Glass City Metropark
There is no better place to marvel at the mighty Maumee River.
Glass City is the start of bigger things to come, and a destination in its own right. A glass pavilion with rooftop plants and plazas, a sledding hill, walking paths, an event lawn for 5,000 people and incredible views of the city, the new park is a go-to spot beside the largest river on the Great Lakes -- the Maumee.
What a View!
From beside the river to atop the pavilion or sledding hill, enjoy views of the Toledo skyline, historic Waite High School and the Anthony Wayne, Martin Luther King Jr., Craig Memorial and Veterans Glass City Skyway bridges.
What you see today is Phase 1, bordered by the Maumee River, Front Street, the Marina Lofts apartments and E. Broadway. But there is much more to come.
Phase 2, with an ice skating ribbon, adventure play areas and a campground, will be under construction in 2021-2022. A bridge over Main Street will connect Glass City with International Park, which will also be renovated as a new Metropark.
Glass City Riverwalk will connect both sides of the Maumee River, in East Toledo and downtown. See GlassCityRiverwalk.com for more details.
“This is only a beginning, by this time next year, phase one will be well underway as plans are being finalized for the next phase. What we are creating is not only a beautiful Metropark, but a gateway to our community. This is an important step in the renaissance of our entire waterfront on both sides of the Maumee.”
— Scott J. Savage, President of the Board of Park Commissioners
Phase 1 (now open) includes:
- A 3,500-square-foot pavilion with restrooms, a concession window and green roof. The building will accommodate 150 people.
- Rooftop plaza space
- An event lawn that will accommodates 5,000 people for special events
- A sledding hill
- Aggregate and asphalt walking paths
- Water access for fishing, canoeing/kayaking
- Shoreline restoration
- Reforestation with more than 2,000 trees as well as prairie plants
- Stormwater wetlands and bioswales
- A boardwalk over water with seating
- The realignment of Riverside Drive
- A 70-vehicle parking lot
- A new curb cut for park access from E. Broadway Street
A separate contract has been awarded for construction of a bike and pedestrian bridge over Main Street to connect Glass City Metropark with the City of Toledo’s International Park.
Since September 2018, Metroparks has purchased 67 acres of riverfront land from ProMedica for just under $6 million, with more than $4 million of the purchase price paid for by the Clean Ohio Fund. A federal Department of Transportation grant will pay for nearly $1 million of the $1.2 million cost of the bridge. Additional funding from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and U.S. Forest Service will support habitat restoration and reforestation.
“The success of Middlegrounds Metropark and the tremendous amount of support and input from the community on this project demonstrate the potential for this to be the start of a truly transformational project for our region. Our vision is to have connected neighborhoods on both sides of the river that will enhance our quality of life and property values, and project a fresh, welcoming face of northwest Ohio.”
— Dave Zenk, Executive Director of Metroparks Toledo
Phase II Construction Begins
As construction on Phase I of Glass City Metropark has completed. X grants recently awarded to Metroparks will help fund construction on Phase 2, roughly between E. Broadway and the National Museum of the Great Lakes:
- The Ohio Department of Natural Resources awarded a $200,000 grant through the Coastal Management Assistance Grants programs.
- The Toledo Community Foundation awarded a grant of $100,000 from the William and Elsie Knight Fund of the Toledo Community Foundation to support preliminary engineering and design work.
Phase II Features to include:
- Ice Skating Ribbon
- Mini-Maumee water play area
- Picnic Shelters
- Marina Drive will be realigned as part of the project
- Building at 815 Front Street will be renovated as a community center
- A bridge over Main Street will connect Glass City with International Park, which will also be renovated as a new Metropark
“The funds will enable the park system to conduct a comprehensive planning process necessary to transform the property into a world-class waterfront. Just as important, they are an early vote of confidence in the project from important community partners.”
— Dave Zenk, Executive Director of Metroparks Toledo
What Others Are Saying
President, Toledo Mud Hens, Toledo Walleye and Hensville; Chairman, Metroparks Toledo Foundation
“Many riverfront communities have come to realize that they had turned their backs on their most important asset, a river. Although many rivers served an important industrial purpose at the beginning of the last century, today’s purpose is even more impactful. The Maumee River can serve multi-purposes: it can continue to serve commercial enterprises while also being a place to enjoy a vibrant, healthy lifestyle. By doing so, people in other communities have responded – they are moving back into a downtown setting, especially one that offers recreation on a riverfront.”
President and CEO, ProMedica
“There is strong evidence that parks stimulate economic development in local communities. The work of Metroparks Toledo along the riverfront will help strengthen nearby businesses and neighborhoods, attract new investments and bring visitors to the area. As an anchor institution headquartered in downtown Toledo, we are excited to see this level of progress in our community and look forward to having a first-class, waterfront park nearby.”
President, Huntington Bank Northwest Ohio Region, and chair of the board of ConnecToledo
“Glass City Metropark is a forward thinking project that will make Toledo an even greater place to live, work and play. The enhancements to the Maumee River will be a catalyst for redevelopment in both Downtown and East Toledo. A revitalized riverfront will provide better access to the riverfront, more space for community events and places for people to enjoy natural amenities in an urban context. These plans are important to make our entire region more competitive. Making Toledo a great place to live is imperative to keeping local talent, and talent is essential for economic development.”
former Toledo City Council Member, District 3, East Toledo
“The start of the construction of Phase 1 of the Glass City Metropark in East Toledo marks the culmination of many years of collaborative work and investment to not only further open the Maumee riverfront to the residents of East Toledo, but to also begin the development of an exciting and adventurous new park that will attract regional and national attention to Toledo's riverfront and neighborhoods.”