Corktown Commons

  • Year : 2012
  • Location : Toronto
  • Client : Toronto Waterfront Trust
  • Designer : Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
  • Services : Construction & project management

Corktown Commons brings wetlands and prairie together

Construction Project-management

Built on what was once the William Davies hog abbatoir, Corktown Commons is a spectacular 8 hectare urban park. Adjacent to the Canary District development on one side and the Don River on the other, the park is vast in both scope and scale. A boardwalk takes you through gentle dips and rises, offering views of the downtown skyline and leading you to a wetland pond full of water lilies and bulrushes.

Stay on the path and you’ll be led through a grassy bowl — doubling as an amphitheatre — en route to a swing- and slide-filled playground with a touch-operated fountain. On the far side is a water park with a collection of nozzles and fountains spraying water at staggered times. And, in the centre, there is a pavilion with washrooms, water fountains and concrete picnic tables. There is also a staffed park office next to an outdoor lounge next to a public fireplace. Folding walls — pulled out on rails built into the floor — can be used to block the wind.

With its thoughtful green spaces and wide array of family features, Corktown Commons gave Aldershot Landscape an intricately detailed challenge to build. A cacophony of birds, amphibians and insects — and human residents — have shown their approval.

This jewel of the west Don lands creates a new green space in the heart of an urban community.
—Iain Souter.

Corktown Commons Gallery