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

In July 2019, a 2000kg granite boulder, estimated to be between 1.2-1.5 billion years old, was unearthed at Major and Bloor Streets during the construction of a new parkette designed by DTAH for the Bloor Annex BIA. The design of the four new Bloor Annex BIA parkettes involves three main components: Pollinator planting, sustainably supplied wood, and salvaged glaciated quarried stone. The unexpected discovery of this billion-year old granite boulder on the site is a pleasant surprise, and very fitting given the parkette’s design which aims to celebrate Toronto’s dynamic natural environment. We’re excited that we now have the opportunity to incorporate this boulder into the parkettes and plan to place it in the pollinator planting area at Howland Parkette adjacent to the recently completed the Bee Mural.

DTAH were part of a multi-disciplinary team who developed a healthy and complete community framework for the long term evolution of five areas in the City of Mississauga anchored by shopping malls that were originally conceived as nodes or centres within their respective neighbourhoods. The “Reimagining the Mall” project ensures that any future development will improve the quality and function of the physical surroundings, promote active lifestyles, and support local retail offerings in a mixed-use environment.

The work resulted in policy and guidance to address challenges and opportunities in the redevelopment of mall sites, and a comprehensive demonstration plan that reflects the vision and guiding principles for the five community nodes. Overall, the undertaking has received great interest from landowners, developers and other municipalities faced with the evolution of similar retail commercial mall sites in their communities. The Directions Report received unanimous approval by the City of Mississauga Council in June 2019. All project presentations and reports, including the final Directions Report, can be found online here

On July 20, 2019, the City of Toronto and Botanicus Art Ensemble celebrated the re-opening of MacGregor Fieldhouse.

Originally constructed in 1934, the role and function of the Fieldhouse has evolved alongside the growth and evolution of the surrounding park and community. The revitalization was initiated by Botanicus Art Ensemble (BAE) who commissioned DTAH to conduct a Feasibility Study in 2016 to investigate how the building could be renovated, expanded and made more energy efficient in order to transform it into a year-round community hub, supporting park use and community programming. The revitalized Fieldhouse has been expanded and now includes a heating system, new warming kitchen, renovated and new washrooms, and more.

The Town of Milton is currently developing a Major Transit Station Area (MTSA) Mobility Hub Study that will support the future redevelopment and intensification of this area. Identified in the Milton Official Plan, Halton Region Official Plan, Places to Grow Regional Growth Plan, and the Metrolinx Regional Transportation Plan as an Urban Growth Centre and Anchor Hub, this part of Milton is planned to integrate Regional Rail, Rapid Transit and Local Transit Service that will serve as the catalyst for change.

DTAH were a key member of a multi-disciplinary team who determined the optimal use of the area within walking distance of the Milton GO Station. Recommendations included a new network of streets and blocks, a broader mix of uses, context-sensitive built form, and the potential to improve and enhance public streets, spaces and physical connections.

A series of public community meetings have taken place throughout the project. The display boards, presentations, and other material shared at these meetings can be accessed online here

Keele Finch Plus is a City of Toronto Study about planning for the future of the area and how to best leverage investment in subway and light rail transit (LRT) for the benefit of the community and city. The goal is to develop a planning framework to encourage the right kinds of growth and investment in the area and direct investments into broader community improvements. Led by DTAH, the study will result in a preferred option that demonstrates the best way to support intensification, enhance the public realm, and plan for the future of the area.

The June 2019 Community Open House materials are now available online here. Please feel free to review the material and provide the City with feedback by Friday, July 26, 2019.

DTAH Associate Yvonne Battista, along with process design engineer Genevieve Kenny, will be presenting a lecture on Thursday, July 4 2019, 6-8PM at Cummings Theatre at the University of Waterloo. This free lecture is part of the Common Waters Exhibit which addresses our relationship with each other and our environment.

Lecture: What Happens to the Water After it Rains?

When it rains, it pours. And pours. Whether you believe the erratic storms and increased downpours are attributed to climate change or our planet’s natural evolution, the frequency and intensity of precipitation is on the rise. So what happens to all the rain after it falls?

The word ‘stormwater’, which is a term to describe precipitation once on the ground, typically invokes images of fenced stormwater ponds or catch basins that take rain from our streets and pipe it underground. Stormwater is typically not treated before it reaches our waterways through the closest and quickest route. This important topic has immense implications for our communities and environment, but is often overlooked or misunderstood by many people due to it’s technical and complex nature. This lecture aims to demystify stormwater management by exploring how landscape architecture and the design of public spaces can be effective stormwater management solutions that protect our water systems.

This talk will be led by landscape architect Yvonne Battista with process design engineer Genevieve Kenny. Yvonne is a landscape architect with 19 years of design, construction document and public consultation experience. Yvonne has worked on many of DTAH’s most complex landscape and stormwater management efforts, finding design solutions to infrastructure challenges that are both technically and aesthetically outstanding. DTAH is a Toronto-based multidisciplinary design firm known for award-winning planning, landscape, public realm, and architecture projects including as the Evergreen Brick Works. Genevieve Kenny is an engineer at RV Anderson in Toronto, with over 16 years of experience including work with industrial water processes and stormwater management engineering.

Learn more here

The new Flora Footbridge, a 125m pedestrian and cyclist bridge across the Rideau Canal, is set to open ahead of schedule. Led by WSP, with DTAH as the bridge and landscape architects, Flora Footbridge will provide a new landmark over the World Heritage Site and a much-needed new connection between communities. The design features a curving pathway that rises to a lookout on the west side, crosses the Canal in a straight alignment and descends via a switchback ramp or grand stair on the east side boulevard.

The bridge features two open V-frame piers supported on elliptical-shaped concrete footings set in the canal, a 5m wide concrete deck finished with a coloured aggregate topping, stainless steel & ipe wood railings, with Ontario limestone used to ground the approaches. Landscape design features a modern re-interpretation of the historic Lily Pond, one of the first projects of the Ottawa Improvement Commission early in the 20th Century, on the west side of the canal.

The project completion was celebrated on June 26, 2019, with The Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Member of Parliament for Ottawa Centre, and Mayor Jim Watson. The bridge will be open to the public on Canada Day long weekend. Construction started in September 2017 and was originally scheduled for completion in Fall 2019. Learn more here