Movie double-header with two Toms Aug. 27

Movie posters for Big and Days of Thunder

The August outdoor movie double-header tradition returns to Sorauren Park with films from the two Toms, Hanks and Cruise, on Saturday, August 27.

Big, starring Tom Hanks in his Penny Marshall-directed role as the teenager waking up as an adult, kicks off the evening at 8 pm. Then stick around for Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman in the Tony Scott-directed racing drama Days of Thunder at 10 pm.

All outdoor movie screenings are free, with donations gratefully accepted to help support event costs. The Snack Shack offers fresh-popped popcorn and a limited selection of drinks; bring your water bottle for the water-bottle filling station at “Owen’s Fountain.”

Sorauren Outdoor Movies are brought to you by Friends of Sorauren Park, and would not be possible without the support of our wonderful sponsors.

Hitchcock’s Rear Window next outdoor movie July 23

It’s Mystery Night for the next showing at Sorauren Outdoor Movies, featuring Alfred Hitchcock’s Rear Window on Saturday, July 23 at 9 pm on the Town Square.

Starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly, Rear Window is considered on of Hitchcock’s best films.

Bring a chair, blanket and some loose change for Snack Shack concessions and the donation box.

Outdoor movies are free and supported by your donations and our great sponsors. Presented by Friends of Sorauren Park and the volunteer Film Crew.

Movies are presented on the fourth Saturday of every month to September.

Bocce lessons July 13 at the new bocce court

Join your friends and neighbours at Charles G. Williams Park on Wednesday July 13 at 6:30 pm for an intro to Bocce Ball on the new bocce court. Stephen Dorsey, volunteer director of Friends of Sorauren Park, will be on hand to explain the rules of the game, demonstrate some ball throwing techniques, and lead everyone in some fun game play. Everyone welcome. Co-hosted by PARCO CARLO, CLUB DI BOCCE (Est. 2021).

Sorauren bake oven goodies Wednesdays in July

New at the park: For Goodness Bakes! The bakers from Friends of Sorauren Park are firing up the bake every Wednesday evening in July, 6 – 8:30 pm, for fresh baked goodies. Each Wednesday features different recipes from ingredients donated by wonderful neighbourhood bakeries. (And you can burn off those calories with free world dance beginner lessons also every Wednesday evening in July, on the Sorauren Town Square.)

Quantities are limited. Pay what you can; all proceeds support the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park and free park programming.

Big thanks to sponsor Avryll McNair, Bosley Real Estate, for rising to the occasion, along with our bakeries.

For Goodness Bakes schedule:

  • July 6: Sourdough bread, croissants and cinnamon buns, Blackbird Baking Co.
  • July 13: Chocolate chip, oatmeal raisin and ginger cookies, Mabel’s Bakery and Specialty Foods
  • July 20: Beer cheddar scones and pork sausage rolls, Oy’s Joys Bakery
  • July 27: White and whole wheat dinner rolls, Robinson Bread

The Sorauren Park bake oven was donated by Friends of Sorauren Park and supporters. Sitting cold through the height of the pandemic, the oven now fires again!

Free world dance lessons in the park

Instructor Asli Rakkas leads participants in Intro to Turkish Romany-style dancing, the first of free weekly lessons every Wednesday in July

Gotta move? The Friends of Sorauren Park are pleased to offer Intro to World Dance Lessons every Wednesday evening in July, from 6:30 to 8:30 pm on the Sorauren Town Square. All welcome!

The schedule so far:

  • July 6: Turkish Romany Bellydance with Asli Rakkas
  • July 13: CHANGE: Indian Kathak with Tamanna Koovarjee has been postponed. Replaced with Salsa by Eliana Cuevas
  • July 20th Spanish Flamenco with Pamela Briz Guijaro
  • July 27th TBD

Lessons are free thanks to the support of donations to non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park.

Subscribe to Sorauren Park News monthly newsletter, or follow @SoraurenPark on social media, for updates and park happenings.

Outdoor movies return to Sorauren Town Square

Photo of crowd at Sorauren Park outdoor movie, including people holding sparklers for a marriage proposal
Surprise marriage proposals have been known to occur at Sorauren Outdoor Movies.

After a two-year absence, Friends of Sorauren Park are pleased to host the summer outdoor movie series on the Town Square once again. Mark your calendars for the fourth Saturday of the month from June to September. The first move—the classic 1994 Jim Carrey comedy Dumb and Dumber will screen Saturday, June 25, starting at 9:30 pm. For the full schedule visit our Outdoor Movie page.

The summer outdoor movies would not be possible without the financial support of our returning presenting sponsors: Chander Chaddah, Sutton Group Associates; Master Mechanic High Park; Dundas West Animal Hospital. Thanks also to our Snack Shack sponsor Scooter Girl Toys, and print sponsor KnightHawk StudioLab.

Ages 5-8 Basketball Jamboree June 11 at Charles G courts

Mark your calendars: the Basketball Jamboree is coming June 11 to the two courts at Charles G. Williams Park across the street from Sorauren Park.

Hosted by the Friends of Charles G. Williams Park, the event tips off at 10 am, with registration starting at 9:45 am. Ages 5 to 6 will convene on the junior court, while ages 7 to 8 will dribble on the main court.

The Jamboree features skills games, competitions and prizes donated by Scooter Girl Toys. Your guides will be Toronto triple threat players and coaches. No admission fee, but donations to support the Friends and free programming in the park are most welcome.

Farmers’ Market returns to Sorauren Park May 23

The Sorauren Farmers’ Market returns to the Sorauren Park Town Square Monday, May 23 from 3 to 7 pm. The Market continues every Monday till October 31.

