Established in 1893, High Park Zoo is one of the oldest facilities of its kind in Canada. This highly popular destination is located with Toronto’s High Park and is free to the public, attracting over 600,000 visitors each year. The Friends of High Park Zoo (FPHZ) are a non-profit group formed in 2012, who have worked tirelessly to increase awareness, to raise emergency funds necessary for its survival, and develop a long-range strategic plan to improve and manage this special and unique resource.

Since 2015, DTAH has worked with FHPZ and the City of Toronto to develop a compelling Master Plan vision for the Zoo. The Master Plan will guide future projects and capital improvements for years to come. The Master Plan defines a series of principles related to greening, water management, animal exhibits, thresholds, and identity, and includes an illustrative demonstration of the potential recommendations. The Master Plan aims to better integrate the Zoo within the park, improve environmental performance, and create a more inviting experience for visitors and improve the conditions for the animals that reside in the Zoo.

Following completion of the Master Plan, DTAH led the design of the primary public realm elements. Phase 1 of the Master Plan included the rehabilitation and reconstruction of key structures. Today we are thrilled to share that FPHZ has secured funding for Phase 2 from their government partners: City of Toronto, Province of Ontario, and the Government of Canada. This next phase of effort will focus on enhancing accessibility, sustainability, and placemaking within the zoo.

Read the news release from Friends of High Park Zoo here

The Globe and Mail’s Dave LeBlanc visited the new Tommy Thompson Park Pavilion and celebrates the project in his most recent article.

“Where once there was a pair of rusting, yellow-painted swing-gates, a chain-link fence, and a utility pole with a sign declaring “Public Road Ends,” there is now a wide driveway, big green berms, native plantings such as Red Osier Dogwood, gabion baskets containing ‘curated’ rubble, places to sit, and, best of all […] a small, hardy, welcoming pavilion.”
Dave LeBlanc, Globe and Mail

The project establishes a new front door to the Park that is welcoming, engaging, and ecologically sensitive to its context. Led by DTAH, the design seeks to demonstrate best practices in low-impact development by establishing an entry landscape structured with berms and bioswales to support stormwater management, habitat expansion and visual screening strategies. The entrance pavilion, which includes public washrooms as well as storage/office space to support on-site educational programming, provides generous sheltered outdoor areas for gathering and educational opportunities.

Read the full article here

DTAH Partner, Megan Torza is speaking as part of ULI Toronto’s discussion on how the One Planet Living framework was used to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 to deliver a precedent-setting, One Planet Living community at the Baker District Redevelopment in Guelph.

The Baker District Redevelopment is one of only two projects in Canada, and the third in North America, to receive the international endorsement under the One Planet Living sustainability framework.

Pooran Desai, Co-Founder of Bioregional and CEO of One Planet, will give an overview presentation. Alongside Megan, the virtual event will also feature speakers Laetitia Pacaud, COO and CFO of Epic Investment Services, and Jenny McMinn, Partner of Impact and Innovation of Windmill Development Group.

The discussion will be held on Zoom on April 22, 2021 at 12 PM to 1 PM EDT.
Register for the discussion here

Related Projects

As part of Evergreen’s public art program, the organization commissioned two new art installations for the Evergreen Brick Works site that address issues of equity in public space.

‘Fruit’ by Logan MacDonald and ‘Prison Dispatches’ by Kristin Li were chosen from over 60 submissions through a comprehensive selection process following Evergreen’s open call.

Learn more about ‘Fruit’ here

Learn more about ‘Prison Dispatches’ here

See the news release from Evergreen here

Related Projects

Marcus Gee praises numerous DTAH waterfront projects in the Globe and Mail, published March 27, 2021.

Projects mentioned include:

  • Garrison Crossing
  • Spadina Wave Deck
  • Queens Quay Boulevard Revitalization
  • Port Lands Transformation

Read the full article here

Related Projects

DTAH continues to strengthen our long-standing relationship with Black Creek Community Farm, now actively working on a Master Plan Update. The Plan aims to improve access and add new community amenities.

The Master Plan work comes on the heels of the successful design and construction of The Pavilion, a flexible space used for community events and demonstration kitchen, and spaces to support farm operations, such as large greenhouses and chicken coops, completed by DTAH in 2018.

The team at Black Creek do great work for food justice and urban agriculture in Toronto. Learn more about Black Creek Community Farm here

DTAH is committed to contextual, responsible, meaningful and beautiful design and has been designing landscapes, buildings and communities for over 40 years. We stand up for what we believe in, we care about undertaking work that is socially inclusive and relevant, and that contributes to the betterment of our cities and communities.

We are a collaborative studio and believe that the most successful projects are a result of open, honest and continuous dialogue between all parties involved – our client, design team, consultants, other stakeholders, and the community at large.

If this approach resonates with you, then we would like to hear from you. Currently we are looking for the following professionals to join our studio:


Intermediate Landscape Architect

To apply, please send your CV and portfolio to

Learn more about our team here

This is the last week to complete the online questionnaire, here in Arabic, English, and Simplified Chinese and here in Tamil for the redevelopment of St. James Town West Park. The questionnaire will close on Monday March 22.

DTAH are working with the City of Toronto to make improvements to the park at 589 Sherbourne Street. Redevelopment in the neighbourhood has created an opportunity for a fresh design of the park that meets the needs of the vibrant and diverse St. James Town community.

Learn more about the project here