lillian mcgregor park

New Toronto park that's been in the works for years is finally opening this week

If you're one of the dedicated Torontonians who kicked off the season of park hangouts as soon as spring temps crept over the double digit mark, you'll be happy to know that you will soon have yet another green space to add to your roster of outdoor locales to relax at in lieu of having an actual backyard.

The City has just announced that Dr. Lillian McGregor Park, for which planning began more than seven years ago, is at long last opening on Tuesday.

The 6,400-square-metre public space spans a portion of Wellesley Street West between Yonge and Bay Streets, and pays homage to the public figure that serves as its namesake through numerous design elements from local firm DTAH and Manitoba artist Kenneth Lavallee.

Inspired by Dr. McGregor's clan sign of the crane, the space features a colourful modern playground, central gathering area, rock features surrounded by tons of local flora, snaking walkways, benches, an off-leash dog park and multiple sculptures, canopies and other pieces of public art.

While construction was completed in 2021, disputes between the city and private entities — as the space sits atop multiple condo parking garages — left it fenced off and inaccessible to the public for many months while passersby have been eagerly taking notice of the new development.

McGregor, who passed away in 2012, was a well-respected, award-winning community leader from White Fish River First Nation who held positions such as the inaugural Elder-in-Residence at the University of Toronto First Nation House, Elder Council at the Native Canadian Centre of Toronto, and board member for multiple organizations across the city.

Her eponymous park will hopefully serve as a lush, inspiring reprieve in the condo-dense downtown core for years to come.

Lead photo by

Scott Norsworthy via DTAH

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