In 2008, recognizing that the park needed special care to return to its natural beauty, local residents joined forces with the AGO, City of Toronto, and neighbouring organizations to form the Grange Park Advisory Committee (GPAC).
Since its formation, GPAC has involved the local neighbourhood in the development of the Grange Park Revitalization Project with regular meetings and communications. Through community consultation a vision for the park was set in 2009 with a design brief that outlines the goals for the project. Thanks to the feedback from the community throughout the design development process, the completed design creates a welcoming park that inspires the imagination and meets the needs of this thriving and ever-changing neighbourhood.
- More trees: There will be 60 more trees in the park than there are today; total count post-project will be approximately 180 trees.
- Larger playground for kids: The play area for children will be expanded along the east side of the park; the north-east area will be specially dedicated for children ages 2-6, while the south-east area will be designed for children 6 and up. Accessible custom-designed play equipment has been styled to reflect the idea of an artist’s studio.
- New water features: The playground will include a splash pad area for recreational activities during the day; in the evening, the water jets will be illuminated with coloured lights. There will also be a decorative water feature at the north end of the park.
- New play area for dogs: A dog off-leash area will be built in the south-west corner of the park, providing dog owners with a secure fenced-in area to exercise their pets.
- More grass and flowers: With the addition of 4 Grange Road, Grange Park will increase in size by over 10% and will extend to seamlessly meet Butterfield Park. New perennial gardens will add even more colour and scent to the park’s natural environment.
- Henry Moore sculpture: The sculpture Large Two Forms by Henry Moore, currently located on the McCaul-Dundas southwest corner, will move to Grange Park. The sculpture will be placed close to the circular path on the west side of the park.
- New seating: New benches and individual chairs will provide more versatile seating throughout the park.
- New paths: The carriage path will be made more circular, as it was historically; the John Street Promenade will meet the south side of the circular path. There will also be additional access paths from the east, west and northwest sides.
- Fewer fences: The fences around the east, west and north sides of the park will be removed.
- New lighting: New architectural lighting will make Grange Park beautiful, safe and secure at night.
- New gathering space: The walkway and stairs in front of The Grange historic house will be widened to create an open area for the community to use for small gatherings and performances.
- New washrooms: The old fieldhouse will be removed; two accessible individual-use washrooms and one accessible family washroom will be constructed east of the playground.
In conjunction with the Grange Park project, the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) will reconstruct its existing south door. This new entry will be open during Gallery hours to enable individuals and families to enter and exit the free access area of the Weston Family Learning Centre. Admission to the AGO’s galleries will continue to be via the main entrance on Dundas Street. Group visits will continue to enter the AGO through the Group Entrance on Dundas Street.
Video of playground
All images are artist’s drawings. All furnishings and play equipment will be designed to comply with CSA and AODA standards.
The ongoing sustainability of Grange Park is a high priority. One of GPAC’s first initiatives was to commission a “Conservation Use Plan” (1.3MB PDF) by PMA Landscape Architects in January 2009, which assessed the strengths and weaknesses of the park’s natural environment.
To ensure the ongoing beauty and strength of Grange Park for generations to come, the revitalization project includes:
- A tree strategy
- An irrigation system
- A custodian dedicated to Grange Park maintenance post-project
- Annual maintenance funds
Our sincere thanks go to Mr. W. Galen Weston, the City of Toronto and the Art Gallery of Ontario for providing funds to make this project possible.