Find fresh food, prepared goodies, baked items and other delicacies from local vendors. Meet neighbours and enjoy the outdoor shopping and browsing experience. The Market is produced by the Sorauren Farmers’ Market Association.

Ball hockey Sundays April-June on the Town Square

Kids and adults play ball hockey on the hard surface of the Sorauren Town Square, with two nets set up and traffic cones marking the play area, under a bright blue sky.
Game on!

Join the fun every Sunday from 2 to 6 pm on the Sorauren Park Town Square with drop-in ball hockey starting April 3 and running till the end of June.

Bring your stick and a ball. Hockey nets supplied by the Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew. Shinny rules apply. All welcome. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram @SoraurenPark for updates and weather cancellations.

Join the first Sorauren RC Toy Car Derby March 26

Photo of five remote-controlled toy cars racing on a dirt track, kicking up dust.
Bring your remote-controlled toy car to the first Sorauren RC Car Derby, March 26

Start your (electric) engines! The inaugural Sorauren Park Remote-Control Toy Car Derby is set for Saturday, March 26 at 9:30 am on the course at the Sorauren Rink. All invited!

Now that the ice is gone, and before the boards are put away, the rink will be re-purposed into a remote-control car race track with jumps, tunnels and mud baths.

Events include a multi-lap race, a drag race and obstacle course. (Note: not a demolition derby.) Car names are a must. Car decorating and detailing welcome, and costumes encouraged!

The winner will receive the inaugural Sorauren RC Derby Cup. Also, if you register, you will be included in a raffle for a new RC car donated by Scooter Toy Girls.

Register on-site. No fees to enter but donations are accepted to support park programs. Rain-date the following Saturday, watch this space and @SoraurenPark social media for updates.

The Derby is supported by the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park and volunteer derby officials and umpires.

Overhead drone photo showing the rink boards on the baseball diamond, before the snow and ice arrives.
Sorauren Rink, now done for the season but the perfect site for the first Sorauren Remote-Control Toy Car Derby, March 26. (Photo from 2021, Oliver Vollmer)


Sorauren Rink closed for season

As if a switch was flipped with an overnight thunderclap, winter signalled its exit and spring its arrival, and with that change the Sorauren natural ice rink has closed for this season.

(Who are we kidding, winter will return in some way. But with the sun higher and thaws longer it becomes impossible to maintain the ice surface.)

Big thanks to the 40 volunteer crew members of the hardy Sorauren Hosers, and many other helpers, who maintained the rink with daily floodings and more. (Many Hosers have been volunteering for more than 10 years.) Overall it has been a great season, made more special as the second year of outdoor relief from the pandemic.

Thanks also to Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation for late-night and early-morning staff support and access to the hoses and water. Finally, thanks to sponsors Chander Chaddah, Scooter Girl Toys and Evolve Chiropratic Roncesvalles, whose financial support helps cover rink expenses.

The Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew is a program of the Friends of Sorauren Park, which is planning a great season of warm-weather programming; stay tuned. See you at the rink next year!

Logos for Scooter Girl Toys, Chander Chaddah and Evolve Chiropractic.
Logo for Friends of Sorauren Park - horizontal

Rink open if you need a break

Better weather has returned, allowing the volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crews to rehabilitate the natural ice surface after a couple of storms. Conditions on the north pad are fair with bumps around the edges; conditions on the south pad are a little better.

The rink is open weather permitting till 9 pm each evening, when the hose comes out for a restorative flood.

Sorauren Hosers is a program of Friends of Sorauren Park. They are supported by our amazing local sponsors and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

2022 Sorauren Rink Sponsors

Logos for Scooter Girl Toys, Chander Chaddah and Evolve Chiropractic.

Roller-coaster season: rink closed for now

The rink is closed again as of February 16 as we work through variable February weather. Thanks to everyone for staying off the surface – it made a big difference last thaw and helped the Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew bring the rink back quickly.

The Hosers are watching the forecast closely and will spring back into action when weather conditions improve. Watch this space and our @SoraurenPark social media channels for updates.

The Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew is a program of Friends of Sorauren Park. Subscribe to our monthly newsletter for park and Wabash Community Centre news and updates.

Rink returns… until next thaw

From earlier in the season, flooding action as a “sunrise soak” volunteer crew lays down a layer. Video by Jarek Wawrow.

Annnnd… we’re back. As of February 12 rink ice has been returned to fair condition with the colder temperatures and tender loving care from the Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew. The natural ice rink is open till 9 pm each night when crews return for flooding.

Thanks everyone for helping to protect the surface by staying off during thaws. The forecast is calling for warmer temperatures again later this week. Follow this site or @SoraurenPark social media channels for updates.

Pond hockey nets. Hit a mouse hole the right way and the puck will bounce back out the other one.
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Rink closed for thaw

Mother Nature has thrown a classic mid-February curve ball, forcing a temporary (we expect) closure of the Sorauren natural ice rink while temperatures are above zero. Please stay off the rink to help protect the surface so that the volunteer rink crews can quickly bring the surface back to play with colder weather in the forecast.

Watch this website or follow us on social media @SoraurenPark for rink updates. Sign up for our monthly park newsletter for park news and updates.

Learn more about the ice rink, the Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew and our amazing sponsors.

Rink open after community effort

The rink after a sunrise soak, February 5, 2022

The Sorauren Park natural ice rink is open again (till 9 pm each night) after this week’s thaw, rain and snow knocked it out of commission for several days.

Volunteers wielding scrapers and shovels helped to clean the crusty snow off the surface so that the Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew could resume flooding. Thank you!

