Town Hall Square is an inner-city, 0.6-acre park located adjacent to the historic Yorkville Library in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville neighbourhood.
The design came about after the developer of the adjacent 18 Yorkville condominium donated the land to the City for a public park, which was intended to serve both the condominium community and nearby office workers as well as visitors to the area. The design was challenged by the fact that the park sits entirely on top of an underground parking garage, and also needed to accommodate a laneway and access to the underground garage and loading zone. In order to introduce an open green space and lacy tree canopy to this dense urban core site, a concrete trench detail for the trees was developed, similar in nature to a long bathtub with proper drainage.
Town Hall Square features rows of Gingko trees, specifically chosen for their ability to withstand harsh urban conditions. Tree roots are protected by concrete disks that also serve as flexible seating areas. Large precast pots with boxwood balls, yew hedging, and vinca ground cover add to the crisp geometry and neatly manicured aesthetic of the park. The park also holds a 25-foot corten and aluminium sculptural piece by Canadian Artist Jean-Pierre Morin, selected through an art competition that was coordinated by Janet Rosenberg & Studio in collaboration with a public art facilitator.
The simplicity of this park is what contributes to its success. It allows for any number of activities: a quick stroll through the site, a group meeting, an intimate conversation, a park lunch break, or a small scale public event.
2006 CSLA Award, Regional Honour
2005 National Post Design Exchange (DX) Awards, Honourable Mention
Landscape Architect: Janet Rosenberg Studio
Project location: 25 Yorkville Ave, Toronto, ON Canada M4W 1L4
Client: Great Gulf Group of Companies
Year Built: 2005
Photographer: Neil Fox, Peter Sellar