City Profile

Population: 2956024

  • Toronto is one of 19% of cities with a standalone biodiversity strategy and one of 63% with a citywide park system master plan updated within the last 10 years.
  • Toronto is one of 52% of cities with a policy to waive park permit fees for financial need.
  • At 2.7 hectares of parkland per 1,000 people, Toronto sits in line with other dense cities such as Montreal and Vancouver.
  • In 2019, Toronto released its new Parkland Strategy—a 20-year master plan to guide park development and improve access to parks in the city.
  • Toronto is conducting a citywide study on how to improve off-leash dog areas to accommodate population growth.
  • Toronto approved an implementation plan for its Ravine Strategy that includes extra funding towards conservation, clean-up measures, and community stewardship.
Data 2020


ha parkland per 1000 people

8096 ha total parkland


of total parkland is natural area

3693 total ha


of parkland is environmentally significant/protected

1892 total ha


of total city land is parkland

63020 ha of total city area


Dog parks


Community gardens/urban farms


volunteers per 1000 people

6,000 total


community park groups


Policy to waive permit fees for groups with financial need?


Parks operating budget per person

$160,115,185 total¹


Total parks capital budget


Total philanthropy/sponsorships


Provincially legislated tools available for parkland development

Community Benefits Charge²

¹This year's budgets include only the portion for Parks, whereas the numbers reported for 2019 included the entire Parks, Forestry and Recreation budget. ²This tool was introduced in 2019 and is still under review. Previous Provincial legislation allowed 5% of development site or cash-in-lieu.

related Toronto stories

Small is Mighty
How seemingly small actions and community-led urban biodiversity projects across the country are having a big impact.
Deepening the Conservation Conversation
How we can both deepen the conversation about biodiversity and broaden it to include more people.
Connecting the dots
Why habitat corridors are important for urban biodiversity and what cities are doing to make sure parks large and small are connected.
Take me out to the dog park
How cities are dealing with the high demand for—and high controversy around—dog parks.
The Space Squeeze
As populations and development boom in many cities, finding space for new parks is creating challenges—and spurring innovation
The New Wave of Parks
Leading examples of projects that use creative measures to expand parkland
Don’t just tick the box—think outside of it
Why community engagement requires going deeper—and broader—to provide meaningful opportunities for people to see themselves reflected.
Power to the People
Park groups of all types are delivering outsize impacts for their communities through collaborative programming—but they need support in order to thrive.
Feed them and they will come
How creative community groups and city support are growing connections through food in parks.
Accessibility Beyond Design
Cities and communities are using creative programming, training, and tech-based interventions to make parks inclusive for people of all abilities.
Towards Equitable Parks
How to ensure we are prioritizing equitable park development as part of the COVID-19 recovery

Don't See your City on the List?

Twenty-seven cities participated in this year's report and we hope more will join us next year.

Learn how to participate in 2021