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Why is Corktown Common closed so early for the Games?

Jun 2, 2015

Since opening in 2013, Corktown Common has quickly become one of Toronto’s most beloved new parks.

Since opening in 2013, Corktown Common has quickly become one of Toronto’s most beloved new parks.

By Carol Webb

Corktown Common is an active, vibrant and inviting park – the heart of the new West Don Lands neighbourhood – and also an integral part of the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Athletes’ Village (Athletes’ Village). Which is why the park is included within the secure perimeter fence line and public access was closed on June 1, 2015.

The rest of the Athletes’ Village was handed over to the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games Organizing Committee (TO2015) in February 2015 so it could complete preparations to host the 10,000 athletes and officials, including: outfitting rooms with beds and furnishings, constructing a temporary dining tent, medical clinic, welcome centre and a media centre, as well as installing a security fence around the perimeter of the site.

For the Games, some temporary changes are also needed in the area surrounding the Athletes’ Village. TO2015 communicated these changes – including the closure of Corktown Common – to the local community at public meetings held this winter and spring. The park was kept open as long as possible, however, on June 1, TO2015 closed public access as part of its security and overlay preparations for the Athletes’ Village. TO2015 has committed to doing everything it can to have Corktown Common open as soon as possible after the completion of the Games in late August.

Many in the community are excited by the Games – the development that they’ve hastened, the legacy they’ll leave, the opportunity they present to host other countries and show off our city. They will contribute a lot of excitement in Toronto this summer, so why not be a part of it? Check out the schedule of sporting events and PANAMANIA, the 35-day arts and cultural festival that will take place across Toronto from July 10 to August 15.

If you have any questions about the Games, please contact Toronto2015 at businessinfo@toronto2015.org or residentinfo@toronto2015.org.

For information regarding traffic and transit changes, temporary HOV lanes and more, visit Ontario.ca/games2015.

Visit other parks along the waterfront this summer

While many of us will miss Corktown Common during the summer months, there are many other parks in Toronto that can be enjoyed and explored this summer. Check out this list of parks along the waterfront that we’ve assembled. It’s pretty impressive.

More about Corktown Common and the Canary District

Innovatively positioned atop the area’s massive flood protection landform, Corktown Common leveraged essential public infrastructure to deliver a magnificent public park. At the broadest scale, the flood protection landform drove the park’s design, landscape and programming.

The development of the Canary District was made possible by the flood protection Corktown Common provides and was accelerated by the Province’s winning bid to host this summer’s 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, the plans for which always included the park as an integral component of the Athletes’ Village. What once may have taken between 10 to 15 years to come to fruition was completed in only a handful of years in order to house the 10,000 athletes and officials who will soon arrive in Toronto. The Games provided a real incentive to deliver valuable assets and public amenities that will remain long after the Games are done.

post contributor

  • Carol Webb

    Carol Webb is a project communications manager with Waterfront Toronto.