OCAD U celebrates Grange Park opening

People lining up to cut a yellow ribbon
Monday, July 10, 2017

After 15 months of construction, historic Grange Park officially reopened Saturday, July 8, with an afternoon of musical performances, magic, croquet and other free activities. Two hundred people cut a 600-foot ribbon, including OCAD U President Sara Diamond, MP Adam Vaughan, MPP Han Dong and City Councillor Joe Cressy.

Flanked by the AGO to the North and OCAD U’s central campus to the East, Grange Park has long been a space for students to relax and socialize. New furnishings and an improved layout will make it even more inviting for the entire neighbourhood. Two new playgrounds, a splash pad and an off-leash dog area are among the improvements, and the Henry Moore sculpture, Large Two Forms, has been moved from its Dundas and McCaul Street corner to the park, where it can be appreciated from all angles.

OCAD University has had a place at the Grange Park Advisory Committee (GPAC) table since discussion of the renewal began. It’s estimated 150,000 people live within walking distance of the park.




Child seated at a table colouring, photo Adam Wiendels
Sara Diamond, Gillian Siddall and Robert Luke in Grange Park with Sharp Centre in the background, photo Adam Wiendels
Sharp Centre viewed from Grange Park, photo Adam Wiendels

Saturday celebration of Grange Park opening

Poster for Grange Park event, July 8, noon to 4 p.m.
Friday, July 7, 2017

The Grange Park Advisory Committee invites you to celebrate the completion of the park revitalization project!

Starting at noon and running to 4 p.m., the festivities include:

  • Free refreshments
  • Musical performances
  • Face painting
  • Artmaking (hosted by OCAD U)
  • Strolling magician
  • Croquet games
  • Dog photo portraits
  • Tai Chi demonstration

Join President Sara Diamond, Gillian Siddall, Vice-President, Academic and Robert Luke, Vice-President, Research & Innovation for the ribbon-cutting ceremony at 1:30 p.m. when 200 pairs of scissors will be handed to the public to cut the 600-foot ribbon.

The Grange Park revitalization project has increased the number of trees in the park, and includes two new, large playgrounds as well as a splash pad. Perennial flower beds are surrounded by new benches and seating. An off-leash dog area, washrooms and improved lighting have been added. As you may have seen, the Henry Moore sculpture, Two Large Forms, is now in the park where it can be viewed from all directions in a new, grassy setting.


Let’s Celebrate Grange Park!

Saturday, July 8, 2017 - 12:00pm to 4:00pm

The Grange Park Advisory Committee invites you to celebrate the completion of the revitalization project.

Saturday July 8 2017
12:00 – 4:00 p.m.
Grange Park
(south of Dundas between Beverley and McCaul)

Ribbon cutting ceremony at 1:30pm – Everyone gets to cut the ribbon!

Refreshments, performances, art-making, face painting, dog portraits… and more!

Venue & Address: 
Grange Park (south of Dundas between Beverley and McCaul)

Park Walk

Park Walk is a mobile social and environmental mapping project, engaging aspects of trail orientation and nature identification, cultural activities, historical insights, and bio-regional mapping. The project invites contributions, in actual and virtual narrative space. Visitors may capture personal recollections in the park locations, to be taken away as a souvenir, or left behind onsite, and retrieved by others. Over time, with the addition of community member’s and visitor’s experiences, a veil of user-generated narratives has become layered over the community park space.

The Grange Park Walk is associated with both OCAD University and the Art Gallery of Ontario, whose buildings it borders. The project was initiated during the building of the new Frank Gehry addition to the AGO, and partially charts its progress, providing an historical timeline of the architectural construction, as well as a glimpse into the past, prior to the imposing new building’s presence in the park. The project is open source and available for collaboration or adaptation, with the hope of enabling deeper interaction between visitors, the community, and their public spaces. The Park Walk Project was developed by Martha Ladly and Bruce Hinds at OCAD University, as part of the Mobile Digital Commons Network, and has been designed and mapped to augment Toronto’s Grange Park and the Spring Creek Trail in High Park, and the Hoodoos Trail in Banff National Park, Canada.


Park Walk Banner
Park Walk Poster
Park Walk Project
Friday, April 12, 2013 - 3:30pm
Lab Member: 
Martha Ladly
Bruce Hinds

Grange Park Spring Clean Up Fri. April 17

Thursday, April 16, 2015 - 4:00am

The Grange Park Advisory Committee (GPAC) cordially invites neighbours and friends to join in a spring clean-up of Grange Park on Friday, April 17, 2:00 to 3:00 p.m., as part of the City’s “Clean Toronto Together 2015” initiative.  

Please come to the south side of Grange Park just outside University Settlement to pick up your gloves and garbage bags.  Toronto Parks department is providing rakes and paper bags to clear up the dead leaves. 

For more information contact Minesh Mandoda mmandoda@ocadu.ca

Grange Park Revitalization Project Community Meeting

Monday, July 7, 2014 - 10:30pm to Tuesday, July 8, 2014 - 12:30am

Organized by the Grange Park Advisory Committee (GPAC)

Please come to this community meeting to review the feedback that was received from our April 22 meeting and to learn more about the design that has been developed for the Grange Park revitalization project.

