People sitting on custom yellow wooden lounge chairs along shaded path with large trees

St. Andrew's Playground Park

Revitalizing Toronto's first playground

St. Andrew’s Playground opened in 1908 as Toronto’s first downtown playground at the corner of Brant and Adelaide Streets, in the heart of what is now known as the Fashion District. Located south of the former St. Andrew’s Market, later replaced by the Waterworks Maintenance building in 1932, the park and playground continued to serve the surrounding community as it evolved from highly industrial to the booming commercial and residential destination that it is today. Leaving the green space largely untouched over the years, the century-old trees thrived, growing into the majestic interwoven canopy of maples, elms and honey locusts that now define the site.


Toronto, Ontario


City of Toronto


  • Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, National Award of Excellence, 2023
Man walking small brown poodle past signage showing historic photos of the park. People sitting on a bench and a woman walking on bright yellow playground surface with large trees in the background.
Two adults chatting amongst children playing in playground. Playground equipment made out of wooden logs with bright yellow rubber surface. Tall tree and large brick building with long rectangular windows in the background

The revitalization and expansion of St. Andrew’s Playground Park elegantly situates updated amenities, improved programming, and better connectivity to the surrounding area while celebrating and protecting the mature trees. Multiple layers of programmable and flexible landscapes anticipate and accommodate open-ended activities for people of all ages and abilities as well as future change.

Large wooden bench and picnic table on light and dark grey patterned pavers with a large tree in the background and concrete pathways on either side of the picnic table.

Animated and welcoming outdoor extensions to the adjacent Waterworks Food Hall and Ace Hotel

Indigenous placemaking design features such as a storytelling circle and a medicine garden were developed in consultation with the local Indigenous community, while the resilient planting strategy includes urban tolerant tree species with pollinator understories.

Tracing the memory of market stalls that once existed in the park, catenary lights illuminate the tree canopy, while strategic heritage signage, raised seating platforms, lounge chairs, communal tables and chairs create an animated and human-centered public space.

Golden retriever and long bench in foreground with people sitting on yellow chairs around bistro tables with large trees and lawn, with tall trees in the background

St. Andrew’s Playground Park is re-imagined, re-connected to its historic past, and re-defined as a dynamic central community space.

Aerial view of St. Andrew's Playground Park, showing triangular dog off leash area, large tree canopy, and bright yellow surface of children's playground in the shape of two tear drops bisected by a paved path.