To mark #NHLAllStar weekend and skills challenge, try out the new pond hockey “nets” that will test your sharp-shooting skills and help to keep pucks on the ice.

The rink is open every day, weather permitting, till 9 pm when the nightly flood takes place by rotating crews of Sorauren Hosers. Thanks to Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation for providing access to water and hose storage, and thanks to our generous sponsors – Scooter Girl Toys, Chander Chaddah and Evolve Chiropractic – for supporting rink expenses!

Test your skills with the new pond hockey nets that will also help keep pucks on the ice.
Game on.
“Before”: A stubborn, crusty layer of snow covered the rink after this week’s thaw, rain and snow. Thanks to the volunteers who scraped it off.

Rink closed during thaw, storm

The rink is closed during thaws to protect the surface for a fast rehabilitation.

The Sorauren natural ice rink is temporarily closed to ride out the above-zero temperatures this week and the coming storm. The Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew volunteers will make every effort to have the rink open this weekend, weather permitting.

Because it’s a natural ice rink, melting and surface damage occurs when temperatures rise above zero. Staying off the rink helps the Hosers bring back the surface as fast as possible once the weather improves and temperatures drop to where they should be.

Watch this space and our social media channels @SoraurenPark for news and possibly another volunteer call-out to help dig!

The Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew is a program of Friends of Sorauren Park, supported by our generous local sponsors and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

Community members help dig out after the Great Blizzard of January 2022.

Rink open except during maintenance, thaws

The final moments of the Big Dig after the #ONstorm, with a gorgeous sunset adding to the festive mood.

The Sorauren Park natural ice rink is open and in good condition thanks to the efforts of community volunteers who came out in the dozens to shovel after the big storm, and the volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crews who maintain the rink daily.

The rink is closed during above-zero temperatures and during flooding, which takes place every night at 9 pm and on weekend mornings at 7 am. Big thanks to Parks, Forestry and Recreation for providing access to water and heated hose storage.

The Sorauren community rink has been the focus of recent media coverage, including articles in the Toronto Star and Toronto Life magazine, and a CBC TV report filmed last weekend (Sorauren piece starts at 19:20, or clip on Instagram). The CBC videographer, Rob, kindly retrieved pucks that flew out of the rink from the all-ages shinny game.

A local mom also posted this lovely story on the Sorauren Park Facebook page:

To the parents of the two kids who taught my kid how to skate today at Sorauren, Thank you for raising such awesome kids! I am a solo parent and not an avid skater, I prepared myself to do it when all of a sudden these kids came up and said they would like to teach him…he was up and skating in 30 minutes. This neighbourhood is so unbelievable, my heart is full today!

Thanks also to our super-sponsors Scooter Girl Toys, Evolve Chiropractic Roncesvalles and Chander Chaddah, Sutton Group Associates, who support the efforts and expenses of the Hosers. The Sorauren Hosers is a program of the Friends of Sorauren Park.

Both pads of the Sorauren natural ice rink were cleared by 5:45 pm the day of the storm, thanks to the efforts of dozens of community members with their shovels. Go team!

Thank you sponsors!

Rink open, help needed for storm dig-out

A dozen volunteers, young and old, shovel the Sorauren ice rink after a storm, waving to the camera.
Volunteers dig out after a storm a few years ago. All ages welcome!

Calling all shovellers: The coming storm is expected to dump up to 20 cm of snow on the Sorauren Park community rink, and the all-volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew is seeking reinforcements to help dig out!

If the forecast holds, shovelling will start after school (hint) Monday January 17, and into the evening before the scheduled 9 pm flood. We’ll follow COVID protocols by staying physically distanced (easy to do) and masked. Please bring your shovels.

Every shovelful helps! Pro tip: Mentally block out a square space on the rink, to whatever size feels right, and clear that out. The sense of progress is most satisfying.

The rink is maintained by the Sorauren Hosers with a different three or four-person crew flooding each night at 9 pm, and on weekend mornings at 7 am. Regular flooding is important to keep the rink in top shape. The City provides water access and hose storage at the Fieldhouse. Generous sponsors help support equipment purchases and promotion; learn more.

The rink opened this past weekend under glorious sunshine. The Sorauren Hosers is a program of the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park.

Thanks to our generous sponsors Scooter Girl Toys, Evolve Chiropractic Roncesvalles, Chander Chaddah, Sutton Group Associates.
Opening weekend at the Sorauren Park community rink.

Rink open for pleasure skating, fair conditions

The volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew builds and floods the rink with the support of the City, generous sponsors and Mother Earth

The Sorauren natural ice rink is now open for pleasure skating, with fair ice conditions. Be aware that some bumps are still poking through the ice, so shinny is not yet feasible. But not bad for skating with bundled-up little ones. Please practice COVID safety by staying physically distanced and wear masks; pandemic safety signs are posted.

The all-volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew continues to flood every night at 9 pm, with additional shifts at 7 am on weekends and when possible. Conditions will improve in the weeks ahead.

Toronto Life recently featured Sorauren Rink along with four other neighbourhood-run natural ice rinks in an article about how rinks affect their communities. “[T]he value of the rink goes way beyond the ice. It brings the whole neighbourhood together,” said Joël Campbell, chair of Friends of Sorauren Park and a veteran Hoser.

Thanks to Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation for water access and storage. And thanks to our generous community sponsors:

Logos for Scooter Girl Toys, Chander Chaddah and Evolve Chiropractic.

Rink flooding in progress

Photo of the rink not quite ready for skating. A sign in the foreground says: Flooding in Progress. Please stay off the rink."

