Community input shaping new park on Richmond St. East

By Krishika Jethani –

As plans for a new mini-park in the Moss Park neighbourhood advance, feedback from community members in online surveys, community pop-up events and virtual consultations has emphasized the importance of safety.
Secured through Section 37 community benefit agreements from developers, the 1,400-square-metre park, still unnamed, will be nestled between three planned condo towers and located on the north side of Richmond Street East, just west of Ontario Street. Once developed, the park will be a public space maintained by the city.

In an emailed response to the bridge, the city said the design will include “light posts and low light bollards through the park, clear sightlines through and into the park so that there are no hidden spaces or blocked views, low planted buffers between the road and the park and wide pathways through the park for easy navigation.”

Community feedback also favoured a green, accessible and active park. The city hopes to build a stage for events and performances with diverse seating options. A cafe-style seating area is also being considered, plus a central space for gathering and seating.

In 2016, ONE Properties, formerly WAM Development Group, proposed a three-tower condominium development on a large track of land bounded by McFarrens Lane (just east of Sherbourne Street) and Richmond, Queen and Ontario Streets. After negotiations with the city and local stakeholders, a new proposal submitted in 2018 moved the proposed park space that fronted on Queen Street to Richmond. Crime in the neighbourhood, particularly drug dealing at Queen and Sherbourne, was cited for the shift.
In 2021, the eastern half of the development was sold to Tricon Residential. Tricon proposes 824 rental units in two high-rise towers and is responsible for developing the park. ONE Properties plans to design the third tower.

Rendering of the proposed design looking north into the park from Richmond Street East. Image: City of Toronto