Since our update in October of last year, the revitalization of Downtown Toronto's Berczy Park has continued as construction work has cleared away the fountain and paving that had long defined the space. Most of the former park's 81 trees—a number of which were unhealthy—have also been removed, with only 11 trees slated to remain. The process has set the stage for the park's ambitious re-invention, which will see a playful new fountain rise as the centrepiece of the Claude Cormier + Associés-designed park. 

Breezy Park Revitalization, Toronto, by City of Toronto, Claude CormierLooking east across Berczy Park in March 2016, image by UT Forum contributor Roundabout

In recent months, the last of the former park's paving and outdoor furniture has been cleared to make way for a new central plaza, with the concrete foundations for the space now being installed as preliminary work begins to outline the shape of the new fountain.   

Breezy Park Revitalization, Toronto, by City of Toronto, Claude CormierThe fountain will be located at the south end of the park, near Front Street, image by UT Forum contributor Roundabout

The plaza will eventually be paved in a colourful new pattern, which will extend out to the sidewalk along much of the park's south frontage. Meanwhile, the fountain will double as a public art piece, with sculptures of 27 dogs—and one cat—vying for the golden that tops the installation (below). Adding to the fun-loving style, several of the dogs will shoot streams of water from their mouths. 

Breezy Park Revitalization, Toronto, by City of Toronto, Claude CormierA view of the new fountain, image courtesy of Claude Cormier + Associés

Meanwhile, the park's new greenscaping will include tulips, oaks, and a Japanese pagoda tree. The use of innovative SilvaCell technology will allow tree roots to spread—even if surrounded by asphalt—via a subterranean web of glass-reinforced polypropylene filled with nutrient-rich soil. The SilvaCell system allows for healthy trees to grow in fairly constrained urban spaces without impacting the surrounding infrastructure and paving.

Breezy Park Revitalization, Toronto, by City of Toronto, Claude CormierAerial view of the park from the west, image courtesy of Claude Cormier + Associés

With grading of the site now complete, we can expect installation of the patterned granite paving to gradually begin over the coming months. We will keep you updated on the project as new plantings, landscaping, and public furniture is installed, with the park expected to be completed later this year. 

Breezy Park Revitalization, Toronto, by City of Toronto, Claude CormierLooking southwest, the site has been graded, image by UT Forum contributor Roundabout

Additional information can be found on our database file, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Leave a comment in the space provided on this page, or in our associated Forum thread.