Taylor Park in central Torquay is Crown land and managed by the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority (GORCAPA). It began as a place for fishermen’s’ huts and tents in the 1860s. Requests to purchase it for redevelopment were first stopped by the Lands Department and in 1917 it eventually came under the management of the Torquay Reserves and Parks. The name Taylor Park came about in 1921 for John William Taylor who was one of the first trustees of Torquay Reserves and Parks. John was chairperson of the Trustees and also President (1909-1916) of the Torquay Improvement Association (TIA) at the crucial time when the Lands Department had to be convinced to maintain the land as a public reserve and not subdivide the land for sale. Recreational activities have included camping (in the 1880s), golf (a course was temporarily established and used until 1924), and bowling and croquet (from 1924. In 1950 Taylor Park was proclaimed a sanctuary for “native game” and a man-made lake established in the southern portion of the park in 1975-76.
In the 2009 Surf Coast Shire Heritage Study Taylor Park was considered on a local level aesthetically, historically and socially significant. It demonstrates important visual qualities that symbolise the initial aspirations of the Torquay Improvement Association and the early residents when the land was withheld from public sale for the purpose of public recreation and is now recognised and valued by the Torquay community as an historic place for public recreation and bird life.