Romance is afoot in the Six as Toronto’s waterfront oasis Love Park has finally opened to visitors – and it features a giant heart-shaped pond.
The public space is conceived by Montréal’s CCxA and Toronto firm gh3* and revives two acres at York Street and Queens Quay that were previously home to an off-ramp for the Gardiner Expressway that was removed in 2016. The heart-shaped pond is the centre of the public space and is conceived as an ‘urban love seat’, outlined by a 160-metre-long seat by Montréal company Mosaika, set with red mosaic tiles made from glass.
Trees line the park’s perimeter, buffering the harbourfront oasis from traffic, while grassy knolls offer vantage points on the public park and the lakefront, and moveable furniture offers more spots for sitting.
The design for Love Park results from an international design competition held by Waterfront Toronto in partnership with the City of Toronto back in 2018. ‘The new park is a deliberate departure from the hard surfaces dominating downtown Toronto,’ says Waterfront Toronto.
In addition to the pond, nine bronze cast animals of native Canadian species are dotted throughout the park, created by artists Tyler Balko and Marina Guglielmi, including one of the city’s unofficial raccoon mascot. The inspiration for the polar bear cub, meanwhile, is Toronto Zoo’s resident polar bear, Juno.