Why a Square? (Our Purpose)

Reinvest in the City’s downtown core

The City of Toronto’s Official Plan sets out the vision for a vibrant, competitive, safe and livable downtown. At the heart of the city, the area surrounding Yonge and Dundas was targeted for significant improvements.

The intersection of Yonge and Dundas is Toronto’s number one visitor destination. The goal was to create a strong, dynamic area, bringing Yonge Street back to its former glory. In 1996, the Yonge Street Regeneration Project was initiated by a partnership between the Yonge Street Business and Residents Association and the City of Toronto.

Restore the vitality of Yonge and Dundas

The objectives of the Yonge Street Regeneration Project are to create a renewed sense of place, attract additional retail and entertainment development to the area and to improve its appearance and safety. Toronto City Council approved the Redevelopment Project in 1998.

The center-piece of the Regeneration Project was the creation of a new public space at the southeast corner of Yonge and Dundas Streets. The new Square is surrounded by several redevelopment projects featuring major new retail and entertainment uses.

Redefine urban space

Yonge-Dundas Square is a unique focal point of the area. The Square is designated for use as a public open space. It is also designated as an event venue that can accommodate events of various sizes. A wide range of activities - community celebrations, theatrical events, concerts, receptions, promotions - would appeal to residents and tourists alike and showcase local businesses.

A unique aspect of the Square is that it is not operated like other Civic Squares in the city. City Council decided to install a Board of Management to operate Yonge-Dundas Square as a business venture. The first Board of Management for the Square was appointed in 2001.

Revitalized Yonge and Dundas

Yonge-Dundas Square was opened to the public in November 2002 with a sneak preview of one of the Square’s key design elements in motion. Twenty fountains, a spectacle of water and light, set the stage at Yonge-Dundas Square. The preview was the first opportunity for the public to see the Square come alive before its official opening in 2003.

Yonge-Dundas Square Board of Management is a board of the City of Toronto
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