Resources

We engage with communities to help them improve and animate their parks. We produce tools and research and partner to deliver funding resources that support your grassroots efforts.

How-To Handbooks for Community Park Events

parks-toolkits

Park People’s Park Toolkit is a series of handbooks to help you host events at your local park. At the heart of our work is the belief that when communities get involved, parks get better. The Park Toolkit is your way to meet neighbours, strengthen community ties, and make good use of vital green spaces across Toronto.

Park Friends Group Guidebook
2012
This guidebook is the founding document for Toronto’s urban parks movement; it explains what you will need to start and run a successful park friends group. Get tips for working with your councillor and the City, recruiting volunteers, and managing finances for your group.
Download this handbook (PDF, 2MB)

Adopt-A-Park-Tree Manual
2013
This handbook describes how to bring Adopt-A-Park-Tree to your community. This program allows local park volunteers to care for newly planted trees in their critical first years of growth.
Download this handbook (PDF, 3MB)

How-To Host a Campfire in the Park
2014
Campfires are a great way to bring a community together. This How-To handbook will walk you through the steps to host a campfire at a park near you.
Download this handbook (PDF, 2MB)

How-To Host a Movie in the Park
2014
Hosting a movie in your park is a great way to create a safe, fun space to bring community members together from all ages and backgrounds for a free event. This How-To handbook helps you every step of the way.
Download this handbook (PDF, 1MB)

How-To Connect with Nature in the Park
2014
Parks are social gathering spaces, but they are also places where we can support, celebrate, and reconnect with the natural world of our city. This How-To handbook explains the many ways you can enhance the natural environment at your local park.
Download this handbook (PDF, 1MB)

How-To Host a Picnic in the Park
2014
A picnic in the park can be a great way to celebrate a special occasion or meet new friends and neighbours. This How-To Handbook will help you bring your community together around great food.
Download this handbook (PDF, 1.5MB)


Featured Park Group
We’ve created feature videos of park groups across Toronto that host events of various types in parks across Toronto. Click hereto watch.

Acknowledgements:
Made with the support of the WC Kitchen Family Foundation. 

We’d like to acknowledge the following for helping put our Park Toolkit together:
City of Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation
Toronto Public Health
Gravity Inc. Design 

Contributors:
We’d like to thank the following contributors for their time providing resources and information for the Park Toolkit:
TRCA – Arlen Lemming
TFN – Margaret McRae
Lost Rivers – Helen Mills
Don Watershed Regeneration Council – Margaret Buchinger
Highland Creek Green Team – Brian MacFarlane
LEAF – Janet McKay
Leslie Coates – City of Toronto
Jane Weninger – City of Toronto – Environment Zoning By-law and Environmental Planning
Canoe Gardens – Aidan Dahlin Nolan
Natural Environment and Community Partnerships Unit – Karen Sun, Jessica Iraci, Cheryl Post
Toronto Bruce Trail Club
High Park Nature Centre
High Park Nature and High Park Stewards
Evergreen

New Playground at Woodford/Jeff Healey Park

Governments, many foundations and corporations are strong supporters of good parks and they have funding available to help you make a difference in your park. Contact us if you have a question, a problem or if you have ideas for additional funding sources that we could list.

The W. Garfield Weston Foundation initiated the Weston Family Parks Challenge in 2012 announcing $5 million, in aggregate over three years, to enhance Toronto’s green spaces while encouraging private-public partnership for the long-term sustainability of Toronto’s parks.

Building on this success, the Ontario Trillium Foundation has announced $1.25 million in new funding for projects as part of the Weston Family Parks Challenge and to strengthen the capacity of Toronto Park People. Ontario Trillium Foundation’s support will be available over the next two years to provide greater incentive for communities to revitalize their connection to each other and nature.

Evergreen provides funding for community stewardship initiatives in partnership with Toyota (for schools) and WalMart (for parks and community groups).

Grants for playground and park improvements.

Grants and resources for improving playgrounds.

Live Green Toronto offers various levels of grants, including:

  1. Live Green Toronto Community Investment Program (CIP): Up to $25,000 for community projects on greening or improving sustainability.?
  2. Live Green Toronto Capital Projects Fund (CPF): $25,000-250,000 for larger scale projects involving physical construction and structures –new or retrofits ?

Operating and capital grants to support community work and park improvements.

Up to $5,000 for projects within these areas of focus:?

