DTAH Partner Brent Raymond was recently featured as a guest speaker on the first episode of a new podcast series, From Here to There, by ClimateData.ca. The episode, titled “Adapting Toronto’s Streets,” explores how our transportation corridors can become more resilient to climate change.

Brent discusses Queens Quay as an example of how to reimagine a street for improved climate resiliency. Formerly dominated by motor vehicle traffic, Queens Quay was redesigned to prioritize transit as well as people traveling on foot or by bike. The design also included over 300 trees along this corridor, mitigating the urban heat island effect and improving stormwater absorption. Brent highlights DTAH’s innovative use of a soil cell detail that allowed the trees to fully develop into ecologically productive sizes, rather than remaining stunted in their nursery form. He suggests thinking of “soil not as the thing you compact underneath a roadway and a sidewalk, but as a living system that helps to actually absorb water [to] introduce green infrastructure into the street [and] take the pressure off of the hard engineering approach.”

Brent recently co-authored the City of Toronto Green Infrastructure Design and Construction Standards with Arup, and is currently working with Arup on the Toronto Growing Green Streets Implementation Plan. These projects help further Toronto’s climate resiliency commitments by improving stormwater management, improving air quality, increasing tree canopy and local biodiversity of birds and insects, and enhance public realm aesthetics.

Listen to the full episode

Niagara Falls Exchange will officially open its doors to the public in a free grand opening event on Saturday, February 17, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Visitors will have a chance to explore the creative spaces, including artist and woodworking studios, and experience live music and art installations.

Niagara Falls Exchange also includes a large culture and market hall, café and public washrooms surrounded by two multi-functional civic plazas that interconnect the flanking streets, with architecture and landscape architecture by DTAH.

Located adjacent to the Niagara Falls History Museum, Niagara Falls Exchange will serve as the center for local arts and culture, as well as the new home for the weekly Saturday Farmers’ Market.

Niagara Falls Exchange Open House
Saturday, February 17
10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
5943 Sylvia Place, Niagara Falls ON

Learn more

DTAH is pleased to announce the appointment of a new Associate Partner and the promotion of several key studio members to the positions of Senior Associate and Associate.

We are immensely proud of their contributions and look forward to their continued success as part of our newly expanded leadership team.

Ayako Kitta, Associate Partner

Ayako is a landscape architect with over 20 years of professional experience in North America and Japan. She joined DTAH in 2005 and has exemplified leadership and dedication to her projects and the practice ever since. She has developed extensive experience in a wide range of projects of different scales and complexity from urban public realm designs to neighbourhood master plans, campus plans, healthcare, and waterfronts. She has worked with both private and public sector clients, delivering thoughtful leadership in every phase of the design process from initial concept through to project implementation.

She is currently leading the design and delivery of the final phase of the East Bayfront Dockside Public Realm, as well as the Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre for the University of Toronto. Other notable projects include Durham College UOIT, Southbrook Vineyard, Toronto Waterfront WaveDecks and East Bayfront Master Plan.

Ayako is a member of the Mississauga Urban Design Review Panel, and a recipient of the Government of Canada Award, the Garden Club of Toronto Award, and a University of Toronto Fellowship.

Victoria Bell, Senior Associate

Victoria is a landscape architect and urban designer with over 15 years of experience delivering projects for both public and private clients across Ontario. She works at multiple scales from long-term master planning to construction detailing. Her work explores methods of integrating nature and natural processes into urban experiences, creating places for living and community. Her experience across landscape architecture and urban design makes her uniquely placed to deliver high quality, large-scale projects that integrate infrastructure and nature, built forms and landscapes.

Recent projects include the Toronto Island Park Master Plan, the highly anticipated Forma Condos on King Street West (formerly Mirvish + Gehry) in the heart of Toronto’s downtown core, Wascana Centre Master Plan, and the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Landscape and Public Realm Master Plan.

Elnaz Sanati, Senior Associate

Elnaz is a landscape architect with over 15 years of experience in North America and the Middle East. Since joining DTAH in 2011, she has distinguished herself as an invaluable team member on several important and transformative streetscape projects in Toronto, most notably the award-winning revitalization of Queens Quay Boulevard, the John Street Cultural Corridor, and Willcocks Common at the University of Toronto.

Elnaz is an innovative and critical thinker with a particular interest in the aesthetics and creative communication of landscape architecture. She led the award-winning St. Andrew’s Playground Park, the site of the City’s first public playground, and is currently leading the revitalization of St. James Town West Park and Bluffer’s Park in Toronto. Each park brings a fresh design and new play spaces that better meet the needs of the vibrant and diverse communities they serve and will act as safe and welcoming destinations and inspiring outdoor green spaces.