With improving weather conditions, flooding has begun at the Sorauren Park natural ice rink. You can help open the rink sooner by staying off the surface until it’s ready for skating. Mini-craters caused by footprints delay the opening. Watch this space or @SoraurenPark social media accounts for opening news! (Check out our Facebook video.)

Flooding takes place every evening at 9 pm, and on weekend mornings at 7 am, weather permitting. The Sorauren rink is a collaboration between Mother Nature, the all-volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew, our wonderful sponsors, and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

2022 Season Sponsors:

Logos for Scooter Girl Toys, Chander Chaddah and Evolve Chiropractic.
Sorauren Hosers, young and young at heart, at the first “sunrise soak” of the 2022 season. It takes about a week of flooding to build up the ice for skating.

Rink ready for freezing temps

Wide-angle photo (in black and white) showing volunteers setting up the rink boards on the snow-covered baseball diamond.
The “island” separates the two rink pads. Flooding begins once consistent below-zero temperatures dignify the weather forecast.

The all-volunteer Sorauren Hosers Rink Crew, veterans and newcomers alike, erected the boards for the natural ice rink on a snowy Saturday. Now the waiting begins for at least a week of consistent below-zero temperatures to begin flooding.

The rink, located on the baseball diamond, will feature two inter-connected skating pads. The Hosers take turns flooding, with a different crew dedicated to each day of the week. Flooding takes place at 9 pm every night when conditions allow. Learn more about volunteering.

The rink is a collaboration between the volunteers, Friends of Sorauren Park, and Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, which provides the permit, water and equipment storage.

Our great local sponsors provide support for equipment upgrades, communications and volunteer appreciation. Thanks to our 2022 Season sponsors:

Volunteers lay out the perimeter of the natural ice rink on the snowy baseball diamond in Sorauren Park
Triangular buttresses hold up the 2 x 8 boards forming the perimeter of the rink. The buttresses are spiked into the ground to hold everything in place.

Holiday Market Dec. 8 at the church

The Sorauren Farmers’ Market, relocated indoors to the nearby Roncesvalles United Church for winter, is offering its Winter Craft Market on Wednesday, December 8 from 3 – 7 pm.

The Market that day will feature artisans, food and produce vendors, and musical entertainment. Roncy United is at 240 Roncesvalles Avenue at Wright Avenue. The Market runs every Wednesday 3 – 7 pm at the church until the summer season, when it will return to Sorauren Park.

Charles G. Williams Park re-opens

The new playground at renovated Charles G. Williams Park

The renovated Charles G. Williams Park is open!

The renovated park, across the street from Sorauren Park, includes new senior and junior playground equipment and nature play area. But it’s a park for all ages… there is a new basketball court, junior court, ping-pong table, bocce court and chess tables. The new splashpad will be ready for summer play. The park also features a safer new main entrance at the corner of Sorauren and Wabash avenues, new pathways and many more benches, plus the beautiful existing tree canopy.

The new park design owes much to the advocacy of the Friends of Charles G. Williams Park. It was build by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation and its design consultants and contractors, and supported by Councillor Gord Perks.

Read about the history of Charles G. Williams Park.

The new half-size junior basketball court, with the full-size court behind it.
The safer new entrance at Sorauren and Wabash avenues.

Take the Wabash Community Centre design survey till Nov. 17

Rendering of the proposed Wabash Community Centre design looking north-east from Wabash Avenue across the newly designed Town Square. The new centre combines the historic bricked linseed factory with new "blocks" that include a pool at grade, and a gym mounted on top of the other two buildings.
Concept design looking north-east from Wabash Avenue. The new pools would be inside the new addition at-grade on the north. The historic linseed building would be repurposed to contain multi-purpose and activity rooms and offices. The gym and running track would be in the new building on top. The main lobby entrance is in the middle.

The city and its design consultants, Diamond Schmitt Architects and PMA Landscape Architects, have released the draft designs for the exterior, interior and landscaping for the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park.

And they want your feedback on the designs. Take the online survey (all responses are anonymous) at toronto.ca/wabash. The survey is open till November 17. Concepts for net-zero energy usage are also included.

As you work through the survey, design rationales are explained alongside images.

Your feedback will help inform the next phase of detailed design work. Construction is expected to be completed in 2026 or 2027 depending on the many variables that affect capital projects including permits and approvals.

Follow @SoraurenPark on social media or subscribe to Sorauren Park News for community centre updates. The city’s project page also tracks progress and includes reports from community engagements.

View looking north-west from Wabash Avenue, towards the back of the building with service entrance, staff and accessibility parking. A children’s activity space is designed around the base of the iconic chimney.

Last outdoor Market Nov. 1 before winter season

Three volunteers with the Farmers' Market, wearing their face masks, stand behind a sign outlining the COVID-19 rules for attending the market, taken at the 2020 market outdoors on the Sorauren Town Square.
The Farmers’ Market on the Sorauren Park Town Square.

The final outdoor Sorauren Farmers’ Market of the season will take place Monday, November 1 from 3 – 7 pm on the Sorauren Park Town Square, before moving indoors at a new venue and time.

Starting November 10, the Market moves indoors every Wednesday from 3 – 7 pm at the nearby Roncesvalles United Church at 240 Roncesvalles Avenue.

Support local farmers and vendors year-round at the Sorauren Farmers’ Market, produced by the non-profit Sorauren Farmers’ Market Association. Stay connected by visiting the Farmers’ Market website.

