Dogs or kids? Fort York park plans debut

Kimberly Spice –

On May 15, approximately 25 community members gathered to hear the latest news on the proposed Mouth of the Creek Park at the corner of the Bathurst St. bridge and Fort York Blvd.

The park would link the east side of Bathurst to historic Fort York below the overpass.

Ideas included a multi-level park with various grasslands, swings suspended under the bridge, access to Fort York, and incorporating the heritage of the area through signage.

“This is part of a national historic site,” Brendan Stewart of ERA Architects Inc. told the audience. “When you are entering the park, if you are interested in the history and having the stuff revealed, that parts of it are clear to people and other parts are more abstract, something that doesn’t hit you over the head saying this is what’s interesting. It’s something that can be discovered.”

At the north end people can enter the park from stairs where visitors can stop along the way to view superimposed historical images through etchings on glass.

The park will have a number of levels, which means safety elements must be included such as timber guard rails and hand rails.

“We have proposed timber as a potential material as a capping for the protective railing which recalls some of the heritage materials used on the site in its previous uses,” Marc Ryan, principal of Public Work Urban Design and Landscape Architecture, stated in an email to The Bulletin. “We don’t know the source of the timber yet. Timber cribbing walls and docks have been excavated on site but not salvaged during archeological excavations [as the wood had decayed]. We have proposed to mark some of their traces and create park elements (furniture, play equipment, etc.) which draws from the original timber detailing. There was a significant amount of stone salvaged from the foundation of the original Grand Trunk Railway Engine House which we propose to re-use to trace its foundation and delineate a sand play area within the park.” Text from Elizabeth Simcoe’s journals might be added into the timber or along the walkway for an additional effect.

One concern that remains for some area residents is that free-roaming dogs might make the park less safe and comfortable for children and visitors.

For more information, visit or contact Bob Duguid, senior project coordinator, at