The grass is green but the fountain isn't flowing yet at Toronto's Berczy Park. Although Halloween Day was expected to herald the unveiling of the revamped Downtown park, ongoing construction progress offers glimpses of vitality despite the construction delays. While a new opening date has yet to be set, the installation of grass, paving, and the first of the fountain's 28 sculpted quadrupeds at least signals that completion of the Claude Cormier + Associés park is close at hand. 

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésGrass and public seating mark construction progress at Berczy Park, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

Since the showpiece fountain was installed in August, new paving and plantings have gradually filled out the park, which stretches to Scott Street from the Gooderham Buidling's narrow façade. In recent weeks, the laying of sod has re-introduced greenery to the site, while the continued installation of benches and walkways provides a fuller preview of the finished park. 

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésStonework now covers much of the future plaza, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

With grass now covering much of Berczy Park's gently rolling open spaces, the distinctive paving pattern—used to create a pedestrian plaza fronting Front Street—now encircles the fountain. As for the fountain itself, the first of the animal sculptures has taken its place, with a solitary cat now staking its place in advance of its 27 canine companions, while tiling of the fountain base has started too. 

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésCat and construction worker, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

Throughout the park, the ample supply of benches will provide the Downtown core a much-needed infusion of public seating. At the east end of the park, a set of mounted lights has also been installed, highlighting the Gooderham Building mural's iconic mural. Meanwhile, the park's lighting program makes use of the classic light standards that line Front Street, creating a sense of continuity with the historic surroundings.

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésNew lighting will illuminate the mural, image by UT Forum contributor skycandy

Also at the east end of the park, the Berczy Family statue has been relocated to a more prominent location (seen at right in the second image in this article), while another sculpture—Luis Jacob's interactive and child-friendly Jacob's Ladder—is set to be installed at the west end in mid-2017, following the park's projected late 2016 opening. Adjacent at the west end, Scott Street's rebuild is wrapping up as the base for its last paving stones is going down: you can get a look at that in recent photos in our thread for the project

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

In its design, amenities, and layout, the new Berczy Park promises to provide a more friendly and animated place to linger. However, while the playful and inviting new park's street-level qualities are likely to garner the lion's share of attention, the use of Silva Cell technology—designed to provide arboreal roots with more space to grow in tight urban settings—is also an important addition to Berczy Park. Framing the one-of-a-kind space, the hope is that a healthier tree canopy will complement what is almost certain to be a healthier public realm.


We will keep you updated as construction continues, and a finalized opening date for the park is announced. In the meantime, further information is available via our dataBase file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment below, or join the conversation in our Forum—where regular photo updates also keep you up to date with the latest construction progress.