Public meeting Nov. 3 for Wabash Community Centre

aerial diagram, looking north over the park, showing the "Angler" option nestled against the rail corridor, with additions behind and partially on top of the existing Canada Linseed oil mill building.
Screen shot showing option 5, the Angler, from City survey of design options. Visit toronto.ca/WabashCRC to take the survey and have your say.

The City has announced the start of the next round of public consultations for the forthcoming Wabash Community Recreation Centre at Sorauren Park. An online public meeting is scheduled for November 3 from 6:30 to 8:30 pm, and a new online survey will also begin November 3.

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City chooses Wabash Community Centre site design option

aerial diagram, looking north over the park, showing the "Angler" option nestled against the rail corridor, with additions behind and partially on top of the existing Canada Linseed oil mill building.
Option 5, the Angler, from City survey of design options.

The City of Toronto has announced it has chosen “the Angler” as the preferred site design option for the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park.

“Based on spring and summer consultations with local community members, Indigenous representatives, and the City’s operational staff, the Angler has been selected as the site design option that will be further refined through continued community consultation,” wrote the City in a September 21 email to community members.

The City’s consultations included the Friends of Sorauren Park, which voted for, and promoted, the Angler as the best option.

“We’ve looked closely at the options, and while there are always site compromises in a constrained space, in the end there was little debate among the directors,” said Joël Campbell, chair of Friends of Sorauren Park, in May 2021 when the five site options were presented. “Design option 5, the Angler, was the clear winner for us. We look forward to continuing the collaboration with the City and the design consultants as work progresses through the design process.”

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Wabash Community Centre: how we got here

Watch Stephen Dorsey, a volunteer member of the board for Friends of Sorauren Park, give the quick history of how community advocacy turned an industrial site into Sorauren Park and soon, the Wabash Community Centre. For a longer history, visit our History page, or watch the 25th Anniversary documentary video.

This is the latest in a series of short video updates on the progress of the community centre.

Also visit the City of Toronto’s Wabash Community Centre project page, and follow @SoraurenPark on social media or subscribe to our popular newsletter.

Wabash Community Centre update: next steps

Stephen Dorsey, a volunteer member of the board for Friends of Sorauren Park, provides the latest update on Wabash Community Centre progress in our video series.

Watch and listen as Stephen outlines the next steps in the process, including hearing back from the City of Toronto on the results of the recent consultation around the building massing options on the site of the old linseed oil mill and surrounding land in Sorauren Park.

Also visit the City of Toronto’s Wabash Community Centre project page, and follow @SoraurenPark on social media or subscribe to our popular newsletter.

Get your Park Portrait and support the park

Our Friends of Sorauren Park photographer will capture your moment to remember

Get a beautiful high-resolution Park Portrait to capture the moment… and support the Friends of Sorauren Park at the same time. Come as a family, by yourself, with your bestie or with your pet… all configurations welcome!

Send your Park Portrait to friends and loved ones, make it your desktop wallpaper, or (best yet) get it printed and saved for posterity in a frame or scrapbook.

Use our Square account to book your time and make your payment. Appointments are available on Mondays during the Farmers’ Market hours. Our Summer Program Coordinators will respond to confirm your time and answer any questions. Alternate times will be offered if your choice is not available.

The minimum is $25 but donations above and beyond are always welcome and support the park programs offered by the Friends of Sorauren Park.

Thank you… and smile!

Logo for Friends of Sorauren Park - horizontal
Your volunteer-powered community non-profit.

Sorauren Summer Kids Fun Week 7: Picnic at the Park

Grab some food at the Farmers’ Market this Monday August 2 and join us at the Sorauren Summer Kids Fun table for a crafty Picnic at the Park. Our summer programmer Amanda Vo will have some arts material for household groups to play and create with.

You can win prizes! Take photos of completed creations, and tag @SoraurenPark on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There will be a weekly draw for free popcorn, redeemable at the concession stand at the Sorauren Park Outdoor Movies once they start up again (fingers crossed!), plus one grand prize at the end of the summer from Scooter Girl Toys, our Sorauren Summer Kids Fun sponsor.

And check out our other activities to date, Make a Paper Kite, Park Bingo, Rock Painting One and Two, and Paper Cut-Outs.

Visit the Summer Kids Fun Table between 3 – 6:30 pm for hands-on fun.

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Learn the Constellations: Sorauren Stargazing Aug. 2

The first Sorauren Stargazing event, Learn The Summer Constellations and See the Rings of Saturn, is scheduled for Monday, August 2.


As of this posting, the weather is looking favourable for that evening. We are planning to meet at 9:00 pm by the shipping container, near the dog park.

If there is any change to the weather, an alert will be posted on this site, and sent by email to those who have signed up for the Sorauren Stargazing list.

Dress appropriately for the weather. There may be a few evening bugs, so bug spray may come in handy. If you have a telescope or binoculars, please bring them. We will a have small telescope which can see the rings of Saturn if we have a clear view.

We will practice physical distancing and mask wearing. We’ll take turns at the telescope. You’re not supposed to touch the telescope even in regular viewing, to keep it steady… we’ll demonstrate the technique.

See the full summer program on our Stargazing page.

Clear skies!

Sorauren Summer Kids Fun Week 5: Paint a Rock Two

This week our summer programmer Amanda Vo returns to rock painting, but instead of bugs, try a plant! It’s the Week 5 activity for Sorauren Summer Kids Fun.

You can win prizes! Take photos of your completed creation, and tag @SoraurenPark on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There will be a weekly draw for free popcorn, redeemable at the concession stand at the Sorauren Park Outdoor Movies once they start up again (fingers crossed!), plus one grand prize at the end of the summer from Scooter Girl Toys, our Sorauren Summer Kids Fun sponsor.

