Thomas Balsley Associates in association with Scott Torrance Landscape Architect Inc. have been selected by Waterfront Toronto as the landscape architecture team who will design a new .75 acres (3,000 square metre) park on Toronto’s waterfront. Aitken Place Park will be a key link in the continuum of open spaces along the Water’s Edge Promenade, from Sugar Beach, Sherbourne Common, Parliament Slip and ultimately to the mouth of the Don River.
Aitken Place Park will be at the heart of the East Bayfront Community, currently being transformed from an underutilized industrial brownfield into a residential neighbourhood, flanked by the future Aqualina residential development by Hines-Tridel to the west and the commercial buildings of Edgewater and Queens Quay Boulevard to the north.
The prime consultant will be Toronto-based Scott Torrance Landscape Architect Inc., who are responsible for the award-winning transformations of the West Toronto Rail Path, Victoria Park Subway Station, Regent Park and the Native Child and Family Services Centre. The lead design team will be led by the New York-based landscape architecture firm Thomas Balsley Associates.
In keeping with the Waterfront Toronto Sustainability Framework, Aitken Place Park will embrace and utilize key sustainable principles, building techniques and technologies, including biodiversity, bio-retention, storm water retention, low energy lighting, and a tree canopy covering a large portion of the park. Health and wellness opportunities will be created by encouraging the interaction with nature, implementation of cycling and pedestrian strategies, and celebration of the site’s heritage and culture. The design team has also planned for extreme weather mitigation, reduced maintenance requirements and environmental stewardship through native species plantings, which are all key tools to ensure that this park thrives over the long term. Arup, the international engineering firm known for projects such as the Sydney Opera House and the Centre Pompidou in Paris, will coordinate all the engineering components of the project.