There's a simple explanation why several Toronto parks have identical names
But if you were to hit up a friend for an afternoon at Oriole Park, Stanley Park, or Regent Park, you might need to be just a little more specific. A handful of Toronto parks require more than just their name to be correctly identified.
Duplicated park names often, but not always, exist as relics of the city's fragmented pre-amalgamation planning.
One example is Oriole Park, or perhaps I should say Oriole Parks, a pair of parks roughly 10 kilometres apart with nothing in common besides their name and approximate size.
One of these is located off of Oriole Parkway in the Yonge and Davisville area, while the other can be found between Don Mills Road East and West, near Fairview Mall in North York.
In most cases, the explanation for duplicate park names is really quite simple.
According to a spokesperson for the City, "Toronto has more than 1,500 parks, and in more than one instance, these parks share the same name, for example, Oriole Park – North York and Oriole Park – Toronto, and Regent Park – Etobicoke and Regent Park – Toronto."
After looking into the matter, City staff in Parks, Forestry & Recreation confirmed to blogTO that, at least in the case of the duplicate Oriole Parks, "both of these parks were named pre-amalgamation."
So while the two identically-named parks may both be in the same city today, that was not the case before the 1998 amalgamation of Toronto combined the former city with East York, Etobicoke, North York, Scarborough, and York to form a single entity.
That means that the governments of Toronto and North York both independently named their own Oriole Parks, and neither has been renamed in the 24 years since.
Similar post-amalgamation oopsies can be spotted all over the map of Toronto, like how saying you're going to meet a friend at the corner of King and George might have a different meaning for someone living in the city centre versus someone living in the Weston area.
There were initially a staggering 103 of these duplicate street names when the megacity was formed in 1998, though most of these have been rectified through name changes or disambiguation on signage.
But duplicate park and street names will continue live on.
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