And check out our other activities to date, Make a Paper Kite, Park Bingo, Rock Painting One, and Paper Cut-Outs.

Up next week, starting Monday at the Farmers’ Market: Chalk Art! Visit the Summer Kids Fun Table between 3 – 6:30 pm for hands-on fun.

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Announcing Sorauren Star Gazers summer program

Meet by the shipping container each night. Sign up below for weather alerts and date adjustments.

Calling all astronomy buffs or buffs-to-be! Sorauren Stargazers is announcing a 2021 program of planet watching, constellation touring and meteor viewing, all in a friendly, everyone-welcome and COVID-safe format.

Note: All dates are tentative! Stargazing relies on clear skies and there’s no point if the clouds roll in.

Sign up to the Sorauren Stargazers email list for date confirmations, alerts and news, and follow @SoraurenPark on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for updates. If you’re an experienced Stargazer and would also like to volunteer to help, let us know.

Meet by the shipping container near the baseball diamond at the times indicated. Dress appropriately for cool evenings.

Read the full program on our Stargazers page.

Sorauren Summer Kids Fun Week 4: Paper Cutouts

Decorate your garden or front windows with fun paper cutouts. Watch and learn as our summer programmer Amanda Vo shows you how. It’s the Week 4 activity for Sorauren Summer Kids Fun. What character are you inspired to create?

You can win prizes! Take photos of your completed creation, and tag @SoraurenPark on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There will be a weekly draw for free popcorn, redeemable at the concession stand at the Sorauren Park Outdoor Movies once they start up again (fingers crossed!), plus one grand prize at the end of the summer from Scooter Girl Toys, our Sorauren Summer Kids Fun sponsor.

And check out our other activities to date, Make a Paper Kite, Park Bingo and Rock Painting!

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Get your cool park t-shirt and support the Friends

Quantities limited, get yours today! Makes a great gift.

Support the non-profit, community-powered Friends of Sorauren Park with your purchase of a cool Friends of Sorauren Park t-shirt! All proceeds support free programming in the park and the projects of Friends of Sorauren Park.

Shirts are $25 and available in the sizes below. Purchase through our online Square account, and pick up your t-shirt at the Sorauren Park Farmers’ Market every Monday 3 – 7 pm at the park.

Adult sizes available (while quantities last): XL, L, M, S, XS

Youth sizes available (which quantitites last): L, M, S, XS

Purchase your park t-shirt now!

Questions? Contact us.

Sorauren Summer Kids Fun Week 3: Rock painting!

Got the creative bug? Watch and learn as our summer programmer Amanda Vo paints a ladybug on a rock and gives it a new home at Sorauren Park. It’s the Week 3 activity for Sorauren Summer Kids Fun. What are you inspired to paint?

You can win prizes! Take photos of your completed creation, and tag @SoraurenPark on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There will be a weekly draw for free popcorn, redeemable at the concession stand at the Sorauren Park Outdoor Movies once they start up again (fingers crossed!), plus one grand prize at the end of the summer from Scooter Girl Toys, our Sorauren Summer Kids Fun sponsor.

And check out our other activities to date, Make a Paper Kite and Park Bingo.

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Community centre updates: new video series

There’s one question that every volunteer director of the Friends of Sorauren Park (FOSP) gets from friends, family and neighbours: What’s happening with the Wabash Community Centre?

To answer that question and help the community stay current with updates, FOSP is launching a new series of short videos hosted by FOSP board member Stephen Dorsey. The first video describes the purpose of the drilling and testing work that recently took place in Sorauren Park.

The Wabash Community Centre, to occupy the site of the old linseed factory in the park, is currently in the design phase with the City of Toronto’s contracted design consultants, Diamond Schmitt Architects. Following public consultations undertaken by FOSP and three rounds of consultations undertaken by the City, the architects are expected to report back on a preferred site design this fall. Construction is expected to start in 2023 following completion of final design.

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Sorauren Summer Kids Fun Week 2: Park Bingo!

Missing the playground at Charles G. Williams Park while it’s under construction? Try our Sorauren Summer Kids Fun activities, including this week’s Park Bingo!

Download the Bingo card (PDF) or collect your Park Bingo card at Scooter Girl Toys on Roncesvalles Avenue, and start your hunt. Cross off each bingo square with each find. Do it by yourself, or in a team. Challenge your parents or care-givers!

You can win prizes! Take photos of your completed Bingo card, and tag @SoraurenPark on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There will be a weekly draw for free popcorn, redeemable at the concession stand at the Sorauren Park Outdoor Movies once they start up again (fingers crossed!), plus one grand prize at the end of the summer from Scooter Girl Toys, our Sorauren Summer Kids Fun sponsor.

You can also drop by the Friends of Sorauren Park table every Monday at the Farmers’ Market, 3 – 7 pm by the Town Square, for (physically distanced) activity tips.

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Introducing Sorauren Summer Kids Fun: Build a kite

Introducing Sorauren Summer Kids Fun! It’s a weekly series featuring a fun instructional video with self-guided activities you can do at home or at the park. You can also drop by the Friends of Sorauren Park table every Monday at the Farmers’ Market, 3 – 7 pm by the Town Square, for (physically distanced) activity tips.

The program is geared for kids aged 6 or under… or for all kids-at-heart.

And you can win prizes! Take photos of your Sorauren Summer Kids Fun creations and activities, and tag @SoraurenPark on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. There will be a weekly draw for free popcorn, redeemable at the concession stand at the Sorauren Park Outdoor Movies once they start up again (fingers crossed!), plus one grand prize at the end of the summer from Scooter Girl Toys, our Sorauren Summer Kids Fun sponsor.

