Toronto’s human and raccoon populations may not always love each other’s presence, but there’s no questioning the nocturnal mammals’ role as city mascots — and a new park is set to honour them as such.
As our trash pandas’ hilarious escapades keep making headlines and providing us with some essential entertainment (and, often, a bit of trouble), the City and a local developer are deep into work on a new green space that pays homage to T.O.’s raccoons
It will boast a ton of features that passersby are already starting to notice in the Yonge and Eglinton neighbourhood.
A giant wooden raccoon head has already appeared at centre of the future Holly Park, just southeast of Yonge and Eglinton, bringing smiles to people’s faces as they wonder about the project and anticipate its completion.
The City told blogTO that this eye-catching critter will actually be climbable, just one part of a new playground on the site. There will also be a splash pad, a leaf-shaped shade structure, tons of local plants, seating, and more.
A representative added that this isn’t the only park in the metropolis that honours our favourite urban animals: another proudly bearing a series of raccoon sculptures is set to open near Richmond Street East and Power Street next month.
“Both parks offer playful references to Toronto’s love-hate relationship with raccoons,” they said.
Commenting on a series of photos of Holly Park-in-progress that one local shared to socials in recent days, residents are expressing excitement for the new public space, joking that “this is the kind of infrastructure we need!”
As one stated, “I love how much Toronto has embraced the raccoon as its spirit animal. I can’t really think of another city-animal relationship that’s quite so prominent.”
While Holly Park sits on the site of Plaza Midtown, a new condo complex that serves as just one of countless going up in the area, it will be a city-owned and operated park when it debuts at the corner of Soudan and Dunfield avenues in spring 2024.