A misty rose garden? In Downtown Toronto? Really?
Open to the public, and located beside the Four Seasons Hotel and Residences in Yorkville, this intricately designed garden and forecourt provides space to breathe and relax in a rapidly densifying neighbourhood and comes complete with mist wafting over the garden, every ten minutes!
Renowned landscape architects and urban designers Claude Cormier + Associés of Montreal and NAK Design Group of Toronto made this surprising urban garden a reality. In response to a site dominated by the Modernist Four Seasons and juxtaposed with the Victorian Yorkville Firehall, the garden and forecourt recall yesteryear's patterns but through a modern sensibility. Greeting the hotel guests in front of the entrance is an "urban carpet" made up of 8 different shades of red and gray granite setts, along with a grand, 4-storey vintage iron birdbath painted Tuscan Red. The adjacent garden adds nature into the picture, with plenty of trees and shrubs bubbling up amongst the limestone paving. Pathways laid out as swirling rose petals divide the lush shrubs to provide rest spots in the intimate green space.
A rose-inscribed wall by Montreal-based artist Linda Covit at the far end of the garden is also another element to admire. A renowned sculptor recognized for her outdoor-site responsive installations, Covit's work revolves around nature and the environment. The thick mist emanates from a grate below the wall and envelops the garden every few minutes to create an effect that is both eerie and fascinating.
While the cooling effect of the mist will be welcomed particularly on hot summer days, lighting in the garden produces a magical effect at night as it brightens the fog, creating a beguiling and calming glow.
The garden is not only an experience for those at ground level, but for those above it as well, creating a beautiful view for the residents and guests of the Four Seasons and neighbouring buildings.
If you're in the area, and want to enjoy the garden in action, the misting lasts for about 2 or 3 minutes out of every 10. The mistings are done for the night as of 11 PM, and they will not happen during the winter. This simple but brilliantly executed garden just might become one of your new favourite spots in the city.
Want to know more about the Four Seasons? Visit the dataBase page linked below. Want to leave your thoughts on the garden? You can do so in the space provided on this page, or to get in on the ongoing conversation, choose one of our Forum thread links.