790 Queen St. W. (Strachan)
Land purchased in 1851, sold to the City in the 1950s; 36 acres
Known for: City's "hippest" park
"Artsy" park built from earth dug up for the Bloor subway!
Trinity Bellwoods has been described as one of the hippest and most cultured of Toronto's public spaces. It plays host to many art shows, art installations and cultural events. It also is the only place in Toronto with white squirrels and a buried bridge.
The land was purchased in 1851 by Bishop John Strachan, who wanted to provide Toronto with an Anglican-based university. Here he built the first Trinity College. You can still see the stone and iron entrance gates of the original building, facing Strachan Avenue. When Trinity College was amalgamated with the University of Toronto in the early 20th century, all of the buildings were demolished except the St. Hilda's College building, now serving as a senior's residence (John Gibson House on Crawford).
The buried foundations still lie just north of the park's circular (and the chapels are buried near the tennis courts). When the land was developed as a park in the 1960s, it was built up on top of the remnants of Garrison Creek. As the construction of the Bloor subway line was underway, the creek was filled in and the land levelled, using earth dug up from the tunnels. One of the bridges that had been there since 1915 was the Crawford Street Bridge. To this day, the bridge lies buried, totally intact, under the surface of the park.
During the summer, the park is a very popular spot for young Torontonians to enjoy the outdoors. The park's facilities include a children's playground, a wading pool, sports fields, 3 baseball diamonds, and eight tennis courts. There is also an artificial ice rink that is used for pleasure skating, permit hockey, shinny hockey, women's and girls' ice hockey, and a hockey school. The Trinity Community Recreation Centre, at 155 Crawford Street, has an indoor pool, a gymnasium, a track, and a weight room.
Until the 1950's, Trinity Bellwoods was a designated arboretum. Many of the original arboretum trees are still standing, some over 100 years old. Among the park's diverse species are sugar maples, a shagbark hickory tree, black locusts, willows, metasequoias, oaks and elms.
Every year on November 1, the park hosts the annual Pumpkin Parade followed by the Pumpkin-Toss! Arrive around 9pm to toss the pumpkins (we remove the candles) into the bin provided by the city, for composting.
The latest improvement is the solar-powered greenhouse in Trinity Bellwoods Park built literally in the last two-and-a-half months at no cost to the City of Toronto thanks to donors and volunteers called the "Green Force".
Trinity Bellwoods is the home of the Queen West Art Crawl, a three-day weekend long festival of creativity and community. It's designed to celebrate and promote the art, culture and diversity of Queen West in Toronto. The Art and Culture Festival features a juried selection of the province�s best artists and artisans, and also has a Kids Zone, Performance Zone and Toronto's best food vendors.
The original residence of Trinity Bellwoods Park, Old Trinity College (1852-1950) was built by Bishop John Strachan - Toronto Archives, 1913.