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Competition: York and Rees Street Parks, Toronto

CN Tower, Toronto
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The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation has launched an international contest for two new landmark parks overlooking Lake Ontario

Open to teams of architects, landscape architects and other design professionals, the competition seeks two separate ‘high-quality, durable and innovative’ green spaces at the junctions of York and Rees streets with Queens Quay Boulevard in the city’s lakefront regeneration district.

The project, backed by the City of Toronto, will transform an 8,000m² plot of land created by the demolition of the former York-Bay-Yonge eastbound off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway and a 9,500m² existing car park south of Toronto’s Rogers Centre and Entertainment District.

Participating teams must be led by a landscape architect and feature at least one member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects.

According to the brief: ‘York Street Park and Rees Street Park will be the two newest additions to the Toronto waterfront’s growing collection of bold and innovative public open spaces along Queens Quay, which was itself recently transformed into a unique urban boulevard.

‘The concurrent design of these two important parks offers a unique opportunity for talented and creative designers to help contribute to a comprehensive waterfront park system. Waterfront Toronto welcomes participants from a diversity of backgrounds, from local to international firms, small- to large-sized firms, and young to established firms that typically undertake complex projects in landscape, architecture, and urban design.’

The Toronto Waterfront district stretches 46km from Etobicoke Creek in the west to the Rouge River in the East. The former industrial and railway lands area witnessed massive regeneration in the late 20th century with the construction of landmarks such as the 1976 CN Tower and 1989 Rogers Centre.

The Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation was created by the Canadian government in 2001 to boost regeneration of the lakefront zone. The Central Waterfront area – stretching from Bathurst Street in the west to Jarvis Street in the east – was the focus of a major design contest in 2006 won by West 8 + DTAH.

Key outcomes of this competition included the creation of a new recreational trail stretching the length of Queens Quay Boulevard.

Both parks will be expected to introduce new unique recreational ‘experiences and ecologies’ into the existing neighbourhood while also integrating public art and featuring new standards of sustainability. The York Street park is expected to be heavily used by local workers and visitors to the area, while the Rees Street park is expected to have a broader range of users.

Interested teams must first complete a request for qualifications. Between four and five teams will then be shortlisted for each park and invited to draw up proposals in response to a detailed brief.

The deadline for applications is 2pm local time, 5 April.

How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Betty Leung
Procurement Manager
Toronto Waterfront Revitalization Corporation
20 Bay Street
Suite 1310
Toronto
Ontario
M5J 2N8

Email: procurement@waterfrontoronto.ca 

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