Strategies and Plans

Parkland Strategy

A cyclist passes people on Sugar Beach during a sunny day.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the Parkland Strategy survey. The survey is now closed. Stay tuned for engagement opportunities in early 2018!

The Parkland Strategy is a 20-year plan that will guide long-term planning for new parks and expansion and improved access to existing parks.  It will aid in the decision-making and prioritization of investment in parkland across the city.

A city builds a park so that people can build community. We are globally known for our parks and natural environment. So as Toronto grows, our parks system must grow along with it.

However, there are gaps in the system; areas in the city where more must be done. And we must reinvest and re-invigorate our existing green space.

Toronto's parks system is much more than official city parks; it includes open spaces, conservation lands, ravines, hydro corridors, schools and other privately owned, publicly accessible lands. We need to work together to ensure a liveable Toronto for today, and for future generations.

ExpandPhase 1: Explore Bold Moves - Spring/Summer 2017

Background Review

Review what other municipalities are doing and what are trends in the parks sector.

Parkland Supply Approach

Develop a method to measure how much parkland is available to Torontonians.

Supply, Gaps and Needs Analysis

Inform the study by connecting with sector stakeholders to discuss challenges and opportunities and engaging with the general public to understand perceptions and gaps.

Phase 1 Report

Report back on supply, goals and targets, as well as a summary of consultation activities.

ExpandPhase 2: Implementation - Fall 2017 to Spring 2018

Review Park Planning Approach

Review and refine the park planning approach, including acquisition and development

Develop Policy Framework and Financial Strategy

Analyse legislative tools and policies that will enable targets and priorities to be met.


Inform the study by re-connecting with sector stakeholders and the general public to test the proposed approaches to parkland planning.

Develop Implementation Strategy

Outline the requirements for success over the long term as well as the first five year monitoring period.

Final Report

Final report to guide long-term planning, prioritization and investment in parkland across the city.

ExpandWho is leading this work?

Parks, Forestry and Recreation along with City Planning, have brought on a consulting team led by O2 Planning and Design Inc. and supported by Gladki Planning Associates, N. Barry Lyons Consultants and Hemson Consulting to develop the Parkland Strategy.

ExpandWhat's informing this work?

Parks Plan 2013-2017

City Council adopted the Parks Plan in 2013, which included a recommendation to update City's parkland acquisition strategy. The Parkland Strategy will also update and address recent changes in the Provincial Planning Act and to adopt or amend parkland dedication policies.

Parks User Survey 2014

Between August 7 and September 30, 2014, the City of Toronto hosted an online public survey on park use. The feedback from the survey has helped us better understand how people use our parks and it's shaping the way we think about, plan for and manage this city's parks.

Ravine Strategy 2015

With population growth, new development and climate change putting increased pressure on ravines, the City of Toronto has developed a Ravine Strategy to guide the management, use, enhancement and protection of our ravines.

Facilities Master Plan 2016

The City of Toronto is developing a 20-year Facilities Master Plan to guide investment in parks and recreation facilities such as community recreation centres, ice rinks, and sports fields.

ExpandHow do we currently acquire parkland?


The Ontario Planning Act establishes the authority for municipalities to require a "dedication" of lands to be used as publically accessible parkland as a condition of development or redevelopment of land under Sections 42 (development), 51.1 (subdivision) and 53 (consent).


Instead of land dedication, the City can accept "cash in lieu" of land (CIL). CIL can be used for the acquisition of parkland and the development of park and recreation facilities. In addition, the City has a policy which distributes CIL funds between district-specific and city-wide priorities.


Transferring parkland can occur when City-owned property must be transferred to allow for the implementation of a Council-approved direction (such as road widening or location of a special facility); or when a property is no longer required by an Agency, Board, Commission or City division. For more detailed information on parkland dedication and purchase, visit Building Toronto Together.

ExpandStudy Approach - Themes

Expand: Growing parkland for a growing city

Our green spaces, like our recreation centres, are our common grounds; places where we come together as a city to play, celebrate, and explore. 

Toronto's population is expected to grow to 3.4 million people by 2041. Almost half of this growth will be in the downtown core – and other areas of the city are growing too.

As Toronto grows, our parks system must grow along with it.

Share: Growing parkland for an equitable city

Toronto was created out of six former municipalities. Because of this, our park system looks slightly different in each corner of the city.

Green spaces, like recreation centres, are our common grounds; places where we come together as a city to play, celebrate, and explore. The opportunity to create connected, engaged communities through parks should be shared equitably by every neighbourhood in Toronto.

We know there are gaps in the system; areas in the city where more must be done.

Connect: Growing parkland for a connected city

Green spaces, like recreation centres, are our common grounds; places where we come together as a city to play, celebrate, and explore. But today's parks don’t always look or feel like the parks of the past.

A park system might include open spaces, conservation lands, ravines, hydro corridors, underpasses and private-owned, publicly accessible land. Modern parks also include new, innovative features, functions and assets that help maximize their use.

We need to work together to imagine bold, innovative and inclusive solutions to the challenges our parks system faces. We need to connect and create green spaces in more deliberate ways.