Check SoraurenPark.com every Monday or our @SoraurenPark social media sites for each new activity.

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Dogs of Sorauren series returns for second year

The Dogs of Sorauren video series returns following a successful debut last year

The Friends of Sorauren Park are pleased to launch a second season of Dogs of Sorauren Park, part of the Sorauren Stories video series created last year during the pandemic.

The first profile features Pepsi and owner Elyse. The videos can be seen on SoraurenPark.com, on @SoraurenPark social media platforms, and on the Friends of Sorauren Park YouTube channel, where the entire Sorauren Stories video catalogue is available for your viewing pleasure.

Follow us to watch more videos over the summer. Many thanks to the owners, the pooches, and the Friends of Sorauren Park summer students, Dion Lynch and Amanda Vo, who are compiling the series and working on more exciting summer programs for the community.

Thanks also to our new Dogs of Sorauren Park season sponsor, Master Mechanic High Park. If you follow Master Mechanic, you’ll know why!

Construction starts June: Charles G. Williams Park

A sign erected by the City of Toronto on a fence by the park says construction will start in June 2021 and last until this fall.

The City of Toronto says construction will start this month on the revitalization of Charles G. Williams Park across Wabash Avenue from Sorauren Park. The project has been in the works for several years; construction signs recently went up around the park.

The park will be closed during construction, which is expected to last till this fall. Design highlights include:

  • A new playground, new landscaping and new pathways
  • New surface on the basketball court
  • A new junior single-court basketball pad
  • A new splash pad, replacing the wading pool
  • New bocce ball court and outdoor ping-pong table
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FOSP endorses Wabash design option 5 “Angler”

aerial diagram, looking north over the park, showing the "Angler" option nestled against the rail corridor, with additions behind and partially on top of the existing Canada Linseed oil mill building.
Screen shot showing option 5, the Angler, from City survey of design options. Visit toronto.ca/WabashCRC to take the survey and have your say.

The City has unveiled for public comment five site design options for the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park. From May 5 to May 31, you can complete the City’s survey seeking feedback on the five options. The City will also be holding a virtual public meeting May 11 at 6:30 pm via Zoom to review the design options. Take the survey or register online for the public meeting at the City’s Wabash Community Centre project page.

Because the programming plan, including a pool, requires more space than what is available at the site of the old Canada Linseed Mill property at 40 Wabash Avenue, all five design options have an impact on the park.

The board of directors of the non-profit Friends of Sorauren Park (FOSP) has voted to support option 5, called “the Angler” by the City’s design consultants, Diamond Schmitt Architects. While none of the options is perfect, No. 5 the Angler has many advantages in the opinion of FOSP, including:

  • least impact on the park, tucking the community centre along the back
  • preserves the Town Square and Fieldhouse, in which the City and community have invested more than $1 million and which are key elements of the park
  • the only design that preserves the full grassy slope facing the Town Square and creates an integrated hardscape/softscape community event space, enhancing the way the park is used for outdoor movies and performances (remember the Tragically Hip concert simulcast and Raptors playoff games?!)
  • preserves the popular (and growing) tree grove including the serviceberries near Wabash Avenue, and many other trees cared for by Adopt-a-Tree volunteers in 2014 and 2015
  • speaks to the reality of the rail corridor that cuts the park on an angle, and to the angled Robert Watson condo building north of the park, part of the neighbourhood vernacular
  • the fourth building block tucks neatly into the landscape of the park along the railway creating a “wedge” that becomes a clear focal point on the park side, and an entrance space on the rail corridor side, with the potential for a “great lobby” that invites community interaction
  • accommodates all the City-mandated community centre program plans
  • creates interesting roof space options
  • maintains the circular flow of the park and provides easy access to a planned future footbridge crossing the tracks and connecting the park to the West Toronto Railpath
  • retains and integrates the industrial heritage features of the linseed building
  • aligns with the preferred design principles already outlined by Friends of Sorauren Park and confirmed through FOSP-led community consultations and survey (1,200 responses)

“We’ve looked closely at the options, and while there are always site compromises in a constrained space, in the end there was little debate among the directors,” says Joël Campbell, chair of Friends of Sorauren Park. “Design option 5, the Angler, was the clear winner for us. We look forward to continuing the collaboration with the City and the design consultants as work progresses through the design process.”

That process is continuing through multiple stages, including the current survey and May 11 virtual public meeting. See more details on the City’s Wabash Community Centre project page; excerpt below. We encourage you to get involved.

Virtual Public Meeting

  • May 11, 2021
  • 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

Attend the virtual public meeting to learn about the site design options and share your feedback.

Two ways to join:

  1. Online
  2. By calling 647-558-0588 and using meeting ID: 816 1425 3169. A participant ID is not required

Online Survey

May 5 to May 31, 2021

Complete the online survey to learn about the site design options and share your feedback.

A survey link will be posted on May 5, 2021.

You can also request a hard copy of the survey in the mail by calling 416-642-6605 or e-mailing klamparero@swerhun.com.

Farmers’ Market opens May 24

Three volunteers with the Farmers' Market, wearing their face masks, stand behind a sign outlining the COVID-19 rules for attending the market, taken at the 2020 market outdoors on the Sorauren Town Square.
The Farmers’ Market ran outdoors in the summer of 2020 under COVID-19 protocols.

Note: An earlier version of this article referenced a May 3 opening date. The Market will not open on May 3, and instead will open May 24.

