Liberty Street Linear Park
During the after-work party Give Me Liberty event
A coffee break by the stairs that provide pedestrian access between the parking lot and street.
Chatting by the sculptures.
Sculptures decorated for Toronto's Caribana
Before improvement work and creation of Liberty Street Linear Park.
Liberty Street Linear Park
Located in the creative and vibrant neighborhood of Liberty Village, Liberty Street Linear Park is located on the north side of Liberty Street between Fraser Ave. and Jefferson Ave. The Liberty Village neighbourhood is a mixed-use community with live/work buildings, offices, residential and retail shops contained in a mix of building types including townhouses, towers and mid-rise buildings. A number of heritage buildings in the area have been retained, reflecting the neighbourhood's past. Liberty Street Linear Park is a public space that contributes to the beauty and open space in the community, as well as, serving as a gathering place and north-south pedestrian connection. The park occupies the strip of land between a large parking lot next to Lamport Stadium, and the neighbourhood's main thoroughfare, East Liberty Street. On Liberty Street, between Fraser Avenue and Jefferson Avenue, paving stones, benches, sod and ground cover, low-level ambient lighting and an irrigation system for the vegetation were installed. The plan created “rooms” along an extended wall area, which encourages sitting, eating lunch or holding meetings.
This space is used by all types of people and for all types of events. It once housed a farmers’ market and the sculptures tend to get amusing decorations each year during Caribana, which is held at the nearby Lamport Stadium. The widened sidewalk allows groups of people to move through and around the park with ease. Residents and those who work in the area rest and chat on the park's many benches.
The park provides a much-needed meeting and resting green space in a building-heavy neighbourhood. It contributes to a sense of community as it provides a location for various events held in the area, including part of the annual "After Work Party" Give Me Liberty. It also highlights the work of local artist, Po Chun Lau. Liberty Street Linear Park features five “Spirit” sculptures.
The Liberty Village BIA and its Board of Directors championed the creation of this public space. Fixtures and site furnishings were ordered, with assistance from Toronto Economic Development, for installation in the winter of 2006 and planting took place in the spring 2007. Toronto Forestry replaced dead trees and installed new ones. The area's City Councillors also helped bring this park to Liberty Village.
Liberty Street Linear Park is a great success! It is an amazing public space! Many enjoy the improved pedestrian-friendly Liberty Street wall area, on the north side of Liberty Street between Fraser Avenue and Jefferson Ave. The Liberty Village BIA and Toronto Economic Development cost shared on this beautification project in 2007, to provide more seating, plenty of plants and greenery, an in-ground irrigation system that keeps it all growing, and five “Spirit” sculptures, by Toronto artist Po Chun Lau. At night, pink LED lighting fills the trees making the park a beautiful and magical place, both day and night. It’s the perfect place to sit, eat, or meet!
Members of the Toronto Economic Development team assisted the Liberty Village BIA with the tender package needed for various quotes related to the project. Final drawings and applications for permits took place as the bidding process was underway. Mopal Construction completed the base concrete work in 2006. Electrical service detail drawings were provided from the electrical design consultant, Moon-Matz. One challenge encountered was that Toronto Hydro was in a year of transition with new regulations on all exterior work and retained ownership of all city light standards, resulting in a very slow response to inquiries from Moon-Matz. Toronto Hydro for took charge of the electrical service design and construction, as they were the approval authority for all electrical service supply/attachment work. The Liberty Village BIA also experienced a delay in having water services connected for the irrigation system. However, the area's City Councillor's office assisted, and watering trucks were provided for regular watering until the irrigation system became operational. It was a group effort and everyone's hard work has resulted in a beautiful and well-used space.