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June 8, 2007
Toronto residents gain new access to waterfront through HTO Park
The City of Toronto’s newest waterfront park is now open. This morning Mayor David Miller, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone (Ward 19 Trinity-Spadina), Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina), General Manager, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Brenda Librecz, joined residents and park design team leads Janet Rosenberg, Claude Cormier and Siamak Hariri to officially open HTO Park - Toronto’s urban park by the water.

The opening of HTO Park, on Queens Quay, marks the beginning of a parks renaissance in Toronto. Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation has undertaken the Parks Renaissance Strategy to act on the goals outlined in its 15-year strategic plan, “Our Common Grounds”. The 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.

“Toronto’s continued prosperity hinges upon the renewal of our waterfront,” said Mayor David Miller. “For too long Toronto's waterfront was neglected, simply ignored or developed with uses incompatible with a people-friendly waterfront for Torontonians. This park is another step in our reclamation of our waterfront.”

With its two-metre high grass knolls and trees, the park is similar to any other in the city with rolling hills, but closer to the water’s edge you find a promenade, and tucked between it and the grass knolls is a beach suitable for sunning yourself on the sunniest of days. The beach is also decorated with beach umbrellas for full effect. Throughout the park are tall mast lights that act as area moons - casting light on the knolls and programmed to change seasonally.

“The construction of HTO Park reaffirms the City’s commitment to its parks, open spaces and the waterfront,” commented Brenda Librecz, General Manager of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “Parks make a connection with the people who use them daily for personal enjoyment and relaxing. They enhance the quality of life of all Torontonians.” HTO Park is just one of Toronto’s 1,470 named parks which, in addition to 7,390 hectares of green space and more than three million trees, make Toronto a green city for residents and visitors to enjoy.

A team of architects led by Janet Rosenberg (Janet Rosenberg + Associates Landscape Architects of Toronto), Claude Cormier (Claude Cormier architectes paysagistes of Montreal) and Siamak Hariri (Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto), collaborated with staff from Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation to create HTO Park. The outstanding park design was selected following an international design competition, undertaken by the City in 2003. Somerville Construction provided excellent skill and workmanship in rounding out the project team's achievement of a dynamic and beautiful waterfront park.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and innovation in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Hotline, 416-560-8726



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