cabbagetown parkscape parliament

Major street in Toronto transformed into lush new green space

Pedestrians passing through Toronto's Cabbagetown neighbourhood have a stunning new space to stretch their legs and soak in what the community has to offer.

The Cabbagetown BIA has revealed a new public realm improvement, reclaiming on-street parking along Parliament Street and transforming it into a lush linear park known as the Cabbagetown Parkscape.

The string of five parkette "islands" can be found on Parliament from Carlton Street to just south of Winchester, replacing paved asphalt with an inviting mix of logs, stones, grass, and shade trees.

Designed and built by Bienenstock Natural Playgrounds, the linear park opened on July 1 and has been an immediate hit with visitors, though it will only be around for a limited time, the summer installation running for ten weeks until September 11.

And while some local business owners are almost certain to gripe about the temporary loss of on-street parking, Cabbagetown BIA Executive Director Virginia Gallop says, "This initiative is vital for the economic recovery of Cabbagetown."

Gallop says that the project "will not only help us recover from the pandemic by attracting more visitors to our businesses, but we're also offering a new and life-affirming approach to our urban landscape by connecting our community to nature."

Cabbagetown Parkscape was commissioned by the BIA with input from former councillor and current Toronto Centre MPP Kristyn Wong-Tam.

Together, the local business improvement area and the now-provincial politician hope to "provide local residents and visitors with a reprieve from the urban landscape with a verdant public realm destination in the Cabbagetown neighbourhood."

CBC reports that the installation's $100,000 cost was paid for by "major partners," and the BIA's website specifies that real estate developers CentreCourt and Fitzrovia are sponsors of the temporary park.

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