While you might not consider Toronto a city known for its love and romance, a new urban space named the 'Love Park' may have you reconsidering.

Poised to take over the site where the former F.G. Gardiner Expressway off-ramp was located, the park will transform the space from a slab of concrete into a vibrant urban oasis that's set to open next year.

Design team Claude Cormier + Associés collaborated with gh3* to reimagine the former off-ramp, located at the southern foot of York Street and Queens Quay West near Toronto’s waterfront.

The two-acres of space will create a lush urban oasis that creates a playful and immersive experience secluded from busy downtown life while responding to the need for flexible public space in the southern Financial District and Harbourfront neighbourhood, according to Waterfront Toronto.

Love ParkBefore and after courtesy of Claude Cormier et Associés

READ: ‘Love Park’ with Heart-Shaped Pond to Replace Demolished Gardiner Off-Ramp

Love Park delivers on romance, as the pulse of the park is its central heart-shaped water feature -- a universal symbol for love -- that will be illuminated by a pink glowing heart that appears as if it’s floating above.

A mature Northern Catalpa tree will grace the centre of this water feature as it sits on its own dedicated island surrounded by bright pink heart-shaped flowers.

Adjacent office towers will have a unique aerial view of the park’s heart-shaped pond (aligned to true north), Catalpa island, lush greenery, and a suspended glowing heart.

love parkRendering courtesy of Claude Cormier et Associés

While dedicated park furniture surrounds the heart-shaped water-feature and can be moved to suit visitor's comfort and vantage point.

York street park 61 1024x674Rendering courtesy of Claude Cormier et Associés

But more importantly, the new park will offer a welcomed escape from Toronto’s concrete-heavy downtown, with the addition of a lush tree canopy that will surround the park, giving new life to the space. Tree-lined sidewalks will also outline the entire perimeter and internal pathways of the park site, marking the transition into a calm urban refuge.

Love Park will also feature a series of spaces that seamlessly flow into one another, from walkways and large paths that will provide space for seasonal pop-up markets.

Love ParkRendering courtesy of Claude Cormier et Associés

A dog off-leash area will also be located at the northeast portion of the park, while a myriad of open-ended activities could be accommodated within the park including dog walking, people-watching, and outdoor picnics, as well as small gatherings to meet the needs of local residents, office workers, and waterfront visitors.

Claude Cormier + Associés recently won the design competition for a new park at Leslie Slip Lookout, in Toronto’s Port Lands. Located on the Martin Goodman Trail at the entrance to Tommy Thompson Park, the park will include a public beach, distinguished by forested dunes that will create a new multi-use community destination in Toronto’s east end.

The firm is known to have already designed some of the most memorable public spaces in Toronto, including Sugar Beach and Berczy Park.

Construction of Love Park is currently expected to commence in early 2021 and slated for completion in 2022.