Elnaz is a sessional studio instructor in Landscape Architecture department of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto and a regular guest critic at landscape architectural studio reviews.

Shay Gibson, Associate

Shay is an architect with a decade of experience in all stages of design and construction. He is a skilled manager, often working with large multi-disciplinary teams on complex building projects. A common thread in all his work is the incorporation of sustainable design principles and the commitment to creating positive spaces for neighbourhoods and communities.

Since joining DTAH, Shay has contributed significantly to the design, technical delivery, and management of the Baker Street Development in Guelph, one of only two One Planet Living-endorsed developments in Canada, and is currently working on a number of community-focused projects including the Salvation Army Florence Booth House, as well as improvements to one of the City of Toronto shelters.

Prior to joining DTAH, Shay worked on numerous award-winning private residential projects, as well as integrated park shelters for the City of Brampton and institutional work for McMaster University. Through this work, Shay developed an interest in new architectural materials and sustainable applications of locally sourced construction resources.

Corin Latimer, Associate

Corin is a landscape architect who is dedicated to crafting nature-centric public spaces that serve their community. Her work focuses on how green technologies both old and new can help us create more resilient and joyful urban places.

Corin has a wide range of experience in all phases of design, from public engagement and concept design through detailed design to project implementation. Since joining DTAH, she has contributed to various projects, including the design and development of the new public realm, streetscape and low impact development strategies for the Port Lands Flood Protection project; the transformation of Queens Quay Boulevard East; the public realm vision for the Quayside community; and the activation of Parliament Slip.

Fraser Vanderwel, Associate

Fraser is a landscape architect with experience working on a variety of transit, streetscape, parks, and open space projects across Canada. His work focuses on integrated public realm design and thoughtful solutions for urban infrastructure.

Fraser’s experience in design development, project management, and construction administration is coupled with a strong understanding of visual communication, environmental psychology, and graphic arts.

Fraser has contributed to the design and implementation of several high profile and complex transit projects in Toronto, including the Finch West LRT and Eglinton Crosstown LRT. Fraser has also played a big role in the design and construction of the Jennie Florence Parker Sports Complex in Hamilton, and the award-winning St. Andrew’s Playground Park in downtown Toronto.

Sandy Cappuccitti Baker, Associate

Sandy is a landscape architect and urban designer who has worked on a range of public and private projects across Ontario. Her educational background in both landscape architecture and urban design reflects her keen interest and passion for both natural and built environments. Combining the two disciplines makes her uniquely able to deliver the fundamental requirements necessary for high quality, large-scale projects that integrate infrastructure and nature, built forms and landscapes.

Since joining DTAH in 2016, Sandy has contributed to several park and public realm projects, including Edgeley Pond and Park and Edgeley Strata Park in Vaughan, the Green Line Implementation Plan, and pedestrian enhancements at Western University. She was also integral in the creation of the Toronto Green Infrastructure Design and Construction Standards.

Sandy is currently working on the streetscape design for John Street Corridor Improvements, which will transform this important downtown connector street into a cultural corridor designed to accommodate events and festivals.

The Ingenium Centre is home to 1.2 million cultural artifacts from three of Canada’s national museums. It offers state-of-the-art facilities for research, conservation, curation, and collaboration.

DTAH is currently wrapping up the revitalization of the parkland and parking area, making the landscape more accessible and functional. The final phase of the site renewal, the improvements enable the adjacent Canada Science and Technology Museum to accommodate more visitors.

These Phase 2 improvements include a new entry road to the Collection and Conservation Centre as well as the Canada Science and Technology Museum and an extension of the bioswale along the entry approach with 100% native and pollinator friendly planting.

Three boardwalk bridges will provide connections across the bioswale. The new multipurpose parking and activity area includes accessible spaces and electric vehicle charging stations, and all improvements are compliant with AODA and the Rick Hanson Foundation accessibility standards.

The work builds on the Phase 1 improvements, which were completed in 2021. Exhibition display cases will animate the pedestrian experience, and a large entrance plaza with sustainable integrated seating provides ample resting space and a promenade along the bioswale. A dry stormwater infiltration basin has been created to capture and retain site water on site along with the service road bioswale to manage water on site. The plaza and the re-designed west parking lot introduce tracks for historic trains and cabooses, which can be rolled into public view for cultural and educational events.

