The Weston Family Parks Challenge encourages private-public partnerships and innovative approaches to ensure that Toronto’s green spaces have a bright and vibrant future. This $5 million investment, in aggregate over three years, is engaging city leaders, residents, registered charities, the business community and philanthropists in the maintenance and management of Toronto parks. The Foundation is working with Toronto Park People to realize the vision and achieve the goals of the Weston Family Parks Challenge. In 2014, the Ontario Trillium Foundation joined this partnership with an additional investment of $1.125 million. For more information, please refer to the program guidelines.
In preparation for the garden’s 20th anniversary, 43 native species of grasses, vines, shrubs, and trees will be planted, improving habitat for birds and pollinators. This unique and successful partnership model will sustain another 20 years of volunteer stewardship and be an inspiration for other projects around the city.
This initiative is expanding the existing garden and connecting newcomer populations to nature through innovative environmental programs in four different languages. Public, private and non-profit partnerships will sustain the garden and the nature-focused programs for years to come.
Humber Arboretum is enhancing natural habitat for birds and other wildlife to ensure that this prime birding destination remains a haven for wildlife for years to come. Stewardship activities and educational programs teach youth and the broader community about the importance of maintaining these ecosystems.
Funding has helped to transform this 8 acre undeveloped piece of land into an urban farm with forests and nature trails. Situated in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood of Toronto, the Everdale Black Creek Community Farm provides food, employment and a green oasis in a densely populated area of the City.
High Park Nature Centre is restoring an underutilized area of the park back to the original oak savannah ecosystem. A new outdoor classroom will be a focal point for teaching and restoration, helping the Centre grow into North America’s leading Urban Nature Hub.
Video taken by Tamara Romanchuk
Landscape architects, artists, community leaders, non-profits, and local residents have found natural solutions to flooding problems by building and planting new rain gardens and a wild edible gardens in this Etobicoke Park. New birds and insects have already been spotted in this new habitat. Over 200 volunteers are contributing to its upkeep.
A partnership between Dovercourt Boys and Girls Club and the MacGregor Park Art Club is transforming this underutilized park into vibrant community green space. Local youth and community will engage in hands-on environmental programs using three new teaching gardens.
The Rexdale Community Health Centre is spearheading an innovative partnership that is bringing the community together around a shared passion for urban agriculture. The Learning Garden Hub will engage children in a hands-on summer camp and expand civic engagement through food programs in this invaluable community resource.
Friends of the Rouge Watershed and the Toronto District School Board are giving students a chance to explore natural systems through field trips and stewardship events in this important Scarborough watershed.
The design for Toronto’s newest park was generated by community members themselves. Funding is enabling the CRC to engage the community for the long-term maintenance and management of Regent Park.
The partnership of The Rotary Club of Toronto, the Friends of Ritchie Parkette and the Toronto Department of Parks, Forestry & Recreation is revitalizing this small green space into a natural area with a butterfly garden. Native species plantings and interpretative signs will offer residents learning opportunities and a connection to nature.
A partnership between Arts for Children and Youth, Friends of Roseneath Park, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation is naturalizing Roseneath Park. The vision of the community EcoAction project is to create a welcoming sanctuary in a busy urban environment, featuring nature depicted in a mosaic wall and native plantings. The community is working with the City to plant trees in the fall.
The Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and partners will turn an underutilized open area into a lush greenspace teeming with fruit trees, native plants and community gardens. A market and hands-on landscape training programs will provide new skills and income generating opportunities for residents.
This is a large collaborative project with results that are already benefitting the natural landscape and community. The Toronto Region Conservation Authority, City of Toronto, Hydro One, and members of the local community are working together to transform a grass field into a richly diverse native wildflower butterfly meadow. This 3.5 km stretch of hydro corridor in central Scarborough will also include new recreational trails for residents to enjoy. The Butterfly Trail stands as a model for the thousands of hydro corridors across Canada.
The Thorncliffe Park Women’s Committee has partnered with the City, non-profits and other Foundations to improve the green space and engage the community in the ravines, turning both into well used parks. Over 130 volunteers have helped to remove over 2400 pounds of garbage from the ravine.
An innovative partnership formed between the school, parent volunteers, the City, local businesses, and several non-profits is transforming this schoolyard into a nature-focused community gathering place. Students care for the gardens which have become a renewed focus for the community.