parklet toronto

Toronto loves its newest parklet

The Yonge Street corridor isn't exactly flush with park space. That why the Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Area (BIA) wants to create more parklets - or mini parks - in its neighbourhood.

For the past three years, it's been taking over a three parking spots on Elm Street, but after looking at the success of well-designed parklets in cities such as San Francisco, as well as in parts of Europe, it partnered with Ryerson University's department of architectural sciences for 2017.

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Mark Garner, the CEO and executive director of the Downtown Yonge BIA, hopes to give those who live and work in the area space to relax and perhaps enjoy a coffee or a meal outside.

"Parklets are a point for us to add that public realm space that is so needed in a neighbourhood that’s intensifying so rapidly," he says.

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Along with the one on Elm Street, the BIA hopes to create parklets on Victoria, Shuter and James streets in the future.

"We want you to get out from your office cube and out into the public realm," notes Garner.

The plan, Garner explains, is to collaborate with Ryerson architectural staff and students - who spoke about the park on CBC's Metro Morning yesterday - again. The challenge now, notes Garner, is getting the city to develop an official policy surrounding parklets.

The Elm Street parklet is made of sustainable Accoya wood and is lit up at night. Since opening on June 16, it's generally gotten positive feedback for adding much-needed public space to the neighbourhood.

Lead photo by

Amy Grief


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