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Construction of Unique Park Begins

A first for Toronto, Canada, Underpass Park will transform derelict and unused space beneath a series of overpasses into a unique community park.

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Land beneath a highway overpass may not be the first choice for a park for some, but Toronto officials see this space as being key for urban renewal.

Underpass Park is the most extensive park to ever be built under an overpass in Canada, and the first of its kind in Toronto. The unique urban park is transforming the derelict space beneath three overpasses into a bright and welcoming neighborhood amenity and a key public space in the West Don Lands community.

''Underpass Park embodies the kind of infrastructure project the federal government stands four-square behind,'' said Finance Minister Jim Flaherty.

''Transforming once derelict lands into inviting parks and open spaces is a direct investment in healthier and greener communities where businesses flourish and families thrive.''

The imposing concrete structures of the overpasses currently act as a barrier between the north and south parts of the community. Underpass Park innovatively re-engineers the area under the overpasses to create an inviting public space that connects the two parts of the West Don Lands, contributing to the vibrancy of the neighborhood and the success of the development projects underway in the area.

Designed by landscape architectural firm Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg with The Planning Partnership, the park is being built in two phases, with the portion east of St. Lawrence Street adjacent to both the River City private sector development and the new affordable housing complex by Toronto Community Housing, being constructed first. The first phase is expected to be complete by the end of 2011. The second phase of the park, on the western side of St. Lawrence Street, will be built next.

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November 22, 2019, 12:11 pm PDT

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