Last week, Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão was joined by Rafael Lazar, Chief Executive Officer for site developer Almadev (formerly ELAD) to announce details for a revitalized Wallace Emerson community recreation centre and park and a new child care centre.
Construction of the new facility and phase one of park improvements has already begun on portions of the site as part of the Reimagine Galleria Development plan. Construction is expected to be completed in 2025.
The Wallace Emerson revitalization project will double the size of the current recreation centre – approximately 89,500 square feet in total. The updated facility will feature a new child care centre accommodating 62 children, a full-size gym with a running track, dance and aerobic studios, an aquatic centre including a six-lane 25-metre pool and a leisure pool, and an outdoor running track on the roof of the building.
In keeping with the City’s commitment to the TransformTO Net Zero Strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, this building will feature:
• a high-performance building envelope
• high-efficiency heat pumps, which will heat and cool the entire building and reduce the use of fossil fuels
• heat recovery to pre-heat the pool water
• renewable energy through solar photovoltaic panels
• LED light fixtures to reduce energy use.
Construction is underway for the revitalized Wallace Emerson community recreation centre, park and new child care centre
— City of Toronto (@cityoftoronto) July 8, 2022
A reimagined Wallace Emerson Park
In addition to the new community recreation facility, Wallace Emerson Park will be revitalized and expanded. The park will increase by half a hectare or one and a quarter of an acre. Landscaping programming and amenities will complement the overall design of the community recreation centre and offer a more functional and inviting public space to gather for fun and play.
The first phase of park improvements will feature a BMX/skateboard park, skating trail, leisure/shinny pad that can be used as a multipurpose sports court in the summer with basketball hoops, splash pad, new landscaping, pathways, lighting, custom seating and outdoor furniture.
The first phase will also include a new field house that provides visitors with a snack bar, skate sharpening station, changing area and universal washrooms, and storage and utility spaces to support the outdoor skating facilities.
The design for this project began in 2018 with extensive local community consultations. The engagement included public meetings, online surveys, site walks, pop-ups and focus groups. The final design for the project was presented to the community at an Open House event in September 2019, with details and renderings made available in early 2020.
The consultations helped create an overall park design that balances the needs of different park users and introduces many amenities missing in the local community.
New child care centre
The design approach also extends to the new child care centre, which is focused on creating a modern and inclusive space where kids can be kids while staff provide care with ease. The new child care centre, which will accommodate 62 children at one time, will have playrooms with direct access to age-appropriate playgrounds. Each playground will be outfitted with trike circuits, sand play, water tables and places to grow their own flowers or vegetables. The spaces are outfitted to allow the children to participate in active or passive play.
The lobby’s children’s art gallery will flow into a large common area with wall openings, which allow children to climb into the openings, hang out, play and socialize within a space that also allows for group activities and a child-height counter for nutritional programming.
Detailed information about this project is available on the City’s Wallace Emerson Park, Community Centre & Child Care Centre webpage: www.toronto.ca/city-government
“Every aspect of the Wallace Emmerson community recreation centre, park and child care centre design puts residents and users of these facilities first. I look forward to watching each phase unfold, and seeing a final product that encourages greater interaction and participation by community members of all ages.”
– Mayor John Tory
“As the Davenport community grows and changes, it is important that with any growth there are significant improved community amenities and spaces. I was pleased to work with the community to deliver this larger and renewed community recreation centre and park to serve Davenport residents. This partnership between the City and Almadev is creating this impressive space for the Davenport community.”
– Deputy Mayor Ana Bailão (Davenport)
“The revitalized park design balances the needs of different park users and introduces many amenities missing in the local community. It is focused on designing a place where kids feel a sense of ownership. This is a wonderful project that I am excited to see completed.”
– Deputy Mayor Michael Thompson (Scarborough Centre)
“This is a momentous milestone for our Galleria on the Park master-planned community. Vibrant public amenities and quality green space have always been central to our vision, and we are grateful for our partnership with the City of Toronto in making this a reality. We look forward to seeing this community become a destination in Toronto.”
– Rafael Lazer, CEO of Almadev
SOURCE CIty of Toronto