The City of Toronto's Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division will be hosting the first public meeting for St. Andrew's Playground Park Improvements project on September 18, 2019, from 6:30-8PM at Metro Hall (55 John Street), Room 310. A project update along with draft concept plans will be presented. Learn more here

DTAH has been selected as the design lead for improvements to St. Andrew’s Playground Park, a 1.45 acre park with heritage significance located at 450 Adelaide St West in downtown Toronto. The project includes a revitalization of the existing park that will provide updated amenities, improved programming, and better connectivity to the surrounding area, as well as an expansion of the park through the transformation of the parking lot on the western edge into City parkland. St. Andrew’s Playground is part of a larger park and open space network, and this project will act as an important next step in implementing the City's new Downtown Plan and its accompanying Parks and Public Realm Plan. The City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Department is providing overall leadership for this project.

Located within the King-Spadina District, St. Andrew’s Playground Park is an important public amenity for a dynamic and evolving community. The park features mature trees, flower gardens, seating and portico, picnic tables, a playground, passive areas with lawn, and a dog off-leash area. The park is also historically significant in that it was the site of the City’s first public playground for children, located next to the site of the former St. Andrew’s Market, a public market hall which was built in 1850 but was demolished in 1932.

The City of Toronto - Parks Forestry and Recreation division will be hosting a public meeting to discuss the progress of the Lower Don Trail – Master Plan Refresh on Tuesday, September 17 from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. at Regent Park Community Centre, Banquet Hall, 402 Shuter Street. Learn more here

The Lower Don Trail Master Plan Refresh provides an update on the Lower Don Trail Master Plan (2013). The Plan is funded by the City of Toronto, and being carried out in partnership with Evergreen and project consultants DTAH. The purpose of the refresh is to build on its predecessor by;

- Expanding existing principles into a larger study area, encompassing all natural/ravine land between Corktown Commons to the junction of the Don River in ET Seton Park

- Coordinating with relevant City plans, City strategies and new development proposals that are next to or may have an influence on the study area

- Recognizing and celebrating recently completed work, including but not limited to Phase 1 improvement works

- Charting upcoming and approved projects, including ‘Phase 2’ improvement works

- Building a list of actions, categorized into Short, Mid and Long-Term project considerations

- Developing new strategies for users to better engage with the trail network and ravine system

Related Projects

DTAH is honoured to have received an Award of Merit - Visions and Master Plans for the Humber Bay Park Master Plan at the 2019 Toronto Urban Design Award (TUDA). DTAH is also delighted to be part of the design team, led by Perkins+Will, for Albion Library which received an Award of Excellence - Public Buildings in Context. The 2019 TUDA program acknowledges and celebrates those who are helping to improve communities by shaping the physical environment and recognizes the significant contribution that architects, landscape architects, urban designers, artists, design students and city builders make to the look and livability of our city. Read the Jury Report here

Related Projects

DTAH Partner Brian Brownlie will be participating in TimberFever 2019 as a mentor on September 13, 2019 at Ryerson University. TimberFever is an annual four-day design-build competition open to architecture and civil engineering university students across Canada. Presented by Moses Structural Engineering, their mission is to create collaboration between students of architecture and engineering, while developing design, construction and communication skills that will be invaluable to their future careers.Learn more here

The jury for the 2019 Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence has been announced, and includes Joe Lobko, partner at DTAH, Cindy Wilson, founding principal of LWPAC and Intelligent City, and Rami Bebawi, co-founder of KANVA. Architectural photographer Ema Peter will be joining the panel as a special juror for the Canadian Architect Photo Award of Excellence.

Since 1967, Canadian Architect has sponsored an annual national awards program recognizing projects in the design stage. Student Awards of Excellence are also awarded for final-year projects by Canadian architecture students. Submissions for the awards are due September 12, 2019. Learn more here

DTAH Partner Megan Torza will be speaking on a panel on rethinking liveability in the design and development of multi-unit housing at the 7th annual Active House Symposium. The symposium will take place September 16 and 17 at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto. Learn more here

The Active House Alliance is an international non-profit association. The ambition for the Alliance is to create a viable, independent and international influential alliance, which supports the vision of buildings that create healthier and more comfortable lives for their residents without impacting negatively on the climate and environment – thus moving us towards a cleaner, healthier and safer world.

Experts in sustainable architecture and development explore the main factors governing liveability and sustainability in multi-unit buildings today, including designing for wellness, alternatives to conventional development models, and the affordability of more sustainable approaches. Panelists include Alex Speigel, a principal of Windmill Developments who focus on low ecological footprint buildings and communities; Megan Torza, principle at DTAH leading a number of the firm’s sustainable developments; and Terri Peters, a PhD in sustainable housing and researcher on the human and social dimensions of green building; along with moderator Heather Dubbeldam, an architect and leading advocate for sustainable design. This panel discussion explores how Active House principles can be applied to the design and construction of multi-unit housing to reinforce human health and comfort, promoting wellbeing without negatively impacting the environment.

A new stormwater management facility has been recently implemented at Gage Park in Hamilton.

Often referred to as one of Hamilton’s park network crown jewels, Gage Park offers 28.8 hectares (71 acres) of open green space in the heart of the city. As one of Hamilton’s most popular public spaces, the park began to deteriorate over time through heavy use and the increasing demands of a growing population and changing environment. To address this, the City commissioned landscape architecture, architecture, and urban design firm DTAH to develop a new Master Plan which was completed in 2010. The plan is designed for long term management and rehabilitation of the historic park, balancing the past vision and use with current urban pressures and community needs. A significant conservation challenge was the need to design new innovative stormwater management that protected the adjacent neighbourhood while respecting the historical park legacy.

Building on this Master Plan, DTAH worked with Wood PLC to develop stormwater management relief on the east side of Gage Park. The Rothsay community on the east side of Gage Park had been struggling with basement flooding. The old original infrastructure was designed to be a ‘combined sewer system’ where all waste water from the houses, such as toilets, sink and bathtubs, was mixed with the rain and snowfall that fell on the streets. This created a large volume of water that was directed to one system. The new stormwater management facility involves diversion sewers that separate the two systems and brings stormwater from Rothsay Avenue and Kensington Avenue South into Gage Park in the stream location identified in the 1920 Dunnington-Grubb master plan. This temporary storage swale reduces flooding by allowing a significant amount of the stormwater to be brought into the swale in Gage Park, while native plant material and sediment filtering stone help to absorb the stormwater.

Finding new space for parks in an increasingly dense city is often difficult and complicated. Enter the Green Line, a unique linear park system that will contribute to the broader open space network in Toronto. The vision to make this 5-kilometre long provincially-owned electric transmission (hydro) corridor also function as a publicly accessible open space has been a long-standing goal of local citizens and the City. A continuous Green Line is an important east-west pedestrian route just north of the downtown core that supports the objectives of the Downtown Parks and Public Realm Plan adopted by Council in May 2018.

The Green Line Implementation Plan was prepared by a team led by DTAH for the City of Toronto, in partnership with Park People. The plan presents a comprehensive design framework that includes guiding principles, an approach to developing the Green Line over time with a priority phasing plan for implementation, and specific design strategies for both parks and streets that together will guide the development of this linear park system. The Plan proposes a high quality public open space system with a recognizable visual identity that meets the needs of the community, invites people to a unique setting, and becomes a part of the lasting legacy and image of our city. The final report was completed in July 2019 and is now available online here