KEN SMITH WORKSHOP

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE

URBANISM

ART

 Village Of Yorkville Park, Toronto, Ontario

Start Date: 1992

Completion Date: 1994

 

Toronto Department of Parks, Forestry & Recreation, client

Martha Schwartz, Ken Smith

and David Meyer, landscape architecture

Oleson Worland, architect

Dan Euser Water Architecture, fountain consultant

R.J. Van Seters Co., fountain consultant

 

Peter Mauss / ESTO, Photography

The park design creates a series of linear subdivisions with contextual alignments to the building lot lines across the street and connections to mid block passageways in the adjoining blocks. Each linear park segment is distinct in character but related to the next, creating a park of diversity and unity.  Anchoring the west end of the park is a monumental 700-ton bedrock outcrop of native Muskoka granite that was taken apart along natural crevices and moved 150 miles and reconstructed on the park site. Immense yet inviting, the outcrop has a wonderful tactile surface for sitting—and it absorbs warmth on cool sunny days. Moveable tables and chairs next to the boulder offer a nice contrast between permanence and flexibility.

 

While small in size, Yorkville’s park has become a local landmark, and has played an important role in the revitalization of the neighborhood. Ken Smith Workshop was awarded the ASLA Landmark Award in 2012 for Yorkville Park in “recognition of a distinguished project completed between 15 and 30 years that retains its original design intent and contributes significantly to the public realm of the community in which it is located.”

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