Progress at the site of a much-anticipated public space in Toronto's Fort York neighbourhood is now obvious to passersby. While it is still a while before an urban forest sprouts here, since ground was ceremonially broken in June of 2013, the site of June Callwood Park has seen shoring work as well as the installation of below-grade infrastructure, and area residents are now seeing the park's first concrete surfaces begin to take shape.
Named in memory of the late Canadian journalist and social activist June Callwood (1924-2007), the gh3-designed park occupies a wedge-shaped portion of land bounded by Fleet Street, Gzowski Boulevard, Fort York Boulevard, and Bastion Street. The park's main design feature will be a visual mapping of words spoken during June Callwood's final audio interview. The phrase "I Believe in Kindness" is to be creatively incorporated into the site with a visual transcription of the recording's sonic waveform physically mapped on the site to create an unique pattern of openings and clearings throughout the park.
The park will contain a number of interesting features, including a ‘Puddle Plaza’ made up of depressions that collect pools of rainwater to create splash pads; a ‘Puzzle Garden’ featuring a series of uniquely shaped benches; a curvy maze, incorporating advanced “can-and-string” technology and a ‘Pink Field' with a rubberized play surface.
Amongst the coming urban forest to be planted here, the park will also be home to ‘Time Strip Gardens’, a series of gardens that borrow from a variety of native landscape and European settlement themes, a lone apple tree—the 'Callwood Tree'—which will sit where all the paths converge, and finally the 'Ephemeral Pools', an urban wetland that will act as a splash pool in the summer and a mist garden in the fall.
We will return for more looks at the park's construction in the coming months. In the meantime, additional information and several renderings of the park's landscaping can be found in our dataBase file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the related Forum threads or voice your opinion in the comments section provided at the bottom of this page.