Recreation in Downsview
Downsview Park encompasses 572 acres making it Toronto’s largest recreational destination. The focal point is the Downsview Hangar – a former WW2 structure that was used to store aircraft – that has been converted into a 45,000 square metre multi-purpose recreational facility that includes indoor multi-purpose sports fields, beach volleyball courts, basketball courts and a ball hockey arena.
Downsview Dells Park located at the north-end of this neighbourhood is part of a scenic 4.7 km. paved trail that follows the Black Creek Valley north to Black Creek Pioneer Village, a restored pre-Confederation village at Steeles Avenue West. Downsview also contains a number of smaller recreational parks whose facilities range from tennis courts and baseball diamonds to children's playgrounds.
The Downsview Arena at 1630 Wilson Avenue offers public skating and hockey league programs to the local community. To the south of the arena is the Downsview Lawn Bowling Green.
The Downsview Public Library at 2793 Keele Street offers a myriad of programs for adults, children and preschoolers.
Yorkdale Mall and North York Sheridan Mall both have movie theatres.
Recreation at Toronto’s Largest Urban Park
When you think of Downsview in North York you might immediately think of Yorkdale Shopping Centre, the Allen Expressway and the former Canadian Forces base (CFB Toronto) that occupies a huge swath of land that extends from WilsonHeights to Keele Street and from Wilson Avenue to Sheppard Avenue West.
Now there is a new neighbourhood landmark: DownsviewPark. Situated on the former CFB Toronto land, DownsviewPark is Canada’s only national urban park. This mammoth park sits on 572 acres of green space conveniently located right in the middle of Toronto, making it accessible for all to enjoy.
Development of DownsviewPark began in 2006; it’s still a work in progress. It will continue to evolve over the next few decades, as the master plan calls for the creation of five new neighbourhoods with mixed use including residential, parkland, commercial, educational and institutional. This is one of the largest redevelopment projects ever initiated in the city of Toronto.
In respect for the land’s former use — the home of De Havilland Aircraft Company and later a Canadian Forces base — this development includes the historical preservation of the former Downsview Hangar, a collection of steel, glass and concrete structures that once stored WWII aircraft. The Hangar is now enjoying a new life as a 45,000 square metre multi-purpose recreational facility that includes indoor fields, beach volleyball courts and ball hockey arena, as well as a pro shop and a restaurant called The Hangar Grill.
Downsview Park also has a Discovery Centre and Film Studios and has been able to attract a number of exciting tenants including: Canadian Air and Space Museum, Defcon Paintball, Downsview Park Arts Alliance, Downsview Park Merchants Market, Grand Prix Kartways, HoopDome, North York Soccer Association, The Rail Skate Park, Toronto Roller Derby League, Toronto School of Circus Arts, Treble Clef Music School and True North Climbing.
In addition to all its permanent facilities DownsviewPark hosts events year-round. A fall fair, a three-on-three street hockey tournament, a spring Earth Day festival, Downsview Park’s Trail of Lights during the Christmas season, and Canada Day at Downsview Park are just a few of these annual events. With all of these great facilities and events DownsviewPark is sure to become one of Toronto’s most popular recreational destinations.
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