Arcadis IBI Group and SLA Awarded David Crombie Park Revitalization Design Project in Downtown Toronto
Construction slated to begin in 2024 on major upgrade to culturally significant park, amenities and cycling infrastructure
TORONTO, ON (May 3, 2023) – Together, on a joint bid proposal, Arcadis IBI Group and Copenhagen-based studio SLA, are pleased to announce they have been selected by the City of Toronto to lead the detailed design implementation for the David Crombie Park Revitalization Project in the city’s downtown east side.
The revitalization of this culturally integral public park will strengthen its role as a major landmark for Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence neighborhood, as well as support surrounding social infrastructure and entertainment areas, including the Distillery District and St. Lawrence Market.
The linear park project will span nearly two hectares across seven blocks, making it one of the largest open space projects to take place in the City of Toronto over the last decade. The project also calls for Arcadis IBI and SLA to design new cycling infrastructure and streetscape elements to seamlessly connect The Esplanade with nearby Mill Street at the east end of the park.
“This is one of the most significant public realm projects in Toronto,” says Neno Kovacevic, Director of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture at Arcadis IBI, and Principal in Charge of the David Crombie Park Project. “This project is about people, nature, the connections between them, and the city as a whole.”
“Our design will embrace and build on the legacy of David Crombie Park as an inviting and safe mix of public courtyard and linear park and enhance its social and ecological values, not just for the neighborhood but for the city of Toronto,” says Rasmus Astrup, Partner and Design Principal at SLA, and the project’s Design Lead.
“David Crombie Park and the adjacent street that runs the length of the park – The Esplanade – serve as the catalyst for these connections. They make up the social spine that supports the local community, that provides the neighborhood its uniquely livable character and adds an essential cultural and social element to Toronto’s urban fabric,” says Kovacevic.
Named after the City of Toronto mayor who helped oversee a focused community-building effort in the 1970s to turn a declining industrial area into a thriving mixed-use area, David Crombie Park has always been at the heart of the St. Lawrence neighborhood.
The new master plan for the park, which will build upon the conceptual design plan created in phase 1 of the project, is a key component of the Old Town-St. Lawrence-Distillery park district, as identified in the City of Toronto’s Downtown Parks and Public Realm Plan. The revitalization design is intended to address the end-of-life cycle of many of the park’s hard infrastructure elements, as well as to accommodate continuously increased use of the park due to ongoing commercial and residential intensification in the area.
The new design plan also aims to address the City’s sustainability goals through the application of Arcadis IBI’s dynamic carbon model, which will help minimize the project’s environmental impact by tracking carbon inputs and offsetting them through the sequestration of carbon outputs.
Construction for the park and cycle track is slated to begin in 2024.
About Arcadis IBI Group
IBI Group is a technology-driven design firm with global architecture, engineering, planning and technology expertise, working across disciplines to shape the way people live, move, learn and heal. On September 27, 2022, IBI Group joined Arcadis, a global leader in the delivery of sustainable design, engineering, and consultancy solutions for natural and built assets. Our digitally driven expertise will transform our industries and provide our clients with innovative, future-focused technology-enabled solutions alongside human-centric design excellence. Together, we’re a stronger and more resilient business of passionate thinkers, designers and engineers across 70 countries. The combined strength of Arcadis IBI Group provides unprecedented opportunities to offer new client solutions, while defining the resilient cities of tomorrow, together.
SLA is an internationally renowned nature-based design studio, working with landscape architecture, sustainable urban design, and city planning. Founded in Copenhagen, SLA has for thirty years designed some of the most notable public spaces and masterplans in the world. SLA designs cities, public space, and nature on all scales: From parks and plazas to city-wide masterplans and national biodiversity strategies. In Toronto, the studio is currently also engaged as Lead Landscape Designers for three other prominent projects: The Quayside development in Waterfront Toronto, the masterplan for the former Toronto airport Downsview, and the redesign of St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts.