Bloor-Annex BIA Parkettes

Converting left-over remnant spaces into dynamic green public amenities

Bloor-Annex is a vibrant thoroughfare with a mix of residential and commercial activity welcoming both the local and larger community.

The public realm enhancements convert formerly under-utilized impervious paved lots into new dynamic green amenity spaces.

The parkettes feature locally sourced and sustainable surface treatment materials, pollinator planting, large canopy trees, integrated public art and new bicycle parking at the corners of Howland, Brunswick, Robert and Major Street.


Toronto, Ontario


City of Toronto

Bloor-Annex BIA


  • Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, National Award of Excellence, 2022
  • Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA), Streetscape Award, 2019
Children playing on Bloor-Annex BIA Parkette granite bench

The project includes benches created from re-purposed Douglas Fir wooden beams salvaged from the Honest Ed’s building demolition nearby as well as granite sculptural benches made of stone cut-offs from a local quarry, designed by landscape artist Robert Cram.

Natural materials such as wooden decking and integrated benches allow for in-ground tree planting and porous planted surfaces, reducing heat island effect and storm water run off.

Left image: Aerial view of wood bench and sculptural granite bench with wooden decking. Right image: Close up of carved granite bench.
Person sitting on bench in front of colourful mural

Developed in close consultation with the community, these sites are well loved by business owners, residents and the community at large.

Planting in each parkette has been designed so there is bloom through each season while providing pollinator habitats for Toronto’s diverse populations of birds, bees and butterflies. The planting strategy also includes drought-resistant native and adaptive planting. Sight lines were maintained for the safety of users, which, together with the colourful murals and lighting strategy, reignite and revitalize these once overlooked spaces in the Bloor-Annex neighbourhood.

Graphic showing when plantings are in bloom during the year and list of perennials, grasses, shrubs and trees planted.