courses, big them large or long or whatever the golf term is (I'm not a golfer, I'm also not a Torontonion) and let the the affluent join and pay the ridiculous costs of a memberships. In no way does it imply that someone who doesn't have a membership can't play there, people can play Fee for Service.
Thorb / February 19, 2014 at 12:11 am
pretty little map ya got up thar. Does it include all of GTA's golf courses?
Mango / February 19, 2014 at 12:40 am
This is good but I work in this space. I'm launching big things in Q4, wait for the big show y'all!!
cera / May 19, 2014 at 11:20 am
I live in Montreal now and there is hardly any green space!! And it's so rare to find a street that is covered with trees. It was such a shock moving from Toronto. Don't take our beautiful city for granted. AND we have beaches, rivers, forests, the island, bike and hiking paths... I love Toronto!
andrew replying to a comment from Kim / January 12, 2015 at 11:36 am
MRL picnic with reasonable amt of alcohol allowed policy may invite adults to get out more... In toronto to enjoy the outside this way you have to pay the beer store's hidden bribe or do the same at a street festival, both of which are quite popular...
Other Cities: Montreal