Our work has made us a leading authority on Toronto parks, and Canada’s leading city parks transformation organization. Learn more about our programs:
Friends of City Parks
Vital support for communities animating and improving parks
When communities get involved, parks get better. Park People supports more than 100 park groups across our city, including the “Friends of” groups, such as Friends of Chester Le Park. These groups are crucial in organizing volunteers to green and steward their local parks; they host events such as tree plantings, nature walks, and festivals, and lead community development opportunities – particularly valuable for high needs neighbourhoods.
Park People provides key supports to these groups, via:
- Training workshops
- An annual, city-wide Parks Summit that brings together the entire parks community to learn, share and celebrate parks.
- Direct mentoring and advice to groups planning events, applying for permits, and seeking funding
- Handbooks and resource guides for groups organizing volunteer-run activities, (adopt a tree programs, campfires, outdoor movies, and natural ice rinks)
- An online events calendar that quickly and easily connects diverse communities to their local events
- Communications channels, including social media posts, newsletters, and “Parks Insider” updates
Creating ‘green’ community hubs in underserved neighbourhoods
Communities in Toronto’s challenged neighbourhoods need to capitalize on every available amenity. Parks that do not serve community needs are a missed opportunity for youth engagement, health promotion, access to healthy local food, community economic development, environmental education and physical recreation.
The Sparking Change Program works hands-on in underserved communities to transform underused green spaces into dynamic outdoor community hubs. With community members and organizations, Park People helps to organize local residents, launch events to build momentum, and access seed funding.
Our team of outreach staff provides ongoing advice, support, and access to funding, through:
- Micro-grants that catalyze innovative programming and activities in high-needs community parks
- Arts in the Parks – Cultural programs in parks in partnership with groups such as Tiff and the Toronto Arts Council
- Sparking Change Research Report, showing the health and wellness impact of these community hubs
As Canada’s leading city parks transformation organization, we’re expert in finding creative solutions that bring government, partners, and communities together to make our parks the best they can be. We administer key funding programs that support innovative park projects and partnerships, and produce essential reports on the challenges and opportunities our parks face.
Our activities include:
- Transforming parks by providing funding and advice through programs such as the Weston Family Parks Challenge
- Research, thought leadership, and advocacy, through publications such as our Making Connections report
- Providing Consulting Services for new parks including research, community engagement and expert advice
Creating a 5km linear park in Toronto’s Dupont hydro corridor
As our city grows, we must look for creative opportunities to expand parks and connect communities. This is especially needed in neighbourhoods, such as Davenport Village, that lack green space. Park People is working on a special project to transform disconnected land in the Davenport Village hydro corridor into a beautiful, continuous park and trail, connecting multiple communities and becoming a citywide destination. The park will stretch 5km north of Dupont Street, extending into the Annex, linking communities via off-street routes for cycling and walking.
Park People, in partnership with Friends of the Green Line, is rallying support for the City of Toronto to build the Green Line, through the following activities:
- Helping form friends of The Green Line, with a new website to share the project’s vision
- Animating spaces along the corridor with festivals, educational walks, and community arts projects
- Organizing a successful supporters campaign, reaching local residents, politicians, and organizations
- Bringing communities, the City, local businesses and provincial agencies together to find solutions to move the project forward
Canada's big, signature urban parks define their cities. Montreal, Vancouver and Ottawa have our nations best… t.co/c7MeBtsBMq
Japanese forest bathing proven to have heath benefits t.co/iiRRiUP7F0