In co-operation with:
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
Grange Community Association (GCA)
Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCAD U)
St. George the Martyr Church University Settlement
City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation

For more information, please contact:
Bev Carret, AGO – Bev_Carret@ago.net
Ralph Daley, GCA - ralph@grangecommunity.ca
Joan Heeler, St. George the Martyr Church – joan_b_h@yahoo.ca
Ena D’Altroy, University Settlement - Ena.Daltroy@universitysettlement.ca

Venue & Address: 
Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO), 317 Dundas Street West, Toronto, Ontario
416-979-6660 ext. 477

OCAD U students envisage Grange Park as an urban oasis designed for everyone

Monday, January 30, 2012 - 6:15pm

Winners of the university’s annual design competition reimagine
the downtown Toronto park with an eye to inclusivity and accessibility

(Toronto—January 30, 2012) Two teams of students have tied for first place in OCAD University’s annual design competition For All, which this year challenged students to redesign Toronto’s Grange Park as an outdoor space that engages people of all ages, abilities and culture. The winning formula was both teams’ approaches to the design process, which looked at the history of Grange Park and its connections to the community.

Over the course of four intense days, 14 teams of students responded with design concepts to turn Grange Park into an environment without barriers that supports a communal experience designed for full enjoyment and participation. “At OCAD U we embrace the notion that excellence flourishes in inclusive environments that value diversity and equity,” said Beth Alber, Associate Dean of OCAD University’s Faculty of Design, and organizer of this year’s competition. “What better way to demonstrate this than to invigorate what is literally in our own backyard?”

One of the competition’s major requirements was for students to apply The Principles of Universal Design as developed by The Center for Universal Design at NC State University, to their concepts. These principles stipulate that designs need to be equitable, flexible, simple and intuitive, that they communicate effectively, have a tolerance for error, require low physical effort, and use appropriate size and space.

Fourth-year Environmental Design students Bettina Carating, Alissa Bryson, Alexandra Chacinski, Rui Felix (third-year Environmental Design) and Vuk Dragojevic (fourth-year Integrated Media), created the concept Making Moments: Gather. Play. Transit. Repose. It transforms the park into a culturally vibrant space that hosts a variety of community-oriented events and activities, such as weekly markets, performances and exhibitions. Using Universal Design Principles they added new pathways, lighting and accessible and interactive water features into the playground zone that enhances the parks exploratory learning opportunities.

Students Hannah Smith, Calvin Kuo, Maxyne Baker (third-year Environmental Design), Bohdan Anderson (thesis Graphic Design) and Matthew Kalimin (third-year Graphic Design) are co-winners of first place. Their concept Sense. Play. Engage. is a response to the team’s realization that universal design is not a resolution of boundaries, but rather a sensitivity and awareness of the diversity of all people and their experiences of a space. Their concept invites users to meander through the park using their senses: touch, scent, sight, movement and sound, with the intention of reconnecting the user with urban nature. Each team receives a $1500 prize.

A keynote talk delivered by Judith Heumann, Special Advisor for International Disability Rights at the U.S. Department of State kicked off the competition. Huemann’s talk, which attracted wide attendance from Toronto’s community of people with disabilities, encouraged audience participation and evolved into community discussion around advocacy, awareness, acceptance and integration of people of all abilities.

Competition sponsor, the Centre for Independent Living in Toronto (CILT) also took part in mentorship sessions over the weekend. OCAD University is grateful for both CILT’s generous sponsorship and participation in sharing the organization’s insight and experience with students. 

Other winners of the competition include:

Third Place ($500): Arula: community hearth and gathering place
Designed by Andrew Morson, Corey Mostacca, Karan Patel, Ksenija Gogic, Sakari Hartikainen (fourth-year Industrial Design) and Cassandra Tice (third-year Graphic Design)

Honourable Mention: A Park FOR ALL Seasons

Designed by Joanne Jin (fourth-year Material Art & Design), Benjamin Verdicchio (second-year Environmental Design), Anton Kotelenets (fourth-year Illustration) and Brad MacDonald (second-year Advertising)

Concepts by all of the student teams are on exhibit until Friday, February 3 in OCAD University’s Great Hall (Level 2, 100 McCaul Street, Toronto). For more information on the competition and the exhibit, visit OCAD University’s website.

More about the competition
OCAD University's Design Competition is an annual event wherein interdisciplinary teams of three to six students are presented with a design challenge — usually a real-world issue — and over the course of an extended weekend asked to respond with their solutions. Faculty advisors with expertise relating to the challenge are on hand on Saturday to answer questions about concepts and technicalities, and students must present their designs by the end of day on the following Monday. Past competitions have challenged students to improve the public transit customer experience, to redesign the public space in front of Toronto Police Service’s 52 Division headquarters and to imagine the kinds of products or services that might exist 10 years into the future. Many of OCAD U graduates cite the challenge as one of the most important experiences in their time at the university. 

OCAD University (OCAD U): 135 Years of Imagination
OCAD University (www.ocadu.ca) is Canada’s “University of the Imagination.” The university, founded in 1876, is dedicated to art and design education, practice and research and to knowledge and invention across a wide range of disciplines. OCAD University is building on its traditional, studio-based strengths, adding new approaches to learning that champion cross-disciplinary practice, collaboration and the integration of emerging technologies. In the Age of Imagination, OCAD University community members will be uniquely qualified to act as catalysts for the next advances in culture, technology and quality of life for all Canadians.

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Download this release as a PDF document.

For more information contact:

Sarah Mulholland, Media & Communications Officer
416-977-6000 Ext. 327 (mobile Ext. 1327)