Plans for Art Park in Willowdale (UPDATED) – Lee-Lifeson Art Park

Update (September 2016):

For the most recent news on the Park’s official opening, click here.

Update (July 2014):

Our upcoming one-of-a-kind Art Park will be named after two famous Willowdale musicians if, as expected, North York Community Council approves my initiative in August.

The Art Park will be a place for the community to celebrate and observe the creative arts. We’re still at the design stage, which is producing some very exciting ideas. Construction of the park, located between Princess and Hillcrest, just east of Doris, will begin next year.

I wanted the park to be named after some accomplished Willowdale artists and was delighted when Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson agreed to have it named after them. The two grew up in Willowdale, where they met in Junior High and formed the band Rush. Members of the band, which was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame last year, have received world-wide success and acclaim for the level of their musicianship.

The name choice does not mean that there will be any loud music in the park. It is being designed as an area which will encourage tranquil creativity. Any performances will be quiet and designed only for small audiences. Amplified music with large audiences will continue to be performed at nearby Mel Lastman Square.

Update (April 2014):

Work continues on the design of the new North York Arts Park east of Doris between Hillcrest and Princess Avenues.   It’s scheduled to open in 2015, with permanent art installations, changing art exhibits, small scale acoustic performances, and an overall experience that doesn’t exist anywhere else in Toronto.

Learn more about it – or better still help us design it – Tuesday, April 22 at7 PM in the cafeteria at Earl Haig Secondary School.  (100 Princess Ave)

Original Post (October 2013):

After many years assembling property between Princess and Hillcrest Avenues east of Doris, we are about to proceed with plans to design and build a new park.  We are planning to make it an “Arts Park,” providing an outdoor location to experience and celebrate the arts.  The design process will take place this year and construction will begin (and hopefully finish) in 2014.

Representatives of North York Arts, the  Toronto Arts Foundation City of Toronto Parks staff, and a landscape architect have been working with me to develop some preliminary concepts.  We are looking to include some permanent art installations along with locations for changing art exhibits and performances.  The plans will also include an area suitable for small-scale acoustic performances, together with a natural seating space.

Before proceeding with any detailed design, we now want to get your comments and suggestions.  Accordingly, we have scheduled a meeting for Monday, October 28 at 7:00 PM at the North York Civic Centre Member’s Lounge at 5100 Yonge Street.

If you are unable to attend the meeting, but wish to be involved, please contact Brian Liberty by e-mail or at 416-395-6412.