Toronto has one of the highest rates of obesity in North America.
But it’s also one of only a few places in the country where a small number of volunteer groups have come together to create a park.
“I am thrilled to be able to have a volunteer guide, because the volunteers know the history of the park, the history that has been there for generations,” said John Boudreau, the president of the Toronto Park Board.
“It’s not just a playground.
It’s a heritage site.”
Parkland is a small, suburban park in Etobicoke, Ontario.
It has a parkland amphitheatre, a community garden and picnic areas, a playground, a basketball court, a canoe and kayak launch and a creek.
“The park is really a great model for community-led, self-sufficient development,” said Boudère.
“When people are involved, they’re really invested.”
The park is named after a former Toronto councillor, John Diefenbaker, who built it in the 1950s to make room for a community of volunteers who volunteered for the park and other community projects.
Diefenaerbaker died in 2013 at the age of 85.
Boudier is planning to build the park on top of a former industrial site that once housed a gas company.
“He loved the neighbourhood and the park,” said park board president Dan Laughlin.
“This was his backyard.
He really loved the park.”
The volunteer groups say they’ve received a lot of support from the city and the provincial government.
“We are very excited about this, and we want to be a part of this,” said Laughlin, adding that the park is also an opportunity to learn about the history and culture of Toronto.
“Our mission is to educate people about the park’s history, and to teach people about how to be involved in the park by participating in community activities, like the park volunteer program.”
In an interview with CBC News, Laughlin said he’s excited to have volunteers involved with the project.
“If it’s a successful project, I want to see what happens next,” said the park board’s volunteer coordinator.
“For us, it’s about getting to the bottom of who is behind the park.
We don’t want to put a lot on people that are out of work.”
The group plans to start in March.
The volunteer program, which is being developed in partnership with the Canadian Society for Historic Preservation, is open to people who want to learn more about the city’s history.
It will include tours of the city, including an overview of the history, parks, history and heritage of the area.
The volunteers will be paid $1,000 and are expected to stay at the park for six weeks, and will be able pick up their own trash.