A new park at 25 Wellesley St. W. will be a 1.6-acre L-shaped park bordered by Wellesley Street west to the north, Breadalbane Street to the south and St. Luke Lane to the east.
Much of the land is currently under private ownership but will be conveyed to the City as public parkland following the completion of the development and the construction of the park. The park will be constructed over separate parking garages that will be privately owned by different owners. This stratified land ownership and construction is a key constraint in the design of the park.
Two residential towers on podiums, including a u-shaped driveway, currently border the west side. The land within the driveway is currently held in escrow for the City as parkland.
A new 60-storey condominium tower is being built on the northeast portion of the site. The ground floor is proposed to be retail with frontage adjacent to the park while the second and third floors are proposed to be office uses.
Two major streets run parallel to the site. Bay Street, located west of the park is a transit corridor with high-density development. Yonge Street, which is located east of the park is Toronto’s main street. It is one of Toronto’s most prominent cultural and retail corridors and contains Toronto’s most heavily travelled subway corridor.
Due to its size and its proximity to high transit corridors, and high-density development, the proposed park will serve local residents, people who work in the area, as well as visitors. These users may have vastly different needs. The successful proponent will have to lead an attentive public consultation process, identify priorities, and find creative ways to design a park within a constrained site that serves diverse needs.
Public art is also a component of this project and it will be important to design the park to tastefully accommodate the art.