St. Andrew’s Playground opened in 1908 as Toronto’s first downtown playground at the corner of Brant and Adelaide Streets, in the heart of what is now known as the Fashion District. Located south of the former St. Andrew’s Market, later replaced by the Waterworks Maintenance building in 1932, the park and playground continued to serve the surrounding community as it evolved from highly industrial to the booming commercial and residential destination that it is today. Leaving the green space largely untouched over the years, the century-old trees thrived, growing into the majestic interwoven canopy of maples, elms and honey locusts that now define the site.
City of Toronto
- Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, National Award of Excellence, 2023
The revitalization and expansion of St. Andrew’s Playground Park elegantly situates updated amenities, improved programming, and better connectivity to the surrounding area while celebrating and protecting the mature trees. Multiple layers of programmable and flexible landscapes anticipate and accommodate open-ended activities for people of all ages and abilities as well as future change.
Animated and welcoming outdoor extensions to the adjacent Waterworks Food Hall and Ace Hotel
Indigenous placemaking design features such as a storytelling circle and a medicine garden were developed in consultation with the local Indigenous community, while the resilient planting strategy includes urban tolerant tree species with pollinator understories.
Tracing the memory of market stalls that once existed in the park, catenary lights illuminate the tree canopy, while strategic heritage signage, raised seating platforms, lounge chairs, communal tables and chairs create an animated and human-centered public space.