DTAH is proud to announce that the Brampton Riverwalk Open Space and Urban Design Master Plan received an Award of Excellence in the Visions, Masterplans and Large Places Design category, as well as Best Overall Project!

The plan seeks to reintegrate the Etobicoke Creek into the fabric of downtown Brampton, restoring natural ecologies while enhancing social amenities.

The jury commented:

“The Riverwalk masterplan tells a story of revitalization that is complex, yet believable, creating a diverse and integrated “quilt” of spaces. The Masterplan demonstrates an extraordinary sensibility of how public realm and landscape infrastructure can respond to environmental stewardship, economic development, and population growth within the Downtown. It is a skillful and thoroughly considered planning and design exercise to re-naturalize and bring Brampton's Etobicoke Creek urban watershed back to a thriving and healthy system. This visionary and long-term effort will not only bring natural and healthy park, streetscape, and wetland treatments back into the city's inner core but will also work to mitigate flooding and unlock critical areas of the downtown slated for further density and development. This well-envisioned masterplan offers a compelling and believable vision and should inspire other communities to be ambitious in addressing open space deficiencies in our MTSAs and rapidly densifying communities.”

Related Projects

We're excited to finally be able to share our shortlisted design for a new park at 229 Richmond Street West, designed in collaboration with Paul Raff Studio and Trophic Design!

Imagine a lush verdant garden in the heart of the city. Imagine it is nestled within a large, sculpted landform – an open palm sculpted in stone. The hand symbolizes the animism of the earth. In cradling the garden, it guides us to care for nature.

It is called Nookomis for this sense of caring guidance. In some Anishnaabe origin stories Nookomis fell from the moon to the earth and gave birth to the mother of the Anishnaabe people. Also associated with the moon, Nookomis is connected to all life on earth, and her gentle hand has long guided the Anishnaabe people in the cycles of life including planting, harvesting, hunting, gathering and ceremony.

Nookomis literally translates as “my grandmother.” The teachings of our grandparents occupy a privileged place in society.

Nookomis Garden is a physical manifestation of the gifts we are offered by the natural world – the stone of the earth, the waters, the soil and the plants that nourish us. Cradled within the hand, these features come together into a lush, dense forest planting. The surrounding mounds carry plantings found within the oak woodland native to these lands.

Nookomis Garden is meant as a meditation on “how to live the good life.” It is a place connected to its surroundings and accommodating of larger crowds, while offering opportunities for quiet contemplation in nature. It is a place for gathering, sharing stories, and honouring the gifts offered by the natural world.

Visit the City of Toronto's website to learn more.

Share your thoughts on the 5 shortlisted designs by filling out a short survey.

Legacy Art Project, located at Spadina and Queens Quay on Toronto’s waterfront, is officially open to the public!

Designed in collaboration with artist Jon Sasaki, the installation features a curving pathway and rolling topography integrated with large granite sculptures that commemorate the legacy of Terry Fox.

The Legacy Art Project is a citizen-funded public space initiative dedicated to the spirit of courage, determination, and action that Terry Fox embodied. Following a competitive process in 2019, Jon Sasaki and DTAH's installation proposal, We Are Shaped By The Obstacles We Face, was selected as the winning design. Construction of the Legacy Art Project began in July and was completed this fall.

The City of Toronto recently held the 2023 Toronto Urban Design Awards gala, where three DTAH projects were honoured: Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes received an award in the Small Open Spaces category, Tommy Thompson Park Entrance and Pavilion received an award in the Public Buildings in Context category, and the Bloor Street Urban Fire Benches received an award in the Elements Category.

On Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes, the jury commented, "This project was appreciated simply for what it is, and what it is doing for the public realm, but these little details, and some of those thoughtful moments, collectively are what made this project award worthy."

The jury commented that Tommy Thompson Park Entrance and Pavilion is "a beautiful building; scaled appropriately; built from appropriate materials; and detailed with the evolution of the site in mind. Despite its modern stature, expressive rooflines, and generally some contemporary notes, this building feels like something that might have always been here, with materials pulled from just underneath the surface, and beautiful gabion baskets to reinforce them. Simple; refined; elegant."

The jury comment on the Bloor Street Urban Fire Benches: "It is beautiful when an element can do so many things for the public realm. Not only do we need more seating in the city, but we need seating that is more engaging, and promotes better opportunities for social interaction. These benches are designed in such a way that we can gather inwards, or gaze outwards, promoting a variety of social engagement opportunities within the vibrant Bloor Street corridor between Church and University Avenue."

Read the full jury report here.

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