It looks a little out of place in the urban jungle that surrounds it. The unassuming, manicured Rose Garden sits on the corner of Yonge Street and Park Home Avenue, offering those who live and work in the nearby dozen or so high-rises a little green relief.
It is one of the few relatively new green spaces on this central Yonge Street corridor that can still be considered a park — not a half-hearted parkette or concrete community space. And over the past year, it has become a symbol of the struggle of green spaces to survive in the face of pressure to develop.
Last year, Menkes Developments Ltd. faced opposition from the city and local residents when it unveiled plans to build two 42-storey condo towers on top of the park. The final plan will save much of the park, but when the towers are finished, only a tiny swath of land will be visible from Yonge.
There are no official numbers showing how much green space on Yonge in the GTA has disappeared over the past few decades, partly because of the piecemeal way in which the city has been planned. Yet, city planners, environmentalists and politicians all acknowledge there is very little, if any, available green space left on the city’s central corridor.