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Toronto Gets New Community Centre and Public Park



Bessarion station, previously the least used subway station in the Toronto Transit Commission, would soon become a major hangout for Torontonians. The station would be getting a new community centre and public park. According to reports, the centre would be massive, spanning eight acres in the Concord Park Place.

The Concord Park Place is a forty-five acre, master planned community, in the heart of North York. The project, which has been under construction for almost a decade was planned to have a park, a community centre and over two hundred thousand square feet of retail space. The site up until the 1960s was a farmland. It is still surrounded by single-family homes erected in the 1950s and 1960s.

The 45-acre piece of land which lies next to Ikea, was once owned by Canadian Tire. The company sold the land in 1999 to the development company Concord Adex. Demolition of the old buildings began in 2007.

At the end of the project, the site is expected to be transformed into a multi-tower condo complex that could accommodate up to 10,000 people. The complex is expected to contain about five thousand condominiums in 20 buildings. The buildings would be a mix of both high rise and mid-rise. The park project would be funded by Concord, owned and operated by the city, and would be completed sometime next year.

The park would be open to both residents and non-residents and some prominent features, as reported on Blogto, would include:

  • A tear drop-shaped reflecting pond that chills over into an ice skating rink in the wintertime.
  • A good number of public art pieces, including work from notable artists like Michael Belmore, as well as a curving pavilion and trellis by Studio Kimiis called "Droplet" which will be scattered across the park.
  • Some tree-like structures somewhat reminiscent of Singapore's Supertree Grove, but the Canadian version, and much smaller.
  • A reflecting pool which will transform into an ice rink in the winter.

In addition to the Woodsy Park, there would also be a community centre. The new Bessarion Community Centre (BCC) will be spanning a massive 209,000 square-feetwhich would make it the largest community centre in the entire city. The centre is expected to be completed in two years.

Some of the features would include a 13,000 square-foot public library branch, an underground parking lot large enough for 196 cars, and a 6,4000 square-foot childcare facility and a massive 27,000 square-foot aquatic centre with one six-lane pool running 25-metres, and a smaller leisure pool. A 38,000 square-foot gym which would contain a running track, fitness studio, weight room, community hall with a kitchen, and a number of recreational rooms.

The multi-tier condo compex would house up to 10,000 residents and these residents are expected to have access to way more amenities than would be available to the public, this includes amenities such as private bowling lounges, yoga studios, billiards room and a tennis court.