Toronto Berczy Park Revitalization | ?m | ?s

The Front Street sidewalk is opened again and the fence is pushed back into the Park. They are currently doing 'earth-moving' on the Wellington side in preparation for more tree planting (probably next week) and they are about to do the final (3rd) section of Scott Street. Movin' on.
This may be the wrong thread but it's somewhat related: I'm going to laugh so hard if they manage to build an entirely new Berczy Park in the time that it's taken Joe Cressy to install a single fountain at Clarence Sq. It's been an abandoned construction site all Summer and his office won't answer any questions about it. There's been some recent progress but no sign of it re-opening.

You can laugh right now. The revitalization of Clarence Square has been dragging on for probably five years - or more. The fountain was promised years ago.
You can laugh right now. The revitalization of Clarence Square has been dragging on for probably five years - or more. The fountain was promised years ago.

I wouldn't call it a revitalization. They put in a fountain. They're replacing the same pavers that were there before.

I think it's criminal what they did with the dog park at Clarence Sq. I say that as a dog owner who uses that off leash area often. I fully recognize that it's a travesty that half of the city's first park was gated off and surfaced with gravel. There are plenty of nearby areas for an offleash dog park. They didn't have to ruin such historical landmark for this particular one.

If the city were serious about honouring the history of Clarence Sq. the fountain would be just a first step. Return the offleash dog area to the park and restore Clarence Sq. to its original layout and use. The very large parking lots south and east of Clarence Sq. are slated for development. Make any condo construction conditional on extending the park onto a portion of those properties and include a dog park there.
Actually, Clarence Square as it is now is the "product" of a process that included a number of public consultations and the engagement of a consultant. Pavers were added, but also the walking and biking path, removal of fencing, replanting of trees to replace non-native species, the addition of a massive off-leash dog-run and reinstallation of a water feature were the results of the revitalization/renovation. I believe the pedestrian crosswalk across Spadina was also linked to this effort.
Taken today...the fountain looks even more imposing (in a grand way) being a few feet closer, since the fencing has shifted.






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Though things are moving along pretty well, the official opening previously set for 3 November has been postponed for about 3-4 weeks as the dogs (or some of them) are late arriving and there is still work to be done. A new opening date will be announced 'soon'.
You can laugh right now. The revitalization of Clarence Square has been dragging on for probably five years - or more. The fountain was promised years ago.

Has it been under construction for that long? I know for my park there is a 10 year plan. Every year or two an improvement is constructed. It's not ideal but, except for a few weeks a year, you would even noticed it's being renovated.

What ever happen to the Wellington Street greenery?

I'm in full agreement with the majority on the refreshing creativity and excellence of this park's design, but it's frustrating to me that they dropped the ball with respect to maintaining continuity of the fun paving pattern when it comes to the manholes and hand well covers. These photos really reinforce this point - especially the bright white access cover in the first photo that destroys the pattern's highlighting white paver layout.

Using recessed access and manhole covers would have been pretty simple and cost effective to implement here. It sometimes feels like our culture is just not that accustomed to having the opportunity to do good creative work, so we're still working out the kinks whenever the opportunity does come.

Still, the park's looking awesome and I really hope it turns out that way once open to the public.
I don't think hiding them is the best solution. I believe the holes are for venting too. These covers provide a great canvas for something creative. There's no reason for them to be utilitarian or hidden away. There are some amazing manhole covers in other cities.
It would be really awesome if they had some nice manhole covers vs the standard grating. As Maestro mentioned, there are some pretty cool manhole covers from other cities.
Absolutely there are beautiful manhole covers all over the world - including here in Toronto.

The point here, though, isn't that this park design needs beautiful manholes. What it needs is for the mundane necessities - like manholes - to get visually out of the way in favour of allowing the existing strong design moves to read fully and properly.
Not for me. Beautifying the mundane necessities is more impressive than just hiding them. I don't think it's as easy as dropping a recessed cover either. I don't know which department the manhole cover belongs too and if a recessed cover would be to code.

I'd love to see the pug face reproduced for the covers here.