Toronto

Waterfront park at Ontario Place nominated for major architecture award

The creators of Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place are up for a prestigious international award in architecture.

Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail are up for an international award in landscape and design

A view from William G. Davis Trail looking towards the Toronto Island Airport. (Mike Crawley/CBC News)

The creators of Trillium Park and the William G. Davis Trail at Ontario Place are up for a prestigious international award in architecture.

LANDinc, a Toronto-based landscape architecture and design company, has been nominated for the Architizer A+ Popular Choice Award in the category of public landscape design.

Patrick Morello, the founder and president of LANDinc, says it's an honour just to be shortlisted in the top five candidates for the award.

"There are submissions from all over the world, literally hundreds of submissions," Morello said.

A view of downtown Toronto from Trillium Trail, looking east. (Martin Trainor/CBC)

According to the award's website, the organization celebrates the best architecture of the year.

LANDinc was responsible for the first phase of a major transformation at the site that was formerly home to Ontario Place. Trillium Park and the William G. Davis trail were built on the eastern part of the property.

"It was initially a seven-and-a-half acre, for the most part, inaccessible staff parking lot for a handful of employees at Ontario Place," Morello said.

But even as a parking lot, Morello says there was something about the location that really stood out.

"The vantage point on that site is very unique," he said. "It's got a clear easterly view of the city, which is quite spectacular."

Trillium Park and William G. Davis Trail are made up of three hectares of green space. (Mike Crawley/CBC News)

Accentuating that view was a big part of the design for the public waterfront park and trail that eventually replaced the parking lot.

Morello says it was also very important to give the people of Toronto what they wanted, which is why they used public workshops and social media campaigns to gather ideas.

"We received messages about what they wanted this park to be like, and that contributed to a great part of the theme and concept of the park," he said.

Proposed plans for the rest of the Ontario Place are now uncertain after Doug Ford's PC party took over leadership of the province.

Kathleen Wynne's government wanted to turn it into a massive park called Celebration Common.

Ford has not said if he will move forward with those plans, or propose something new.

Morello says he'll support just about anything, "as long as it's publicly accessible."

About the Author

Greg Ross is a reporter in the CBC Toronto newsroom working in TV, radio and online.