Compelling and visionary designers and others examine Toronto’s international leadership in landscape architecture-based development. Provocative, headline-making speakers at this May 2015 conference in Toronto highlighted exceptional design and sustainability in world-class waterfront projects, the city’s extensive ravine system and it legacy of parks. To learn more about the conference: http://tclf.org/sites/default/files/microsites/toronto2015/index.html
Urban metropolises like Toronto, Houston, Detroit and Los Angeles are defined by a landscape dominated by the automobile and have long struggled with a lack of identity and a generic public realm. Toronto‘s Central Waterfront, which extends 3.5 km along Lake Ontario and is in close proximity to the city’s central business district, is one of the city’s most valuable assets. Despite decades of planning and patchwork development projects, the city and its waterfront lacked a coherent vision for linking the pieces into a greater whole.
West 8’s vision supported by DTAH and led by Waterfront Toronto, sought to transform this urban leftover by using a powerful design language. Drawing from the iconic and idyllic Canadian lakefronts, with valley systems and resplendent natural environments, the design team was able to create a new identity for Toronto‘s Central Waterfront. Instead of focusing on condominium-based development, the award-winning masterplan prioritized connectivity between the vitality of the city and the lake, and it emphasized a continuous, publicly accessible waterfront. Inspired by the legacy of urban leaders like Jane Jacobs and Ken Greenberg, the design expresses a vision for the Central Waterfront that brings a sustainable, ecologically productive “green foot” to the rich culture of the metropolis. The realization of the masterplan, now well underway, has established a language for the waterfront that captures the spirit of Toronto and its people: it is public, it is diverse, and it offers a multiplicity of experiences and program.