Toronto residents gain new access to waterfront through HTO Park

    TORONTO, June 8 /CNW/ - The City of Toronto's newest waterfront park is
now open. This morning Mayor David Miller, Deputy Mayor Joe Pantalone (Ward 19
Trinity-Spadina), Councillor Adam Vaughan (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina), General
Manager, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Brenda Librecz, joined
residents and park design team leads Janet Rosenberg, Claude Cormier and
Siamak Hariri to officially open HTO Park - Toronto's urban park by the water.
    The opening of HTO Park, on Queens Quay, marks the beginning of a parks
renaissance in Toronto. Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation has undertaken
the Parks Renaissance Strategy to act on the goals outlined in its 15-year
strategic plan, "Our Common Grounds". The strategy is a reinvestment program
that will align the City's parks, trails and physical assets with the social,
economic and cultural needs of residents.
    "Toronto's continued prosperity hinges upon the renewal of our
waterfront," said Mayor David Miller. "For too long Toronto's waterfront was
neglected, simply ignored or developed with uses incompatible with a
people-friendly waterfront for Torontonians. This park is another step in our
reclamation of our waterfront."
    With its two-metre high grass knolls and trees, the park is similar to
any other in the city with rolling hills, but closer to the water's edge you
find a promenade, and tucked between it and the grass knolls is a beach
suitable for sunning yourself on the sunniest of days. The beach is also
decorated with beach umbrellas for full effect. Throughout the park are tall
mast lights that act as area moons - casting light on the knolls and
programmed to change seasonally.
    "The construction of HTO Park reaffirms the City's commitment to its
parks, open spaces and the waterfront," commented Brenda Librecz, General
Manager of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. "Parks make a connection
with the people who use them daily for personal enjoyment and relaxing. They
enhance the quality of life of all Torontonians." HTO Park is just one of
Toronto's 1,470 named parks which, in addition to 7,390 hectares of green
space and more than three million trees, make Toronto a green city for
residents and visitors to enjoy.
    A team of architects led by Janet Rosenberg (Janet Rosenberg + Associates
Landscape Architects of Toronto), Claude Cormier (Claude Cormier architectes
paysagistes of Montreal) and Siamak Hariri (Hariri Pontarini Architects of
Toronto), collaborated with staff from Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation
to create HTO Park. The outstanding park design was selected following an
international design competition, undertaken by the City in 2003. Somerville
Construction provided excellent skill and workmanship in rounding out the
project team's achievement of a dynamic and beautiful waterfront park.

    Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home
to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine
of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America.
In the past three years Toronto has won more than 50 awards for quality and
innovation in delivering public services. Toronto's government is dedicated to
prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

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For further information: Media contact: Toronto Parks, Forestry and
Recreation Media Hotline, (416) 560-8726

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