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Corktown Common Opening Celebrations a Resounding Hit!

Jul 16, 2014

Corktown Common Community Picnic - People lounging on grass

Community members lounge on the grass, enjoying live music and breathtaking views of the park and city skyline (Image credit: Connie Tsang for Waterfront Toronto)

By Tari Stork

Last Thursday, July 10, was a beautiful, sunny day with a gentle breeze – a perfect day for a celebration! Joined by hundreds of people of all ages we officially opened Corktown Common, Waterfront Toronto’s spectacular new park in the emerging West Don Lands, with two memorable events.

In the morning we marked this important occasion with an official ribbon cutting with our government partners. In the afternoon we hosted a community picnic with our development partners, Dundee Kilmer and Urban Capital, who generously provided the food and entertainment.

Community members, media, stakeholders and an esteemed group of government representatives came out for the official ribbon cutting. In addition to official remarks, we also presented Tedd Konya, with a commemorative artist’s rendering of the park as a thank you for submitting the winning name to Name That Park.

The evening community event was a huge hit, with about 500 people coming out for the festivities. Adults and kids alike enjoyed a complimentary BBQ, cotton candy, snow cones, live music by Electric Blonde, and all the fabulous amenities our newest waterfront park has to offer.

Kids grabbing a ride on Canary District’s rickshaw.

Visitors of all ages enjoyed grabbing a ride on Canary District’s rickshaw. (Image courtesy of Canary District, Image credit: Nicola Betts)

The central lawn and playground areas were full with families and friends lounging and socializing while having a bite to eat. It was great to watch as kids made new friends and spontaneously started pick-up games of soccer and frisbee while trying to balance their snow-cones and cotton candy. Adults hung out on their blankets, lawn chairs and hills in the park swaying to the music and enjoying the scenery. Check out our photo recap to see all of the festivities in full swing

At 7.3 hectares (18 acres), with a vast range of amenities, Corktown Common has universal appeal. It’s a destination park that both protects Toronto’s eastern downtown from flooding and serves as a multi-use urban green space. With spectacular views of Toronto’s skyline and a wide range of leisure and recreational features, Corktown Common is the centerpiece of the new West Don Lands community.

We love Corktown Common, but here’s a sample of what others are saying:

“Taxes were well spent in the building of Corktown Common, one of Toronto's most spectacular and interactive parks. The playground boasts a water play area, boardwalk and wetlands, public fire pit, and great slide.”

— "50 things to do with kids this summer in Toronto" from BlogTO

“Corktown Common is an example of a different kind of park than the ones built by previous generations. We are building parks that offer a diversity of benefits not only to the immediate community but to the city as a whole. One of the major changes has been the park as economic catalyst…. This tells the world the city of Toronto is a progressive, thoughtful, stylish, energetic, dynamic place to invest your money and to place your family and to look for the job opportunities.”

— Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly.

"Corktown Common is a perfect example of how government investments can create not just beautiful parks, but also the great new downtown communities that will help Toronto stay economically vibrant and competitive."

— Glen Murray, MPP for Toronto Centre and Ontario's Minister of the Environment and Climate Change

High-quality parks and public spaces are important community assets that help create a sense of identity and place and are particularly important in new neighbourhoods like the West Don Lands where they provide recreational and leisure space and are the hub of the community.  By taking an abandoned, post-industrial site and turning it into a must-see destination, Waterfront Toronto has created a valued community asset that will serve the new West Don Lands community and surrounding area for generations.

post contributor

  • Tari Stork

    Tari Stork was a communications manager at Waterfront Toronto. Her favourite things are rocks, trees, water and mid-century architecture. When not spending time renovating her humble abode, you’ll find her laughing at her cats or hitting the road to check out off-the-beaten-path restos and architectural salvage spots.