Skip to content

'Project is in very good hands': Newmarket residents get updated look at Mulock park project

Town plans for solar panels, art programming at the yet-to-be-named park
20211209-Mulock presentation
PLANT Architecht Inc. Founder Lisa Rapoport speaks during a Facebook live event Dec. 9.

From solar panel parking lots to an artist-in-residence program, Newmarket residents got an updated look at the vision for the Mulock park project Dec. 9.

Approximately 45 people attended an online information centre for the latest design of the town's $40-million initiative to remake the property at Yonge Street and Mulock Drive that it purchased in October 2018 for $24 million.

The municipality sought feedback and ideas as it prepares to move into the detailed design stage, with a targeted construction start of early 2023 at the latest. 

Mayor John Taylor said the feedback is valuable and encouraged everyone to continue to send it in.

“I really, really genuinely believe this is becoming stronger and stronger and clearer and a better vision because of all the consultation and time we’re taking to think things through, get it right, and get that critical feedback,” he said. 

The project is slated to feature the historic house at the centre of the property once owned by Sir William Mulock as a meeting place, a skate trail and pavilion, a natural playground with logs, a conservatory and diversity gardens, and an art studio space. Public participants expressed enthusiasm for the project and offered suggestions through a Facebook live session.

Art was a focal point in the meeting. Consultants from PLANT Architect Inc. discussed ideas to have permanent artwork near the Mulock and Yonge entrance, a program spanning the site and a studio space including an artist-in-residence program. The town hopes to develop a public art program to bring together local, regional and international artists. 

Art programming and events would also be part of that, but planners said they will ensure it fits.

“We want to make sure any kind of programming like that is the right scale of the site,” Art + Public UnLtd principal Rebecca Carbin said.

The town is also proposing to place solar panels over the parking lot, which will feature about 70 spaces. Geothermal power will also be used as a source of electricity. The town is also planning landscaping work, including some tree removal.

PLANT founder Lisa Rapoport said there is a desire to keep it a “quiet” place. Although lights will operate in the evening, she said they would be contained in the site and balance wildlife needs. 

“Being a residential neighbour with the skating path 10 feet from our backyard, it is reassuring to hear that the lighting and noise will be planned with neighbours in mind,” attendee Pat Foran said. 

Indigenous art features are also under consideration. The town plans to consult with Indigenous peoples, though planners indicated they wanted to speak with them before deciding on anything for the project. 

Participants offered suggestions, including a meditative garden or path, live art tutorials, short-term art and a desire to keep the space quieter.

“The vision looks (and) sounds solid,” Will Lottering said. “Given the strategic location, it may balance the busy Fairy Lake Park, which seems to be rather busy nowadays.” 

Although the site will honour the family through a “Mulock Commons” area, the park remains technically unnamed, with Mulock Park being a placeholder. Taylor said that is something that should get addressed soon.

Planners intend to finish a detailed design by the end of spring, with the contract going out by next fall. Development and infrastructure services commissioner Peter Noehammer said construction could start in late 2022 or early 2023, with a hopeful completion date of 2025.

“I feel like this project is in very good hands from what I've seen,” attendee Michael John said.

The presentation is available on the municipal Facebook page.

You can offer feedback on the project at