If there’s one thing Toronto could use a little more of, it’s green space!

Residents of Toronto are getting just that – with the City revealing the winner of an international design competition for a new 0.65-acre green space coming to the city’s bustling Entertainment District in 2026.

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The space will occupy a paved lot, currently called RendezViews, at 229 Richmond St. West, between Richmond Street West and Nelson Street with the construction of the 2,600 square metre park anticipated to start in 2025.

The design concept, Wàwàtesí, which translates to “Firefly” in Anishinaabemowin, took the top spot for winning proposal and was conceived by West 8 Urban Design and Landscape Architecture in collaboration with HCMA Architecture and Design, Native Art Department International, MinoKamik Collective, ARUP, KG&A, ERA Architects and A.W. Hooker.

According to the city, the budget for the initiative will be $10 million and, “The Wàwàtesí design concept integrates culture, public art, landscape, light and space for performance.”

new park richmond
Image via City of Toronto

“Wàwàtesí will transport visitors through a woodland experience, all while in a downtown neighbourhood surrounded by high-rise buildings.”

It continued, “Wàwàtesí invites you to enter a multi-level journey through the woodlands from each of the four directions, as actor and audience in the theatre of life. A stream-like trail leads you along seven stepping stones with different experiential qualities. The Eastern Gateway – humane laneway and park welcome, The Balcony – place to watch and perform, The Riverbed Playscape – with hammocks and slide, The Grove – for fireflies, The Green – to gather, The Source – of water and light, and The Canvas – for light.”

The new park will be referred to by its location until it is officially named, which the city says they will seek the public’s help for.

According to the project timeline, Torontonians can expect the construction of the new green space to be completed by 2026.

With around 16,000 residents currently residing within a 0.5 km radius and 52,000 people working in the vicinity this is sure to draw a ton of people looking to escape the city, within the city!