Is Toronto Getting a Superpark?

Don River Valley Park
The Don River Valley Park aims to improve access and enhance cycling and pedestrian commuting from Pottery Road to Corktown Common (Evergreen).

What is it?

The Don River Valley Park, sometimes referred to as a “superpark,” will be a connected 200-hectare green space that will stretch across downtown Toronto. At the heart of this park will be the Lower Don River and ravine system, which has historically served as the natural lifeblood for the area, but is today largely segmented and in parts inaccessible.

The creation of a Don River Valley Park will not only enrich the natural environment of Toronto, but it will change the way communities, neighbourhoods and people will interact with each other and their surrounding environment. The park will accomplish this by improving pedestrian and cycling routes, creating a space to promote art and culture, and protecting the unique ecological features of our city.

Where will it be located?

The park will start at Pottery Road to the north and run south to Corktown Common, connecting Toronto’s ravine system to the new mouth of the Don.

Aerial photo above Pottery Road and Evergreen Brickworks
Aerial photo above Pottery Road and Evergreen Brickworks (TRCA).

Why do we need the Don River Valley Park?

“Underutilized, unsound and largely inaccessible land will be transformed into a remarkable new civic space that connects neighbourhoods and new developments to parkland, brings people back to the river’s edge, revitalizes an ecologically degraded and flood-prone valley, and introduces opportunity for solitude, recreation, bicycle community, art and culture.”

Seana Irvine, Chief Operating Officer, Evergreen

There are approximately 250,000 residents along the Don Valley area, which is expected to grow by another 60,000 over the next few years. As this area continues to develop and accommodate more residents, there is a greater need to protect and enhance local green space to offset urban development and preserve the sensitive ecological features that shape the Don Valley.

A rendering of what the Don River Valley Park will look like
A rendering of what the Don River Valley Park will look like (Evergreen).

Who is involved?

Evergreen is currently working with the City of Toronto on the first phase of the project as part of the Lower Don Master Plan.

Last fall, Evergreen also brought together landscape architects and designers, urban planners, artists, students and TRCA staff as part of a three-day planning session, where participants were asked to “Imagine a Don Valley Neighbourhood.” Highlights from the Don River Design Charette are available online.

Since public awareness and discussion are important parts of this project, Evergreen also hosted one of their Don Dialogues—an ongoing discussion series held by Evergreen—dedicated to the Don River Valley Park.

When will it be completed?                                                      

The first phase will be completed by 2019 as part of the Lower Don Master Plan. The second phase will build on the initial phase and look at the project beyond 2020.

“This vision serves as the proverbial first mile of a broader city-wide ravine revitalization strategy. Prototyping new collaborative ways of reimaging and realizing the potential of our ravines, the Don River Valley Park will demonstrate what’s possible across Toronto.”

Seana Irvine, Chief Operating Officer, Evergreen

To fund the first phase of the project, Evergreen has launched a fundraising campaign called The Ribbon, in reference to how the park will connect the Don Valley with its neighbouring communities.

Information on the project is available through the Don River Valley Project website, which also includes details on how you can share your ideas on the project, stay informed and get involved.