Waterfront Toronto and City of Toronto officially open Love Park

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The City of Toronto and Waterfront Toronto officially opened a new waterfront park in June.

Two-acre Love Park is described as “a lush urban refuge for surrounding residents, workers and visitors” on the waterfront. The site is a new green space that repurposes the former Gardiner Expressway off-ramp at York Street and Harbour Street.

“Love Park embodies the ongoing efforts and leadership to embrace innovative and exciting community spaces through collaboration with the Government of Canada and multiple waterfront partners,” said Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie. Our combined dedication has helped create North America’s largest urban redevelopment program and one of the most extensive waterfront revitalization efforts in the world.”

The park’s design was inspired by an international design competition with the winning submission from landscape architects CCxA in collaboration with gh3* and Arup.

Features include:

  • Large shallow, heart-shaped pond at the park’s centre, combined with existing and newly planted trees to create a tranquil area amongst the bustling city streets.
  • Pathways and seating areas
  • Nine bronze-cast Canadian animals and moveable café-style tables and chairs sponsored by the Waterfront BIA.
  • Off-leash area for dogs.

“Designed to respond to the community’s desire for flexible public spaces that provide sanctuary from the bustle of downtown, this new park provides an inviting green space for people to connect with nature and the waterfront,” said Stephen Diamond, chair, Waterfront Toronto.

Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, called on international design professionals to develop a vision for two new waterfront parks and invited talented and experienced design teams to pre-qualify for a competition seeking design proposals for Toronto’s York Street Park and Rees Street Park.

More than 40 design teams from 18 cities world-wide submitted proposals during the pre-qualification stage of the competition, which launched in partnership with the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation in February 2018. The five shortlisted teams for each park were:

York Street Park

  • Agency Landscape + Planning (Massachusetts) + DAVID RUBIN Land Collective (Philadelphia)
  • Claude Cormier et Associés (Montreal)
  • Hapa Collaborative (Vancouver)
  • PLANT Architects (Toronto) + Mandaworks (Stolkholm)
  • Stephen Stimson Associates Landscape Architects (Massachusetts) + MJMA (Toronto)

Rees Street Park

  • PUBLIC CITY Architecture (Toronto)
  • SCAPE Landscape Architecture (New York)
  • Snøhetta (New York) + PMA Landscape Architects (Toronto)
  • Stoss Landscape Urbanism (Boston) + DTAH (Toronto)
  • wHY Architecture (New York) + Brook Mcllroy (Toronto)

 

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