Best Small Public Spaces
#8 Corktown Commons

Clients seeking to immigrate to Canada often ask me why they should choose Toronto. In response to these frequent queries I thought I would create some top 10 lists of my favourite things in Toronto. These lists won’t include the typical tourist sights which anyone can Google, but rather the places and things that are off the beaten track and make Toronto special. These spaces and things are not necessarily “destinations” but instead moments of respite on a busy day…

Coming in at #8, some could fairly argue that the Corktown Commons is not a “small space” given its 18 acre size, however there are so many great little pockets of interest within the park that I think individually they meet the definition.

Corktown Common is situated on former industrial lands. The revitalization of the land began as far back as the 1980s but finally came to fruition with the addition of Waterfront Canada partnering with the province and city to finance the project. This is brand new public space where none existed before. Situated just east of the Distillery and accessible from the Don Valley bike/walking path, the area is chock full of great small spaces. The Corktown Commons includes new forested areas, wetlands, a playground and splash pad overlooking the city and much more.

Why Corktown? One theory has it named after cork manufactures located in the area which supported local breweries.