Toronto awards David Crombie Park revitalization to Arcadis IBI and SLA
June 5, 2023
Construction is slated to begin next year.
A landmark within the St. Lawrence neighbourhood, the park was named after the Toronto mayor who helped oversee a community-building effort in the 1970s to turn a declining industrial area into a thriving mixed-use area. Located in Toronto’s downtown east side, the linear park project will span nearly two hectares across seven blocks. Construction is slated to begin in 2024.
The project calls for Arcadis IBI and SLA to not only upgrade the park itself, but also to design new cycling infrastructure and streetscape elements, so as to better connect The Esplanade along its north edge with Mill Street at its east end and, thus, support surrounding social infrastructure and entertainment areas, including the Distillery District and St. Lawrence Market.
“This is one of the most significant public realm projects in Toronto,” says Neno Kovacevic, director of urban design and landscape architecture for Arcadis IBI and principal in charge of the project. “It is about people, nature, the connections between them and the city as a whole.”
“Our design will embrace and build on the legacy of David Crombie Park as an inviting and safe mix of public courtyard and linear park,” adds Rasmus Astrup, partner and design principal at SLA and the project’s design lead.
The firms’ new master plan for the park will build on a conceptual design plan created in the project’s first phase. The revitalization is intended to address the end-of-life cycle of many of the park’s infrastructure elements and to accommodate continuously increased use of the park, given the commercial and residential intensification of the area.
The design plan also aims to address the city’s sustainability goals through the application of Arcadis IBI’s dynamic carbon model, to help minimize the project’s environmental impact by tracking carbon inputs and offsetting them through the sequestration of carbon outputs.