Since being fenced off last year, crews have been hard at work rebuilding Toronto's Berczy Park, transforming the aging park into a whimsical public space reimagined by landscape architects Claude Cormier + Associés. This week, Berczy Park's rebuild quietly crossed a milestone at the site framed by Front, Scott, and Wellington Streets, with a soft opening unveiling much of the park to the public.

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésWest view across Berczy Park, image by Jack Landau

This weekend, area residents and passerby may have noticed that the temporary construction fencing has been removed from the triangular, block-long site, providing access to the site for the first time since late Summer of last year.

A pattern of red, grey and white granite pavers is a major part of the aesthetic, with the paving joined by ample public seating. Meanwhile, the park's newly planted trees utilize Silva Cell technology, allowing greater root space in confined urban conditions.

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésPaved plaza at Berczy Park, image by Jack Landau

While a large portion of the space is now open to the public, Berczy Park's centrepiece fountain is expected to take several weeks to complete. Though a few of the fountain's 28 figurines—27 dogs and a single cat—have already been installed, work continues on the remaining figurines while the area remains fenced off. 

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésFountain at Berczy Park, image by Jack Landau

Remaining figurines are expected to be installed during the Winter, together with the fountain's lighting elements. Seen below, most of the figurines found on the fountain's upper two tiers are now in place, all facing the central sculpture of a golden bone.

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésFountain at Berczy Park, image by Jack Landau

Elsewhere in the park, the grassy landscaped areas had their sod laid back in October, and will remain closed throughout the winter. This will give the grass adequate time to take root without having to contend with the wear and tear caused by pedestrians. These areas of the park are expected to open in Spring of 2017, coinciding with the park's official re-opening celebration.

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésEast-facing view across Berczy Park, image by Jack Landau

Other remaining features of the new Berczy Park are expected to be installed prior to the Spring opening, including the addition of new trees along the park's Wellington Street frontage. A new children’s play/art structure designed by local artist Luis Jacob will be installed at the west end of the park along this newly-pedestrianized block of Scott Street, which has now reopened to vehicle and pedestrian traffic. 

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésFacing north on Scott Street, image by Jack Landau

While permanent infrastructure—including trash and recycling bins—matching the park's aesthetic is expected to be installed next year, temporary receptacles have been placed around the site during the soft opening phase.

Berczy Park, Toronto, Claude Cormier + AssociésTemporary trash and recycling bins at the north edge of the park, image by Jack Landau

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 associated Forum thread—where regular photo updates also keep you up to date with the latest construction progress.