parliament parkscape

Columnist attacks temporary Toronto park and people have thoughts

Residents of Toronto's Cabbagetown neighbourhood were delighted when a new temporary linear park appeared along Parliament Street in July, transforming a lane of traffic into a string of five parkette "islands" from Carlton Street to just south of Winchester

But not everyone is happy about the new pop-up, and a Toronto Sun columnist's angry tweet about paved asphalt replaced by this lush pedestrian parkscape of logs and trees has unleashed a tidal wave of comments from both sides of the cars vs. pedestrians debate.

Sun columnist Brian Lilley posted a video of the temporary green spaces, known collectively as the Cabbagetown Parkscape, commenting, "Because we don't have enough whacky crap on the streets of Toronto…Someone thought it was a good idea to put mini forests on the road."

That someone, for the record, is the Cabbagetown BIA, which works in the interests of businesses populating this stretch.

If the BIA had thought that the flow of fast-moving cars versus foot traffic was of more benefit to their neighbourhood, there would be no Parkscape.

Lilley's complaints read like an appeal to motorists to paint the park as another front in the 'war on the car' narrative often pushed by right-wing media.

On the other side of the fence, those defending the installation cite a lack of adequate greenspace in the city.

Several have piled on in support of Lilley's commentary, though locals are speaking out in support of the park spaces.

Others are ridiculing the columnist's very vocal stance on what really amounts to a few trees and logs over a short stretch of Parliament Street.

There are several comments that, for whatever reason, seem to think Justin Trudeau is somehow responsible for a temporary park installation overseen by a local BIA.

Some of them are best read with the X-Files theme song playing in the background.

Others are up in arms about how the pop-up park will supposedly suffer damage due to winter road salt and plowing, completely ignoring the fact that the Parliament Parkscape will only be in place until September.

Lead photo by

Jake Tobin Garrett


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