Aerial illustration of Berczy Park site, looking northeast, as it will appear once fully complete in spring 2017. Courtesy Claude Cormier + Associés.
The innovative and artful restoration of downtown's Berczy Park is almost complete, with the park open to visitors beginning Dec. 5, 2016, while finishing touches are prepared for the official opening in spring 2017. The reconstruction of Scott Street, between Front Street East and Wellington Street East, is now complete and open to the public.
Berczy Park is a 3,606 sq. metre public park located in the triangle of land between Wellington, Front and Scott streets across the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts. The space has been a public park since 1980 before which it sat vacant or served as a parking lot. Over the last few years, Parks, Forestry and Recreation has been working closely with the local community to plan the revitalization of the well-used and well-worn park.
Berczy Park's new fountain showing the dog figurines. Courtesy Claude Cormier + Associés. Park and street construction began in 2015 by Somerville Construction of Toronto. The design was completed by celebrated landscape architects Claude Cormier + Associés of Montreal. The park includes a wider, central plaza with granite mosaic paving, wider sidewalks along Front Street and Scott Street, grassy berms and garden beds. A mix of new tree species was planted in state-of-the-art Silva Cell growing chambers.
The park's historic centrepiece, a large fountain, has been replaced by a new two-tiered fountain with a unique and whimsical theme. When it's opened in spring 2017, 27 dog sculptures – and one cat – will be situated around, in, and on the fountain, each spraying water from its mouth. A golden bone sits atop the fountain.
Also by spring, a public artwork, commissioned by the City's Economic Development and Culture Division following a public competition, will be installed on the west side. Toronto artist Luis Jacob's piece is called Jacob's Ladder.
Aerial photo of Berczy Park site, looking southeast, when it was a parking lot prior to being redeveloped into a park in 1980. Park revitalization also included the reconstruction of Scott Street on the western border. The new street features curbless borders and pavers that integrate with the park design.
Berczy Park is named after William Berczy, a German-born architect, surveyor, and writer often considered a co-founder of modern Toronto with John Graves Simcoe. Berczy was also a painter, most famous for his portrait of Mohawk chief Thayendanegea (Joseph Brant).
Information on the park's official opening in spring 2017 will be posted here as soon as details are available.