When Toronto's Robertson Davies Park was named for the internationally recognized author in 2007, the Globe and Mail called the space a "non-descript expanse of grass bordered by train tracks." In the 9 years since, the park has remained among the less conspicuous of the City's 1,400-odd parks, providing a valuable—if somewhat nondescript—green space for the community.

The Davies, Toronto, by Brandy Lane Homes, SMV ArchitectsRobertson Davies Park in greener weather, image via Google Maps

With a 9-storey luxury condo development—marketed as The Davies—soon to neighbour the park, however, the space is now set to be enhanced. As Brandy Lane Homes' 9-storey project gets built out, the neighbouring park will be improved with new trees, landscaping, walkways, and seating.  

Appointed by Toronto's NAK Design Group, the landscaping plan looks to create a welcoming and engaging public space out of a park that currently feels like a somewhat leftover space. While demolition of the homes that previously occupied the condominium necessitated the removal of several trees on the north side of the park, the re-imagined space will feature a greater concentration of greenery.

The Davies, Toronto, by Brandy Lane Homes, SMV ArchitectsThe revamped park will front The Davies, image courtesy of Brandy Lane Homes

Additionally, the revitalized park will have a stronger connection to the street, with a more inviting walkway emerging onto Yonge. Although the new park is designed be more connected to the city around it, the landscaping plan will also curate a quiet, tranquil space. Rows of plantings will shelter the park from the street, attempting to create a calm space just off Avenue Road.

While plans to improve the park—through a partnership between the City of Toronto and Brandy Lane Homes—have gradually moved forward as part of the planning process, the impetus to rehabilitate the park was intensified by Hydro One's accidental removal of 29 trees in early September. With the trees no longer insulating the park space from the train tracks to the south, the removal of the Norway maples strongly compromised the quality of the space. Hydro One has polled the local residents, asking which of 4 plans appeals the most in terms of fixing the mistake, but the winning proposal has not been announced on their website yet.

The Davies, Toronto, by Brandy Lane Homes, SMV ArchitectsA closer look at the new park space, image courtesy of Brandy Lane Homes

While the NAK Design Group's initial landscape plan focused mostly on the north side of the park, the newly compromised green space will now require a more comprehensive approach with the design evolving to address the full site. 

Named for Robertson Davies, the park is located around the corner from the author's longtime home. Recognized as one of the most internationally prominent Canadian voices in 20th century literature, Davies—who died in 1995—is best known for the Deptford trilogy of novels, which includes 1970's Fifth Business, a work often regarded as Davies' magnum opus.  

***

We will keep you updated as the new park continues to take shape. In the meantime, more information about the project can be found as part of the dataBase file for The Davies condominium, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or join the conversation in our Forum thread.