Several weeks after the completion of grading work for the re-built Berczy Park, the first design elements are now apparent at the public space bounded by Front, Scott, and Wellington Streets in Downtown Toronto. The re-imagined park will feature a design by acclaimed landscape architects Claude Cormier + Associés, who have made a name for themselves with a wide portfolio of playful and unconventional landscape design both locally and on the international stage. Their design for Sugar Beach has become a particular favourite of Torontonians.

Berczy Park Revitalization, Claude Cormier + Associés, TorontoBerczy Park viewed from the north on Wellington Street, image by Jack Landau

The park's redesign has come about as a response to changing community needs, and a desire to have healthier trees. Following the removal of many sickly trees and a regrading of the site, the first signs of the park's paving were spotted this week, with an entire row of patterned granite pavers with red, grey, and white tones now apparent cutting across the site from northeast to southwest. These pavers will eventually cover roughly half of the park's footprint, creating a repeating diamond pattern.

Berczy Park Revitalization, Claude Cormier + Associés, TorontoNew paving at Berczy Park, image by Jack Landau

At the centre of the site, crews are working on the new fountain that will become the centrepiece of the park. The two-tiered fountain will feature 27 cast-iron sculptures of various breeds of dogs accompanied by a lone cat, all looking towards a centrally-placed golden bone. In addition to adding a fun spin on the traditional public fountain, the sculptures will also be a part of the fixture, with water jets to be placed in the mouths of many of the dogs.

Berczy Park Revitalization, Claude Cormier + Associés, TorontoWork in progress on the park's new fountain, image by Jack Landau

At the southwest corner of the site, right at the intersection of Scott and Front, crews are in the process of uncovering utilities to confirm their condition. This work has revealed the park's electrical panel, where crews are currently installing grey conduits to run wires and supply power to the fountain's pumps and lighting, as well as the other electric systems in the park.

Berczy Park Revitalization, Claude Cormier + Associés, TorontoWorkers confirming the condition of below-grade utilities and running wires through conduits, image by Jack Landau

Along with the 11 healthy trees that were preserved during the demolition of the park's last iteration, the reimagined Berczy Park will also offer landscaping including tulip and oak trees, and a Japanese pagoda tree. Trees in the park will benefit from SilvaCell technology, which allows tree roots to spread through nutrient-rich soil, prevented from being compacted by a network of glass-reinforced polypropylene frames. Trees planted in silva cells in recent years have grown very well in places such as Waterfront Toronto's Water's Edge Promenade.

Berczy Park Revitalization, Claude Cormier + Associés, TorontoBerczy Park viewed from the south on Front Street, image by Jack Landau

Additional information about Berczy Park can be found in 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.