The creation of a new public park at Ontario Place where a derelict 7.5-acre parking lot existed for forty years. The Client and Landscape Architects facilitated several community and stakeholder design workshops to find common ground around the park vision with its varied components.
"Where nature meets culture and culture is inspired by nature‚ a project phrase that had both natural history and First Nations cultural significance. The geologic and vegetative evolution of Ontario provided the initial design inspiration for this significant waterfront park. Glacially formed features and the ancient shorelines of Lake Iroquois, the Niagara Escarpment, moraines, drumlin fields, eskers and ravines became part of the geological design palette. Combined with native plant communities, the park had its foundation. The metaphorical expression of these landscape systems offered a living laboratory of learning that incorporates environmental classrooms that will be used by schools.
The designed framework consists of an upper woodland and lower shoreline plains with an interwoven and connected waterfront trail system, with landforms like drumlands interspersed with a sculpturally abstracted natural bluff. Included is a cultured granite ravine and topography to create the illusion of additional space while creating moments of discovery ranging from big vistas to intimate experiences.
The Moraine Bluff a major component was composed off-site and reassembled at Ontario Place with millimetre accuracy. It is a place for imaginative play, visual interest and quiet retreat.
Another feature - The etched Moccasin Identifier Ravine granite wall is symbolic of the heritage trails and First Nations that followed Ontario's river systems.
Contributing to the natural textures of the park, 1,240 native trees and 15,000 native shrubs and perennials have given rise to a thriving new ecosystem along the waterfront. Microclimates were created that will continue to enable further natural regeneration of the landscape over time.
Client: Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Client Representative: Infrastructure Ontario
Sub-Consultants: Baird, Blackwell, Creative Irrigation Solutions Inc., Form:Media, Land Survey Group, Nadia Molinari, Schaeffers Consulting Engineers, SLR Global Environmental Solutions, Urban Forest Innovations Inc., West 8, WSP.