Garrison Common, the park to the west of Fort York and part of Fort York National Historic Site, is sacred ground. The Common is a valuable remnant of Toronto’s 18th century landscape – the original ground on which urban Toronto was founded in 1793. It became part of Fort York’s field of fire defensive system. And this is where the final moments of the Battle of York (1813) occurred. Thanks to a leading gift from The W. Garfield Weston Foundation and support from TD Bank Group, this historic landscape, with its military burying ground, is now being carefully rehabilitated by DTAH Landscape Architects.
A beautiful series of red wayfinding panels (pictured, above) have been designed and are now being installed across the 41-acre National Historic Site. These panels help the visitor understanding the history and geography of the site, including the story of the Battle of York.
Garrison Common will soon connect to a greater (to be expanded) Stanley Park on Wellington St West, east of Strachan Ave, via the new Fort York Pedestrian-Cycle Bridge. The construction contract for this bridge has now been awarded and the bridge is expected to open in spring 2017. Also adding to parks and open space in the Fort York Precinct is Project: Under Gardiner and Lower Garrison Creek Park. This dramatic expansion of green space around Fort York is contributing to a greater Fort York park system in downtown-west Toronto. You can read about these developments in the November 2015 issue of The Fife and Drum, published by The Friends of Fort York.