Since a December 5th, 2016 soft opening gave residents of Toronto's St. Lawrence community their first taste of the rebuilt Berczy Park, finishing touches have continued to take shape in the Claude Cormier + Associés-designed public park. With the planned Spring grand opening expected to be announced any day now, work continues on several elements within the 3,606 m² park, including the its whimsical centrepiece fountain featuring 27 dog sculptures—and one cat.
At the time of our last update—the same day as the park's soft opening—the fountain's upper tiers had been populated by the first few dogs, all positioned around a golden bone. In the months since, crews have added several more of the sculptures as the fountain draws closer to completion, filling out the middle bowl with half a dozen dogs including a Scottie. Earlier this year, 12 more dogs were installed on the fountain's lowest tier, this time a pack of pugs.
Most recently, sculptures of the larger dog breeds began to arrive on site, and are now being installed around the perimeter of the fountain. Several more dog breeds are now represented at Berczy Park’s fountain, including the Bull Terrier, Golden Retriever, and the St. Bernard to name a few.
Aside from work on the fountain, the park has been undergoing fine tuning since the soft opening to address concerns from the local community. The Parks, Forestry & Recreation Department worked with the park’s design team to add skateboarding deterrent measures, resulting in the anti-skateboarding guard knobs installed on the park’s wooden platforms. Another community concern was the accumulation of cigarette butts around the temporary fencing that partitions off the park's grassy areas. To address this concern, temporary trash and recycling bins have been installed to make it easier for to keep the park clean, with more bins on the way.
Other elements of the park soon to take shape include the installation of fountain lighting and moveable furniture, as well as a new public artwork that will occupy the park’s west-end green space, currently fenced off to allow grass to take root. Designed by local artist Luis Jacob, the interactive, child-friendly “Jacob’s Ladder” art installation will cost a total of $201,244.82, fully funded by Section 37 community benefits from the nearby 88 Scott Street development.
As work continues on the finishing touches of the park, a series of Spring and Summer social events are being planned for Berczy Park, starting on Saturday, May 6th. Once all elements of the public space are in place, the park is expected to celebrate its official grand opening.