Developed in partnership with the City of Toronto (Owner) and Toronto Community Housing Corporation (Developer), Joel Weeks Park has become the centrepiece of the regeneration of a neighbourhood and exemplifies excellence in design team collaboration, community consultation and the coming together of a community. The park design plays homage to the history and geography of the area and the Don River, and provides critical open and flexible green space for the vibrant mixed-income Rivertowne and broader Riverside community.
Opened in 2012, the new Joel Weeks Park, expanded on the former Joel Weeks Parkette, resulted from a unique planning framework that included a land exchange between the City of Toronto and Toronto Community Housing as well as the permanent closure of a street right of way (Carroll Street) through the neighbourhood. The park was named in memory of 'Joel Weeks', a young boy who lived there and in 1982, passed away in a tragic accident at 8 years old while playing in the former Don Mount Housing area where, at the time, there was no playground/ play areas for children. Edward Keenan, a childhood friend of Joel's told his story in 2014, sharing: "A generation of kids will grow up knowing his name, though most will never know his story. For them Joel Weeks will be associated only with a great place to play, a safe place, at the very centre of the neighbourhood that shapes their lives. I cannot imagine a more fitting tribute." Read more about this.
Joel Weeks Park features:
River plantings and sinuous benches frame old and new park elements. A central gathering space connects other park elements including community garden plots such as the Riverside Community Garden, the original basketball courts renamed "Don Mount Courts", a bosque of birch trees and large grassy berms. A large children’s play area includes a play structure, swings, and natural play features. An urban ‘river’ element including a bridge wraps around a water play area with jets. Joel Weeks Park is a dynamic and active community open space that will grow and evolve with the neighbourhood.