pops toronto

Toronto starts marking privately owned public spaces

The city's numerous and often overlooked privately owned publicly-accessible spaces--public parks and green spaces located on private property, POPS for short--are finally being mapped and labeled by the city.

At the end of July, Iceboat Terrace in CityPlace became the first POPS in the city to receive a plaque marking it as space open to the public. The silver and black markers show the opening hours and reminders that normal bylaws still apply.

In November 2012, city council voted to identify and mark the city's privately owned publicly-accessible spaces, which are often provided by developers as a result of negotiations with the city. The spaces are open to the public but remains the property of the building's owner. There are more than 100 in the City of Toronto as of 2014.

Some POPS are relatively easy to spot: the concrete plaza at TD Centre, the park-like area at Queen and Shaw by CAMH, and the outdoor area behind College Park and the new Aura condo tower. Others less so: a public walkway from Carlton Street to Granby and a fenced off park beside the Manufacturers Life Insurance Company Building on Bloor.

A full, interactive map is available in PDF form.

The city is retroactively applying plaques to POPS, but in future all new spaces of this kind must be marked. The space outside the condos at 300 Front Street West is next on the list.

Are you pleased the city is taking steps to catalogue and mark these spaces?

Chris Bateman is a staff writer at blogTO. Follow him on Twitter at @chrisbateman.

Photo by Meteor54


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