Urban beach on Toronto’s waterfront
HTO reveals, honours, and celebrates Lake Ontario, source of the identity and cultural expression of Canada’s largest city. We developed an urban beach that encourages residents and visitors to rediscover the water, luring them from the hustle and bustle of the city. The atmosphere: a modern re-enactment of Seurat’s Un dimanche après-midi à l’Ile de la Grande Jatte (1884-1886), with its bright colours, play of light and shadows, and sense of peaceful refuge.
The site is a plane that slopes gently up from the city, then tilts down towards the water. Topographically, this forms a barrier against the noise and visual presence of the city, which disappears behind visitors as they amble towards the lake. Green islands of lawn shaded by weeping willows offer places of repose and gathering, an urban take on sand dunes. At the water’s edge, a series of generous terraced steps form the hardscape beach, adorned with umbrellas and lounge chairs to tempt you to dip your toes in the water.
Intrinsic to the design are sustainable systems that harness the natural forces of the lake for the energy and remediation needs of the site.
City of Toronto
Janet Rosenberg + Associates Landscape Architects, Hariri Pontarini Architects
22 300 m2 (5,5 acres)
Honor Award – American Society of Landscape Architects – General Design
Regional Honour – Canadian Society of Landscape Architects
Gold Medal – Design Exchange Toronto – Urban Design Category