Located at Queen and Sherbourne, bordered by Shuter Street to the north, and George Street to the east, Moss Park spans almost a full city block. This 3.4 hectare downtown park features a lit ball diamond, two tennis courts, a basketball court, a wading pool and a children's playground. It’s accessed by a diverse range of people, especially our marginalized and vulnerable populations due to its close proximity to surrounding social and health services.
Since 2015, Moss Park has been long overdue for an updated design and improvement to John Innes Community Centre. Although the previous partnership is no longer feasible, key takeaways from the More Moss Park consultation process are carried forward to inform this new round of work.
Concurrently as the City of Toronto works to redesign, and reinvigorate Moss Park to better serve the community, Metrolinx will be taking over a large section of the park to facilitate building the Ontario Line. The South-East corner of Moss Park will become a stationhead along the Ontario Line. Moss Park will be home to a massive construction staging plan as the City and Metrolinx will be coordinating their activity. The timeline for construction is long-term with construction planned for over 5 years to accommodate both projects. There will be a significant reduction of existing green space and the potential loss of Moss Park amenities such as the tennis and basketball court. Sadly, the reduction of park space will also mean the loss of mature trees along Queen Street.
While revitalization and transit expansion is necessary, they should not come at the expense of critical green space in the Downtown East.
MOSS PARK STATION
The new station at Moss Park on Queen Street, just west of Sherbourne, will connect a dense and fast-growing area of the city to the subway network, including the revitalized Regent Park neighbourhood. The station entrance will be located on the South-East edge of the park.
As part of conversations with Metrolinx, other options were encouraged to be explored including moving the location to the Armoury located to the West or incorporated as part of active development sites outside of the park and nearby. Metrolinx advised that a station located at the Armoury is not feasible due to the live ammunition on-site and the curvatures in the station line prevent a location farther east in a development application. The rationale for establishing the station inside Moss Park remains unclear, and we have yet to see any transparent communication around other station options. A station in the Moss Park neighbourhood incorporated in a revitalization strategy would support City and community ambitions for the neighbourhood as well as connect to transit systems.
Above: Councillor Wong-Tam, TCHC staff and residents at a community BBQ and repair blitz for the Moss Park apartments.
MOSS PARK REVITALIZATION
Since 2015 the City of Toronto has been working towards an expansive revitalization of Moss Park. Surrounded by tall Toronto Community Housing residences, Moss Park is home to the Moss Park Market, features a lit ball diamond, two tennis courts, a basketball court, a wading pool and a children's playground.
With the support of our office, the City is moving forward with the Moss Park Revitalization Project to reflect the recommendations of the Council-approved Parks and Recreation Facilities Master Plan.
The project will include:
- Replacement of the 70-year old John Innes Community Recreation Centre (CRC) with both gym and aquatics facilities
- Moss Park Arena façade improvements
- Park improvements design and implementation
On June 30, 2021, the planned community consultation meeting had to be cancelled in order to ensure a robust, fulsome and coordinated approach to the revitalization could be accomplished. Given the many unanswered questions about construction coordination, staging areas and project timelines for both the park revitalization as well as the planned construction of the Ontario Line, the City of Toronto and Metrolinx needed more time to strategize about the least disruptive path forward and protect this valuable asset in the community. More information and project updates can be found here.