  • Protecting and preserving the Canadian Environment ?
  • Assisting young Canadians in understanding and participating in Environmental activities ?
  • Supporting urban renewal such as environmental projects to rejuvenate smaller or at-risk neighbourhoods and

Small grants for park-based projects that sustain and enhance Toronto

 

Reports on Parks

Park People: Making Connections

2015

Park People’s report ‘Making Connections’ (PDF, 7 MB) proposes strategies for creating a network of parks and open spaces that can connect our parks, ravines, hydro and rail corridors, streets, laneways, schoolyards, and other public spaces. Read the report now >

Park People: Impact Report

2014

Our 2014 Impact Report highlights our impact in 2014, building strong communities by animating and improving parks, placing them at the heart of life in the city.

Click here to download the report.

Park People: Growing Opportunities: Investing in, revitalizing, and sustaining Allan Gardens

2014

One of the oldest parks in the City of Toronto, Allan Gardens and its historic conservatory provide a unique space in the heart of downtown Toronto amidst a diverse and bustling neighbourhood. With these assets, Allan Gardens represents an unparalleled opportunity in the city to create a truly vibrant, active public space for the surrounding community, the wider city, and visitors to Toronto—an opportunity that a renewed focus and energy can help bring to life.

The report recommends that a new partnership model focus on the conservatory and adjacent gardens, with a full-time project manager needed to engage with the community, the City, and potential funders to lay the necessary groundwork for a success.

City of Toronto: Parks Plan

2013

The Parks Plan guides strategy and development for Toronto’s 20,500 acres of parkland. Unveiled by the Department of Parks, Forestry & Recreation in early 2013, it was approved by the Parks & Environment Committee, and will go to council on May 7, 2013 for final approval.

Park People’s involvement in the Parks Plan

  • In the years leading up to the final plan release, Park People was consulted on numerous occassions, and a number of our recommendations appear in the plan.
  • Park People Director David Harvey deputed at the April 22nd Parks & Environment Committee meeting, endorsing the plan and encouraging proper implementation.

Park People: Pathway to Parks – A New Way Forward for Toronto’s Parks

2011

Timed to coincide with the with City budget deliberations and consultations on a new Parks Plan, Pathway to Parks offers Toronto Park People’s budget neutral solutions to improve Toronto’s parks.

 

Park People: Fertile Ground for New Thinking: Improving Toronto’s Parks

2010

In 2010, Toronto Park People Executive Director Dave Harvey used his Fellowship with the Metcalf Foundation to research and write this report on improving our parks. The report was very well received and became the inspiration for launching Park People.

Some excellent organizations working on city park issues here in Toronto and around the world.

Centre for Local Research into Public Space – affiliated with the Friends of Dufferin Grove Park.

GreenHere envisions a thriving urban forest created and sustained through an engaging and accessible stewardship process, optimizing public space and land usage in marginalized communities.

Not Far From The Tree puts Toronto

How-To Guidebooks

Park People’s Park Toolkit is a series of handbooks to help you host events at your local park. At the heart of our work is the belief that when communities get involved, parks get better. The Park Toolkit is your way to meet neighbours, strengthen community ties, and make good use of vital green spaces across Toronto.

Park Friends Guidebook

Screen-Shot-2015-12-15-at-2.09.30-AM-600-web

This guidebook walks you through what you need to know to start and run a successful volunteer park group. Get tips for working with your Councillor and the City, recruiting volunteers and managing your group’s budget.Download this handbook (PDF, 2MB) 

 

 

 

 

Adopt a Tree Manual

Adopt-A-Park-Tree-webspreads_1.1_Page_01-600-web

Learn how to bring an Adopt-A-Park-Tree to your community. Learn how local park volunteers can care for newly planted trees in their critical first years of growth. Download this handbook (PDF, 3MB)

 

 

 

 

 

How-To Host a Campfire in the Park

PP-FirePit-In-A-Park-Guide-v4_Page_01934-600-web

 

This How-To handbook walks you through the steps to host a campfire at a park near you. It’s a great way to bring people together. Download this handbook (PDF, 2MB)

 

 

 

 

How-To Host a Movie in the Park

PP-movie-in-a-park-manual-v6_Page_01-600-webHosting a movie in your park is a great way to create a safe, fun space to bring community members together from all ages and backgrounds for a free event. This How-To handbook helps you every step of the way. Download this handbook (PDF, 1MB) 

 

 

 

 

 

How to Host a Picnic in Your Park

PP-picnic-in-a-park-manual-v7_Page_01-600-web

A picnic in the park can be a great way to celebrate a special occasion or meet new friends and neighbours. This How-To Handbook will help you bring your community together around great food.Download this handbook (PDF, 3MB)

 

 

 

 

 

How to Connect with Nature in the Park

PP-Nature-In-A-Park-Guide-v2_Page_01-600-webParks are social gathering spaces, but they are also places where we can support, celebrate, and reconnect with the natural world of our city. This How-To handbook explains the many ways you can enhance the natural environment at your local park.Download this handbook (PDF, 3MB)

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