Buy a Bench for the new Town Square

Picture of park bench with black armrests and legs

Have the name of loved ones, your organization or company on the backrest of a bench for the new Sorauren Park Town Square

You, your family, your street, your company or organization can help furnish the new Sorauren Park Town Square by providing a durable park bench for park goers to enjoy — with your inscription on the backrest as a commemorative tribute.

Each commercial-grade bench is available for $1,900 and includes the cost of installation and the inscription. This is a deal, since the City’s regular commemorative bench program is $2,530 per bench (we save a bit since we don’t need to pour a concrete pad… the benches will be installed on the Square’s existing concrete ribbon). Benches are provided with black legs and armrests to match the black lamp standards in the Square. (Those are LED lights, by the way… they look great at night.)

Only a limited number of benches are available. They will be placed on the south side of the Square by Wabash Avenue, facing north into the Square, to start. Two benches have already been donated by the students, family and staff of Howard Public School, thanks to a successful 2014 Dance-a-thon fundraiser.

If you are interested in donating a bench, please send us a message using the contact form so we can coordinate orders with the City of Toronto.

THANK YOU! Town Square Phase 1 opens to blue skies

Photo of adults, kids, taking over new Town Square space under blue skies with future community centre in the background

Residents flock into the new Town Square after the official opening. Photo courtesy Erin Hatfield

Phase 1 of the new Sorauren Park Town Square — Toronto’s newest magical public space — opened July 7 to rave reviews and under blue skies despite the day’s rain.

While the Farmers Market bustled and soccer players hustled on the park’s sports field, the Square was officially opened by Parks staff removing fencing, on cue from Councillor Gord Perks, who gave welcoming remarks.

Prior to the opening, Company Blonde Dance Projects performed an initiation dance on the Square. Chander Chaddah, a board member from the Wabash Building Society, thanked Square supporters and gave a brief history. The Wabash Building Society is the non-profit community group that initiated and shepherded the project in collaboration with Parks, Forestry and Recreation and funding groups.

After the fence opened, everyone was invited to join a Zumba dance on the Square. Meanwhile, the new all-volunteer Adopt-A-Tree crew, led by coordinator May Haslam, furiously attended to the 40+ new trees and hedges with plenty of water.

Visit the Parkdale Villager website for story and photo.

Photo of gravelly field in front of the old linseed factory on Wabash Avenue beside Sorauren Park

BEFORE: the derelict and off-limits industrial land prior to the new Town Square and green spaces

SPECIAL THANK YOU to these supporters:

Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation: Alex Mut, Peter Didiano, Peter White, Lennox Morgan, Trena Cesario, Rob Richardson and many other PFR staff

Live Green Toronto: Jeff McCormick and staff

TD Friends of the Environment: Carolyn Scotchmer and staff

Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation: Jayne Fry and board

Sound system: Natalie Waddell and Jorge Miguel

Company Blonde Dance Projects

Diane, the awesome Zumba instructor

The Planning Partnership: Town Square designers

Sorauren Farmers’ Market

Roncesvalles-Macdonell Residents’ Association, which started the Sorauren Park initiatives many, many years ago

The many Phase 1 donors listed on the website and now on the Phase 1 donor banner posted in the park on the east-side fence

Phase 2 fundraising is now under way to furnish the Square with benches, a bake oven, an iconic trellis from which to hang movie screens, donor walls and art, and more. Learn about the Buy a Bench program (limited benches available), how to get a tax receipt, and how to join the donor wall.

See you at the Town Square!

Town Square Phase 1 opening Monday July 7, 6 p.m. — you’re invited!

Photo of a flatbed truck carrying large trees being unloaded for planting in the new Sorauren Town Square area

Planting the new trees and installing the light standards on Canada Day.

Mark your calendars: the community celebration to mark the opening of the new Sorauren Park Town Square, Phase 1, takes place Monday, July 7 at 6 p.m. (NOTE: This is a new date, postponed from June 23 due to construction delays.)

To usher in Toronto’s newest public space, the Town Square campaign’s “take down the fence” theme will be enacted with a ceremonial de-fencing. Please join your neighbours as we collectively “take down the fence.”

This phase of the Town Square is possible because of the awesome support and donations from the community. Every dollar counted, and leveraged funding from other sources including a major contribution from Live Green Toronto, support from TD Friends of the Environment, large donations from Howard Public School and The Little Paper’s Little Festival, crucial support from Councillor Gord Perks, and many other donations.

Special shout-out to Chander Chaddah, who has supported the Sorauren Pumpkin Sale for many years and made major donations to the Town Square campaign to mark his 25 years in business in the neighbourhood.

Of course, none of it would be possible without Parks, Forestry and Recreation, which not only provided base funding, but also enthusiastically supported the community campaign and believed in the project. Credit also to the designers, The Planning Partnership.

The opening event will feature a performance by Company Blonde Dance Projects and close with all-ages Zumba dancing on the Square. We’ll also unfurl a banner listing all Phase 1 donors ($100 or more). The Farmers Market will also be running on its usual Monday schedule at the park, and soccer will be in full swing. Expect a fun, busy time!

The end of Phase 1 marks the start of the Phase 2 fundraising campaign to finish the square with park furniture, a bake oven, and a major architectural feature: the trellis that will connect the Fieldhouse to the future community centre (old linseed factory). The trellis will serve as an iconic gateway to the park and provide practical functions such as mounting for an outdoor movie screen, the future donor wall, lighting, shade and cool things we haven’t even imagined yet.

Please come on July 7.

Some of our 50 new trees being planted by Salivan Landscaping as part of the new Town Square.

Some of our 50 new trees being planted by Salivan Landscaping as part of the new Town Square. It’s a mixed forest of several native species.

Park happenings in May

Yale alumni, Sorauren gardeners and MP Peggy Nash take a break from tending to the Fieldhouse gardens

Yale alumni, Sorauren gardeners and MP Peggy Nash take a break from tending to the Fieldhouse gardens

Game on! Sorauren Park soccer and baseball has kicked off another season… games are played every weekday evening and Saturdays. Watch for lots of kids coming to and from the park around and after dinner-time especially.

The Farmers Market moves outdoors on Monday, May 19. Remember, the market is every Monday from 3 – 7 p.m. Watch for news about Ontario wine sales, coming to the market soon! UPDATE: Ontario wine sales start this Monday May 19!

Thanks to Sorauren gardeners, Yale alumni on the Yale Global Day of Action, and MP Peggy Nash (photo above) for once again tending to the gardens around the Fieldhouse. Looking good for the upcoming opening of Phase 1 of the NEW Sorauren Town Square!

Speaking of which…  mark your calendars for Monday, June 23, 6 p.m., for the official opening of the Town Square. The community is invited to help tear down a ceremonial fence to open the Square (we’ll have a long rope everyone can grab onto). More details to come!

Come to Gardening Day Saturday May 10


Volunteers are welcome to join the annual Gardening Day event happening Saturday, May 10 starting at 10 a.m. We’ll be weeding, pruning and cleaning the gardens and grounds around the Sorauren Fieldhouse. High schoolers: get some volunteer hours!

Bring gloves, shovels, trowels, clippers, pruners, and composting bags if you can spare one or two.

Once again, we’ll be joined by volunteers from the Yale alumni, who are participating in the annual global Yale Day of Service. These are Toronto Yale alumni who don’t live in the neighbourhood but who have “adopted” Sorauren over the years for gardening day. Thanks Yale!