Name That Park!
The winning name for Toronto’s newest waterfront park has been announced!
The votes have been tallied and Corktown Common is the winning name chosen by the public for the signature new park in the West Don Lands. Name That Park, an online naming contest sponsored by Waterfront Toronto and The Grid, invited the public to submit their ideas for a new park name, and then vote for their favourite.
The name Corktown Common references “Corktown,” the larger neighbourhood the park will be a part of (a neighbourhood named to honour the Irish workers who settled there after their country’s famine), while the “Common” reflects that the park will belong to everyone. The new name must now be approved by Toronto and East York Community Council on June 18.
During the six-week Name That Park contest, almost 450 suggestions were submitted and nearly 1,500 people voted for their favourite name during the voting round. Corktown Common, submitted by Mr. Tedd Konya, received the most votes. Mr. Konya explained in his submission that the name was to “…honour the neighborhood that was broken up with the highway ramps and is now coming back to life thanks to redevelopment projects like the park.”
Once approved by Community Council, the official renaming of the park will take place when it opens later this summer.
“It’s very appropriate that the public has once again chosen a winning park name that embodies the idea that public spaces belong to the people,” said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. “Corktown Common, like Sherbourne Common, will be the centrepiece of the neighbourhood and is helping to transform the former industrial lands into one of Canada’s most sustainable and technologically advanced communities.”
Name That Park was launched on April 11 by Waterfront Toronto and The Grid as a way to encourage the public to participate in waterfront revitalization and help name Toronto’s newest park. The goal of the contest was to select a name that reflects the park’s unique setting on Toronto’s revitalized waterfront in the heart of what will become Toronto’s next great neighbourhood, a community that is people focused, family friendly, environmentally sustainable and beautifully designed for living. The 448 proposed names reflected a wide range of the park’s strengths and advantages, including geographical, historical and environmental references.
At the end of the submission period a selection committee made up of a broad range of community representatives, including local City Councillor Pam McConnell, chose a shortlist of five names for public voting. The shortlist, announced on May 6, was reviewed by the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division to ensure the names met the City of Toronto’s Honourific and Street Naming Policy.
The park’s working name—Don River Park—was influenced by its location near the Don River in the heart of the West Don Lands. At 7.3 hectares (18 acres) the park is the largest in the area and will become the heart of the new community. Located between Bayview Avenue and the GO/CN railroad lines, from King Street to the rail corridor in the south, the park is inspired by the site’s many inherent assets—its strong connections to the city, its proximity to the Don River, its unique ecological history, and its position on top of the area’s flood protection landform. The design maximizes the exceptional topography and capitalizes on the unique landscape to open sightlines to the Toronto skyline, the Don River and beyond.
Mr. Tedd Konya, the winner of the Name That Park, will receive a commemorative rendering of the park and will be invited to be part of the park’s opening celebrations later this summer.
ABOUT THE PARK
In March we told you all about the grand plans that Waterfront Toronto has in store for the West Don Lands, which will soon be transformed from an industrial wasteland into a thriving, mixed-use neighbourhood. The cornerstone of the development is a massive new park bordered by King Street to the north, the Don River on the east, the GO/CN rail lines to the south, and Bayview Avenue to the west.
The park will boast 18 acres of green space, with year-round amenities including a community kitchen, barbecue, outdoor fireplace, slides, swings, splash pad, soccer pitch, off-leash dog park, and lots of places to relax.
It will feature an environmentally friendly closed-loop stormwater management system (to feed park’s marsh and irrigation needs) and solar panels, plus a mix of forest, marsh, prairie, and paths.
The park will even have potentially life-saving properties: it’s built atop flood-protection infrastructure that will protect over 500 acres of downtown—including part of the financial district—from flooding.
But what it doesn’t have yet is a name. Well, its unofficial, work-in-progress name is Don RiverPark, but surely this state-of-the-art green space deserves a more inspired, exciting appellation, no? That’s where you come in.
About Waterfront Toronto
The Governments of Canada and Ontario and the City of Toronto created Waterfront Toronto to oversee and lead the renewal of Toronto’s waterfront. Public accessibility, design excellence, sustainable development, economic development and fiscal sustainability are the key drivers of waterfront revitalization.