Over a decade has passed since the Downsview Park International Design Competition was launched. Since then the Park has not only crystallized its vision for the public realm, but also put in place a strong foundation for a sustainable future.
The vision for Downsview Park is the creation of a recreational greenspace incorporating both expansive open space, recreational and cultural areas, as well as repurposing many of the historic aviation-related buildings to create a year-round setting that will attract a diverse array of people, and to do so on a self-financing basis.
Charged to create an urban national park without access to public funds, the Park has worked to balance investment and event revenue in addition to other sources of funding, against the costs of Park programming and maintaining public space. Our path has taken us through hundreds of consultation sessions with the public, colleagues at all levels of government and potential partners.
Leasing revenue is a significant source of operational funding. Downsview Park is home to many businesses and organizations, ensuring a mix of tenants consistent with its vision and values with focus on those compatible with sport, recreational, cultural and leisure uses.
In addition to creating a unique national urban park on the majority of the lands, development includes five integrated neighbourhoods with a full range of land uses to create a model of progressive sustainable urban development. Although most of the lands will remain under the ownership of Downsview Park, one third of the lands are contemplated to be sold or leased to appropriate partners—those interested in developing the lands in accordance with the Park’s Sustainable Community Development Guidelines—in order to sustain the Park. Building and maintaining the Park is the primary goal, but to do so requires development of neighbourhoods from within the Park’s boundaries to provide the necessary funds for years to come. Five related neighbourhoods will be developed in and around the Park to assist in creating and maintaining Downsview Park: Stanley Greene; William Baker; Sheppard; Chesswood; and Allen.
Whether you are a neighbour, visitor, colleague or potential investor, we invite you to come to the Park and to participate in our future together.