Canada-wide data
2023 Surveys
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The latest park data from our surveys of 35 municipalities and over 2000 residents of Canadian cities.

Resourcing & Operations

Ensuring park budgets keep pace with elevated park use is a persistent, overarching challenge with far-reaching impacts, both within parks and within municipalities.

City residents are less likely to perceive their parks as well cared for compared to two years ago, and some city staff are facing burnout and overwork in the absence of adequate resourcing.

However, the public places high value on investing in green space, with the vast majority of city residents in favour of boosted park budgets.

increase in park use in Canada from 2020-2022.
of cities said an insufficient operating budget has been a challenge in the past year, continuing a steady trend since 2020.
said the operating budget is not sufficient to allow the municipality to deliver on all park-related priorities.
of cities agreed it can be difficult to prioritize embedding an equity lens as they are overwhelmed with managing day-to-day operations.
of city residents consider their city's parks and green spaces well cared for, steady from 66% last year but a significant drop from 78% in 2021.
said that a lack of park maintenance is a barrier to them visiting parks in their neighbourhood.
of city residents would like to see more public funding invested in improving city parks and green spaces, stable from 87% in 2022 and 85% in 2021.

Insufficient budgets causing delays, reduced maintenance

We asked: If your operating budget is insufficient, how does this impact your parks department?

Delays in park projects and planning processes
Unable to meet maintenance/operational standards (e.g. frequency of grass cutting, trash pickup, etc.)
Inadequate staffing levels (e.g. leaving positions unfilled)
Burnout and overwork of existing staff
Limited program offerings (e.g. reduced community stewardship opportunities)
None of the above

Maintenance is the top public priority

We asked: If city park budgets are limited, where would you prefer municipalities prioritize resources and funding?

Maintenance (e.g. more regular grass cutting, garbage pick-up, gardening, etc.)
Design (e.g. higher quality park features and amenities)
Community programming (city-led or resident-led)
Not sure
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Don’t see your city on the list?
Thirty-five cities participated in this year's report and we hope more will join us next year.
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