The concept for Love Park, in the heart of Toronto’s urban waterfront, was to replace a decommissioned off-ramp of the Gardiner Expressway with a green oasis – with love of the outdoors as its theme.

Green infrastructure permeates the two-acre park and is part of a growing use of nature-based solutions in cities to address increasingly intense rainfall by promoting “sponginess” or natural absorbency.

Arup provided engineering input for the winning design of the international competition held by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto. We brought to life the design of green infrastructure designed to naturally absorb stormwater through multidisciplinary services including structural, mechanical, electrical, geotechnical and civil engineering 

By implementing nature-based solutions and green infrastructure into the design of Love Park, Arup’s team helped create a space that is as resilient as it is inviting. We have worked with the City of Toronto to create Green Infrastructure Guidelines – accessible and comprehensive technical standards that support the implementation and life cycle of green infrastructure in Toronto.  

Protecting and preserving the city’s waterfront

Arup addressed groundwater clearance by designing a shallow yet extensive stormwater management system that enhances the site’s potential for water retention and detention. Layers of bio-engineered soil buried beneath elevated grassy mounds are hydraulically connected and maximise the return of water to the soil. 

For added resilience, overflow connections discharge water into the local stormwater sewer system only after the bioretention network is saturated.

I deeply appreciate Arup’s first-principles approach to innovation. They’ve helped make Love Park a site-specific stormwater sponge ready to handle more extreme events in the future. 

Marc HalléCo-President


Arup’s green and blue infrastructure expertise recognized across Toronto

Arup has leveraged its expertise in green and blue infrastructure in other Toronto parks, including Corktown Common, Aitken Place Park, and Leslie Lookout Park, which will be completed in the summer of 2024. We have also worked with the City of Toronto to create recently adopted Green Infrastructure Guidelines involving extensive consultations with industry professionals and local community groups. The guidelines are proven, accessible, and comprehensive technical standards that support the implementation and lifecycle of green infrastructure in Toronto, and will be used by consultants, developers and contractors on future construction and road retrofit projects in the city.