Despite the rainy weather, locals flocked to Toronto’s Love Park on its official opening day, including the first-ever couple to tie the knot at the Valentine-themed green space, which debuted on June 23.
The Love Park offers visitors an enchanting escape in the heart of the city. It is an ideal place for couples seeking a tranquil sanctuary or families enjoying leisure time.
Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie presided over the inauguration of the 8,100-square-metre park, located at the northeast corner of York Street and Queens Quay West. The park central theme is marked with a shallow heart-shaped pool.
The waterfront oasis boasts a large, illuminated heart-shaped pond with a 160-metre glass mosaic bench seat in red tones. Designed by the landscape architect firm CCxA, it occupies the former footprint of a demolished Gardiner Expressway off ramp, symbolizing transformation.
The park also features nine bronze cast statues of Canadian animals, strategically placed throughout the grounds. One of these statues is a beaver, positioned near the water, enhancing the park’s delightful atmosphere.
People were seen enthusiastically waiting in long queues to get their free caricatures done, while enjoying free healthy snacks and freshly-popped popcorn while the Toronto String Quartet band performed during the inauguration.
An easily accessible Bike Share Toronto station has been placed near the park to complement the park experience.
The initiative aims to provide visitors with an eco-friendly and convenient means for exploring the scenic surroundings and enjoying leisurely rides nearby.
Ausma Malik, Toronto City councillor for Ward 10 Spadina-Fort York was also spotted at the inauguration.
“This is the place to be for love today,” she said.
Margie Campbell, who attended the inauguration, reminisced about her past, expressing a sense of nostalgia.
“Back in the day, my husband and I took that Gardiner Expressway off ramp every day while we worked downtown,” she said. “The tree was always there, but its beauty was obscured by traffic chaos.
“Now, seeing this space transformed, I absolutely admire the work CCxA has done. The small touches, like the adorable, animal statues, add so much charm and joy to the park,” Campbell said.
During the park’s inauguration, Waterfront Toronto announced there would be a surprise wedding, which unfolded just after 2 p.m. Amid the cheers of the crowd, Paul and Naomi exchanged vows, sharing their first kiss as a married couple.
This unexpected wedding added to the park’s charm as the newest romantic tradition, harmoniously embracing its purpose as a public space dedicated to celebrating human connection.