Toronto's heart-shaped park is looking a lot closer to reality
Emerging from the rubble of a demolished highway offramp in the heart of Toronto, a love-themed park is the next public space coming to the city's bustling Harbourfront area.
The site of a demolished spiral ramp that once carried traffic exiting the Gardiner Expressway at York Street is being transformed into the future Love Park, a new public 8,000 square-metre space at York St. and Queens Quay W. that will be defined by its central heart-shaped pond.
Designed by acclaimed landscape architect Claude Cormier + Associés — known for playful park designs including Berczy Park and its beloved dog (and cat) fountain — in collaboration with gh3*, Love Park has been under construction since mid-2021 when the last final supports of the spiral ramp were demolished.
Love Park has been progressing smoothly on the way to a projected fall 2022 opening, a recent construction update showing substantial gains made on the park's defining element, the heart-shaped pond.
The outline of the heart-shaped pond is destined to become a continuous bench spanning 165 metres that will be finished in red smalti mosaic glass tiles.
Updates shared on Cormier's Instagram account reveal that the fabrication process for this mosaic is already in progress.
At the centre of this pond, a floating heart-shaped feature will glow with soft pink light, which will combine with the South Core skyline to the north to form what is sure to be a favourite spot for selfie-takers.
The formerly exhaust-choked land will be given new life in the form of 37 new trees, while five mature trees on the site have been retained and will be incorporated into the new space.
It is sure to be a popular destination not just for people, but also for their pets, with Love Park set to feature an off-leash area at its northeast edge along Harbour Street.
It will be built with specialized K9 turf, designed to resist the odour and bacteria of dog pee without irritating pets' paws.
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