The Sorauren Farmers’ Market is planning to open on Victoria Day, Monday, May 24, outdoors on the park’s Town Square. The Market’s normal outdoor schedule is 3 – 7 pm every Monday.

In normal years the Market moves from its winter home indoors at the Sorauren Fieldhouse to its outdoor home in the park in late May. Pandemic conditions prevented the winter market from opening this past season, replaced by the Farm Box program which has now wrapped up.

Follow Sorauren Farmers’ Market on social media for updates, or visit the Market website. The Market is produced by the Sorauren Farmers’ Market Association.

A letter from the Sorauren Hosers

Evening scene lit by park lights, a lone man with a hose floods the natural ice rink at the park.
The rink is flooded every night at 9 pm by volunteer Sorauren Hosers, and weekend early mornings, when conditions allow.

February 5, 2021

Dear Friends of Sorauren Park, Neighbours of Roncesvalles, Parkdale, High Park, WDW, Junction, Bloor West & Brockton,

We are the Sorauren Park Hosers. A dedicated group of ice enthusiasts who love nothing more than to build a rink for everyone to enjoy. Our group floods the rink at Sorauren Park 9 times a week, logging in over 60hrs of volunteer work to keep the rink quality up and the ice surface safe. That is on top of the scores of hours needed to create over 3 inches of ice just to cover footprints.

The Hoser Crew loves seeing the community enjoy our hard work. This year it was even more important to us to build a usable rink to help offset all the shutdowns and restricted access to recreation due to COVID-19.

Unfortunately, those restrictions also affect our community supported, free-use natural ice rink. The City of Toronto has passed the responsibility of monitoring compliance of the safe use rules onto the Hoser Crew. We have been informed that By-Law officers may be following up to confirm those rules are being respected. Signs have been posted around the rink, but in case you missed them allow us to share them here:

  • NO SHINNY (provincial orders also prohibit practicing, no hockey sticks)
  • MAXIMUM 25 people
  • STAY 2 METRES APART except for members of your own household
  • WEAR A MASK

The one rule we all struggle with the most is “No Shinny”. There is nothing more enjoyable than an afternoon of Shinny with your friends and family. The Hoser Crew loves a good game too. Remember the 2019 Hoser Celebrity Shinny game? That was the most fun that we, as a collective team, have had together in the many years that we have been building this rink.

Over the last couple of days the Hoser Crew has been conversing on how to encourage the community to respect safe use of our hard work. Many of us have had to remind shinny players of the rules and have pointed to the signs outlining the City’s guidelines. Unfortunately, the shinny games continue and we now have to take some additional steps to prevent the potential for fines, rink shutdown or both.

This weekend the Hoser Crew will be redesigning the rink experience by creating snow islands in the middle of each of the two pads. These islands will create more of a skating trail to encourage physically distanced skating and discourage shinny. With the warmer weather Thursday and Friday this seems like the right time to rethink our COVID-era rink. The surface is in pretty bad shape and it will take at least 40 to 50 hrs. of labour Friday, Saturday and Sunday to get it back to where it was last weekend.

From the bottom of our Hoser hearts we thank you all for taking the time to read this message. We also thank you in advance for helping us out by respecting the rules of use. Let’s hope that next season we can all gather again around the rink with a fire, pizza, hot cocoa and enjoy a celebrity shinny game amongst this city’s greatest community!

Drone shot showing Sorauren Rink, snow-covered park and town square, the linseed building and Toronto skyline in the background including CN Tower
Our patch of ice, maintained by volunteers with the support of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. Photo by Oliver Vollmer.

Sorauren Park 25th Anniversary doc now on YouTube

If you missed the debut of our special anniversary documentary on Facebook Watch Party, fear not… you can watch the half-hour doc on YouTube any time you like.

25 Years of Community Building: The Story of Sorauren Park, captures great archival footage from the early 1990s when the community was fighting for the park. See interviews with advocates, then and now, talking about the early days and what the park has become. Other volunteers tell the story of the park and its role as a community hub, including through the pandemic.

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Sorauren Stories: Artists of Sorauren released

Artists Leslie Norgate and Michael Gerry are featured on two episodes of Sorauren Stories: Artists of Sorauren

Sorauren Park’s 25th Anniversary video series, Sorauren Stories, continues this month with the release of Artists of Sorauren Park, two short episodes featuring painters Michael Gerry and Leslie Norgate.

Both local residents, Michael and Leslie have found inspiration in the people, nature, buildings and moods of Sorauren Park.

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City starts community centre consultations Sept. 22

A City of Toronto video invites you to get involved in planning the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park

After a COVID delay the City of Toronto with its consultants and architects is starting community consultations for the new Wabash Community Centre at Sorauren Park.

The first event is a Virtual Town Hall on September 22 from 7 to 8 pm. Virtual small group discussions follow on September 28, and an online survey will run from September 14 to October 5. All details including registration information is posted on the City’s project page. Look under “Get Involved.”

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Take the Tree Tour of Sorauren Park

Join Dakoda, Cedar and Jon for the Sorauren Park Virtual Tree Tour, a series of eight special short videos

Did you know Sorauren Park is home to one of the few surviving elm trees in Toronto? Do you know which tree in the park evolved to proliferate through a special relationship with mastodons? Do you know which park tree is a Great Tree of Peace for the Haudenosaunee Confederacy?

Expand your knowledge of the trees of Sorauren Park by taking the new Sorauren Park Virtual Tree Tour, hosted by our young interviewers Dakoda and Cedar, with special guest expert Jon Hayes of the High Park Nature Centre. The series highlights six special trees, with an introduction and conclusion, and is part of the 25th anniversary celebration of Sorauren Park.

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