The Landscape of Landmark Quality is a major revitalization project being undertaken at the University of Toronto's St George campus in downtown Toronto. The 20 acres of open space improvements are designed by KPMB Architects, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, and Urban Strategies, and involve adding all new walkways, landscaping, and public seating, while reducing vehicular access and relocating all former at-grade parking in the area into an underground garage below King's College Circle.
The pit has been dug, and pile and lagging shoring is holding up the perimeter. The garage will serve the campus with parking, including 60 of its spaces for electric vehicles plus secure storage for more than 300 bikes. Construction of the parking levels will start after a geothermal heating and cooling system is completed being installed deep into the earth below it; this system will replace the individual HVAC systems in encircling buildings and reduce the institution's GHG emissions.
Taking a look from another angle, a mobile crane is hoisting white cylinders to where they will be used to exchange heat between the air and the ground, part of the geothermal system.
The geothermal system and garage are part of a revitalization of U of T's landscape, as the school aims to create a more pedestrian and cyclist-friendly environment through the refreshing of four of the campus' most important outdoor spaces: King’s College Circle, Hart House Circle, Sir Daniel Wilson Quad, and the Back Campus Fields.
On the southeast side of King's College Circle, demolition of the Medical Sciences building's front steps is underway, with a more universally accessible entrance coming in the future.
The building's Queens Park entrance has already been re-graded to remove its former steps, now filled a sloped walkway of pavers. New landscaping will green the walkway while softening the exterior of the brutalist building.
Opposite on the northwest side of King's College Circle and through the Solderis' Tower to the north, is Tower Road. By taking cars off of Tower Road and narrowing it, the new concrete stands that will allow students to watch sports taking place on the Back Campus fields are being installed.
There are many other aspects to the work underway currently. Upon completion, the Landscape of Landmark Quality project should leave the campus looking something like what's depicted in the rendering below, offering the university's students a fresh, open space to enjoy – without the presence of cars.
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