Claude Cormier + Associés: Canada’s Sugar Beach is an imaginative park that transformed a surface parking lot in a former industrial area in Toronto into a modern urban beachfront.
The design for Canada’s Sugar Beach, by Claude Cormier + Associés, draws upon the industrial heritage of the area and its relationship to the neighbouring Redpath Sugar factory.
Waterfront Toronto was at the helm of redeveloping Toronto’s waterfront, and received $1.1 billion over ten years from local, provincial and federal governments.
The park features three distinct components: an urban beach; a plaza space, and a tree-lined promenade running diagonally through the park with a playful water feature in the shape of the iconic Canadian maple leaf. The 8,500 square metre park is the first public space visitors see as they travel along Toronto’s Queens Quay from the central waterfront. The park’s brightly coloured pink beach umbrellas and iconic candy-striped rock outcroppings welcome visitors to the new waterfront neighbourhood of East Bayfront.
Canada’s Sugar Beach reminds us that Toronto’s waterfront is a playful destination. The beach allows visitors to relax and play in the sand or watch boats on the lake. The dynamic water feature, embedded in a granite maple leaf beside the beach makes cooling off fun for the public. The park’s plaza offers a dynamic space for public events. A large candy-striped granite rock outcropping and three grass mounds give the public unique vantage points for larger events with the spaces between the mounds creating natural performance spaces for smaller events.
Between the plaza and the beach, people stroll through the park along a granite cobblestone with maple leaf mosaic pattern. The promenade offers a shaded route to the water’s edge providing the public with many opportunities along the way to sit and enjoy views to the lake, beach or plaza.
This project has won a Regional Honor Award from the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, an Award of Excellence from the Toronto Urban Design Awards, a Civic Design Project award from the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada, an AZ Award from Canada’s AZURE magazine and more recently, a 2012 ASLA Professional Award for General Design.
Landscape Architecture: Claude Cormier + Associés
Collaboration: The Planning Partnership, Halsall Associates Limited, The Municipal Infrastructure Group, Dillon Consulting Limited, Éclairage Public, Andrew Jones Design
Design and build of fountain system: Soucy Aquatik
Manufacturer and supplier of fountain: Crystal Fountains
Area: 8500 m2 (2 acres)