WATCH ABOVE: Corktown Common opened two years ago in the west Don Lands community. Since then, it has become an award winning park, regularly attracting local residents. Cindy Pom reports.
TORONTO – Ivan Sherry’s two year old son is finally old enough to run around and enjoy the splash pads at Corktown Common.
Except the West Don Lands park will now close for the entire summer.
“I just think it’s outrageous,” said Sherry who tries to visit the park every weekend with his family.
“I think it’s interesting that we cordon things off for athletes running marathons all summer long but when it comes to summer for our children, can’t we find a way to allow the park to be accessible?” he questioned.
The award-winning park that opened two years ago will become part of the Athletes’ Village for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games. Several signs in the park note it will be closed to the public from June 1 until August 31. However, because the park is within the security perimeter fence line for the Games, it’s possible that it won’t re-open until September 30, when the demobilization phase is officially over.
“We hope to have it open as soon as we possibly can when the Games are done,” said Pan Am spokesperson Neala Barton without giving an exact date.
Responding to criticism from area residents, Mayor John Tory defended the park closure.
“I think that the sacrifices we make as a community for the greater good are something we should be mindful of and happy about,” he said.
“I hope people can be patient and just agree that there are some sacrifices we have to make for security reasons that are all about making Pan Am a huge success and putting Toronto on the map so we can build more parks,” Tory added.