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Winners picked in contest to design 2 new parks on Toronto's waterfront

The design for Love Park. Image Credit: yorkreesparkdesign.ca

Toronto’s waterfront is about to get a little more love … literally.

Designs for two brand-new and innovative parks have been chosen after an international competition that drew proposals from more than 40 design teams from across the globe.

‘Love Park’ by Claude Cormier et Associés out of Montreal was the winning design for what’s currently known as York Street Park — located where the former Spadina off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway used to be.

The park will feature a heart-shaped water feature which will apparently be visible to those flying in and out of Bill Bishop airport, and enough greenery to create a downtown oasis. The design team is also the brains behind other Toronto parks including Sugar Beach and Berczy Park.

To see the complete proposal for Love Park, click here.

In addition, a parking lot at the corner of Rees and Queen’s Quay — just south of Rogers Centre — will soon become Rees Street Park.

A joint collaboration between New York’s Why Architecture and Toronto’s Brook Mcllroy, Rees Ridge takes its design inspiration from one of Toronto’s geographical landmarks — the Scarborough Bluffs.

The view behind the design was to have a park to both look at and look from.

“Rees Ridge provides experiences that are unparalleled on the waterfront by affording dramatic and unimpeded views to the lake while providing a truly unique botanical experience along the waterfront,” the design proposal reads.

To see the complete, winning proposal for Rees Ridge, click here.

The two winning designs followed strict criteria, including being able to welcome people of all ages and abilities, both office workers and residents.

Some of the must-have features were market spaces, water features and space for public art.

Designs for the two proposed parks came from as far as Vancouver, New York and Stockholm.

The public was given 21 days to look over the proposals and submit comments. From there a jury of design experts chose two winners.

Construction for York Street Park and Rees Street Park is slated to begin in 2019 and 2020 respectively.