Moss Park Toronto, Ontario
Project timeline: 2016 - ongoing
Client: City of Toronto, The 519
Development Team: Portman Holdings
Scope: Park Design
Size: 15 acres
With: West 8 urban design & landscape architecture, p.c.
Claire Agre, Principal & Senior Landscape Architect
Design Partners: MJMA, Public Studio
Consultants: LGA Architectural Partners, SvN Architects + Planners, EMC Group Limited, Blackwell, Smith + Anderson
More Moss Park is envisaged as a frame of public program elements (building, landscape, and art) surrounding an open public common. The revitalized park will provide not only new recreational opportunities, but, more importantly, a flexible, inclusive, and timeless park for everyone.
The park redesign places programming along the edges, with sports activities along Sherbourne Street, a promenade along Queen Street East, and family facilities like a splash pad and playgrounds along Shuter Street. These three edges are activated with plenty of inhabitable thresholds between city and park, while the western edge is held by the new community centre that can open directly onto the park.
The site’s history is drawn out through a poetic reinstatement of ‘lost’ topography from the time of Toronto’s founding, and approximately half its existing trees will be preserved and integrated into an improved urban canopy. The many desire lines across the park are echoed by a nuanced, wandering path network that provides a respite from the city grid and maximizes encounters between users. The park is also organized around an iconic elevated pathway that provides a meeting point in the park, as well as wide views of the Toronto Skyline.
The new park design reinterprets this site’s longstanding tradition as a host to community, providing inclusive, multi-scalar, and simultaneous recreational spaces and programs in response to the needs of the local community.