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May 5, 2006
Toronto on the path to a Parks Renaissance
Yesterday, at the meeting of the Economic Development and Parks Committee, staff from Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation presented an update on the development of the Division’s “Parks Renaissance Strategy.”

The Parks Renaissance Strategy is being undertaken in order to move forward the goals and targets of “Our Common Grounds,” the 15-year action plan that sets the direction for the delivery of Parks, Forestry and Recreation services to residents of Toronto.

The Parks Renaissance Strategy is a reinvestment program that will align the City’s parks, trails and physical assets with the social, economic and cultural needs of residents. The Strategy will serve as a framework for decision-making and investment. It will include a set of guiding principles for improving parks, trails and facilities to achieve targets and goals, and respond to diverse and changing populations.

“We know our parks and trails are valued by residents,” said Brenda Librecz, General Manager of Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “The Parks Renaissance Strategy is a critical component to ensuring the future of these significant community assets. It will help us develop strategic priorities so we can better utilize existing resources, and look for new ways to meet the growing needs of the City’s diverse communities.”

Development of the plan includes a comprehensive consultation process to engage residents, stakeholders and partners, Members of Council, representatives from cultural communities, and City staff. Stakeholder consultations will take place this spring. A broad-based community consultation process is planned for the fall.

The Parks Renaissance Strategy will build on the work outlined in Our Common Grounds, unanimously passed by Council in July 2004. Our Commons Grounds lays out 53 recommendations for the future direction of Toronto’s Parks, Recreation and Forestry services, and sets out a number of targets by which to measure its progress, including:

• increase the tree canopy to cover 30 to 40 per cent of the city’s land area from 17 per cent
• ensure that 80 per cent of parks users are very satisfied with the quality of park visits
• increase the number of youth in Parks, Forestry and Recreation programs by 40 per cent
• increase by 20 per cent the physical activity level of Torontonians.

For more information on the Parks Renaissance Strategy, visit

Media contact:
Wynna Brown, Communications, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, General Manager’s Office, 416-397-4059



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