Though the one-of-a-kind park's planned summer opening has been pushed back to October 31st, there has been plenty of construction progress at Toronto's Berczy Park in recent weeks. With the 'dog days' of summer now upon us, the park's showpiece fountain—a lighthearted tribute to the city's canine (and feline) population—is being assembled at the heart of the revitalized Front Street green space.

Berczy Park, City of Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésBerczy Park on August 3rd, looking east, image by Stefan Novakovic

Since out last update in mid-July, the fountain has been shipped to Toronto and gradually assembled on-site. The custom fountain was manufactured in the specialized Alabama workshop of Robinson Iron, and its impressive form—already topped by a golden boneis now a central presence in the park.

Berczy Park, City of Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésA closer look at the fountain, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

Designed by Montréal-based Claude Cormier + Associés, the Downtown park is being re-imagined as a more vibrant urban destination, with new paving elements, plantings, and light standards, joining the central fountain. For its part, the fountain will soon come to be surrounded by a collection of 28 playful animal sculptures, including 27 dogs and a single cat. 

Berczy Park, City of Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésA dog (and water jet) arrives on site in late July, image by UT Forum contributor ChesterCopperpot

Many—if not all—of the sculptures have now been delivered to the site from Cormier's studio, and we'll likely be able to see the first of the summer dogs taking their place around the fountain in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the park's distinct new paving pattern is also continuing to be installed, eventually encompassing the fountain to create a colourful plaza.

Berczy Park, City of Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésAerial view of the completed park, image courtesy of Claude Cormier + Associés

Creating a more urban, pedestrian-friendly communal space for the growing neighbourhood, the new park will also feature technologically advanced planting technology, ensuring the long-term health of urban trees. Like too many urban trees, a significant number of Berczy Park's former trees were unhealthy, and most were removed in advance of the reconstruction process. The new plantings will utilize Silva Cell technology, with the network of polypropylene frames designed to give roots ample space to grow in tight urban settings. Silva Cells have been very successful along the Water's Edge Promenade at Sugar Beach, as evidenced by the quickly growing trees planted there in the last few years.

Berczy Park, City of Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésWhile most trees were removed, new plantings are being installed with Silva Cell technology, image by Stefan Novakovic

We will keep you updated as the revitalization of Berczy Park continues, and the sculptures are installed. In the meantime, more details about the park's light standards in landscaping is available in our previous editorial, while further information about the project can be found in our dataBase file, linked below.

Berczy Park, City of Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésA close-up view of one of the fountain's jets: a pug will spout water, image by Marcus Mitanis

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