An expanding series of posters showcasing different public parks around the city of Toronto.
As the city expands, more and more people have less access to private green spaces and rely on public parks as a free escape into the outdoors. In these urban parks is where Toronto citizens and wildlife converge, sometimes bringing up questions of who isn't welcome in these spaces.
between Bloor Street West, Parkside Drive, and the Queensway
This mixed-use park features a variety of attractions throughout the year - the Sakura Festival, High Park Zoo, Shakespeare in the Park, and extensive off-leash dog trails.
High Park is also home to the rare Black Oak Savannah and participates in controlled burns in the spring.
Prior to colonization, the High Park area was abundant with wild lupine until over-picking, wildfire suppression, and development eliminated it from the landscape. Wild lupine is the host plant for the Karner Blue butterfly - a native species to Ontario, but now extinct within the province and only surviving in other places.
However, with stewardship efforts and the reintroduction of controlled burns in the 1990s, wild lupine have returned to High Park, and perhaps one day, bring about the return of the Karner Blue as well.
south of Lake Shore Boulevard across from Exhibition Place
Ontario Place is a man-made island that began construction in 1969 and served as a theme park from 1971 to 2011. The island also features the Cinesphere, the world's first IMAX movie theatre and an iconic landmark of the west Toronto waterfront.
Since the theme park's closure, the land has been under much political debate on how to revitalize the island. Until any new plans are finalized, Ontario Place currently serves as a year-round public space for swimmers, cyclists, pedestrians, and bird-watchers.
Trinity Bellwoods Park
between Dundas Street, Gore Vale Avenue, Queen Street West, and Shaw Street
Once the location of Trinity College, Trinity Bellwoods Park is now a popular public park for many young renters who don't have access to a backyard and dog owners who make use of the "Dog Bowl." The park hosts a weekly farmers market, an annual "pumpkin parade," and many pop up events and markets.
Throughout the course of the COVID pandemic, the park had garnered attention and debate on how the space can be used and by whom. On one occasion, Trinity Bellwoods made news when Torontonians gathered in thousands, disregarding public safety regulations and leading the city to implement physical distancing circles. The park also became the location of one of many encampments around the city, that was later ended by a particularly violent eviction by Toronto Police.