Berczy Park construction begins at last on Sept 10th

10 Sep
Cormier's design for Berczy's revamped fountain plaza with dog sculptures.

Cormier’s design for Berczy’s revamped fountain plaza with dog sculptures.

After three and a half years of planning – including multiple public forums and design revisions – construction on the much-anticipated Berczy Park revitalization begins on September 10, 2015. Scroll down for key details on:

  • Project timing & construction;
  • New Berczy Park design;
  • Transitioning Berczy trees;
  • Summary poster of new Berczy Park;

Project timing & construction:

Contract estimates call for park construction to take approximately nine months, for completion by Summer, 2016.

Plaza will be paved in historic red and gray granite pattern.

Plaza will be paved in historic red and gray granite pattern.

Key construction milestones include:

  • Construction crews begin to assemble: Sept 10, 2015;
  • Hoarding placed around park, within sidewalk boundaries, and demolition begins: Sept 14-21, 2015; *More construction milestones to be added soon.
  • Scott Street, Wellington and Front Street sidewalk work begins: Spring 2016;
  • Expected completion of Berczy Park project: Summer 2016;

This project will be overseen by Somerville Construction, known for their work on Toronto’s H2O Park, the waterfront Wavedecks, and the East Bayfront promenade. Construction hours will comply with City regulations, primarily weekdays between 7am-7pm;

To keep posted on construction progress, click ‘follow’ on this blog page, or follow @friendsofberczy on Twitter. Or, join our Friends of Berczy Park email list, by writing to berczypark@gmail.com , for periodic updates. The City will also publish project updates at http://www.Toronto.ca/parks (Search for Berczy Park).

Concerns about construction noise or other issues can be raised by calling 3-11, or locate additional City project contacts at http://www.Toronto.ca/parks (Search for Berczy Park).

New Berczy Park design:

 Designed by Cormier et Associes, the new park features three major ‘areas’ including a large central plaza and fountain; mural garden/on-leash dog area; and green activity area.

  • The new Bercyz Park: life-size dog sculptures will populate the three-tier fountain.

    The new Bercyz Park: life-size dog sculptures will populate the three-tier fountain.

    Large central plaza will have a dramatic granite patterned paver surface, shade trees, movable furniture, benches and two small stage platforms.

  • The central fountain will be larger than the original with three cast iron tiers and decorative cast iron dog sculptures (and one cat) that spray around and into the fountain. Visitors can sit on the fountain ledge and a narrow pet water trough will encircle the fountain, with fresh drinking water for pets, separated from fountain water.
  • A mural garden, (a flexible, multi-use area below the
    Northward view of mural garden/onleash pet area just west of Flatiron Bldg.

    Northward view of mural garden/onleash pet area just west of Flatiron Bldg.

    Flatiron Bldg) will include perennial planting beds on three sides, a raised pea gravel surface terrace suited for on-leash dog play, as well as quiet visitor reflection of the Flatiron Bldg’s Derek Bassant mural. The area will include water access for clean-up of

    The new Berczy Park: Westward view of park from mural garden/onleash dog area behind Flatiron Bldg.

    The new Berczy Park: Westward view of park from mural garden/onleash dog area behind Flatiron Bldg.

    pet waste and ideally divert some of the current dog traffic from other areas of the park.

    Westward view of main plaza with mini stage.

    Westward view of main plaza with mini stage.

  • Green activity area, will have low mound-like hills, bordered by benches and shrubs, to create a children’s area, and a child-friendly, public artwork (see below).
  • Existing artwork: The Derek Bassant mural on the Flatiron Bldg will be maintained, with encroaching trees trimmed or felled to improve art sight lines. The small Berczy Family sculpture will be relocated to a spot adjacent to the mural garden.
  • Art inspired by the timeless kids' string game!

    Art inspired by the timeless kids’ string game!

    New artwork: A new public artwork chosen through The City of Toronto art procurement process and a community judging panel will be located in the green activity area, to create a children’s space. The interactive artwork, “Jacob’s Ladder,” will, in the words of Toronto artist Luis Jacob: “Connect to children as well as adult visitors. Two large bronze hands emerge from the ground and reach into the sky like growing trees, holding between their fingers a lattice of ropes reminiscent of children’s string games, inviting children to climb and play with the sculpture.”

  • Diagonal paths dissect the park from all corners, converging at the fountain plaza.

    Northwest ward path towards Scott & Wellington Streets.

    Northwest ward path towards Scott & Wellington Streets.

  • Lighting will be added throughout the park, using the Old Town Toronto style posts, improved mural lighting and low bollard lighting in the mural garden.
  • Trees will include a mix of new plantings of tulip trees, oaks and american elm trees. New trees will benefit from ‘silva cell’ technology. Proven effective at nearby Sugar Beach, these tree root systems provide ample room for roots and water collection, to enable trees to grow faster and healthier.

    Eastward view of green activity area from Scott Street.

    Eastward view of green activity area from Scott S. New trees will benefit from ‘silva cell’ technology. Proven effective at nearby Sugar Beach, these tree root systems provide ample room for roots and water collection, to enable trees to grow faster and stay healthy.

  • Scott Street calming: As done on nearby Market St., Scott Street will be reworked to better complement the adjacent park. The street will be narrowed, sidewalks and benches will be improved and curbs will be flattened to encourage pedestrian traffic or street events. This construction will occur in tandem to Berczy Park construction.

Transitioning Berczy Trees:

The new Berczy Park will require the removal of ill or blighted trees that have been determined to be near the end of their life spans due to poor planting conditions. A City of Toronto arborist tree study in 2013 determined that only 11 of 86 existing trees in Berczy were healthy enough to justify being saved. The new Berczy Park will have 52 trees, including 41 new trees, with most benefiting from the innovative silva cell root system described above, to collect water and allow rapid, healthy growth.

Summary poster of new Berczy Park:

Your new Berczy Park poster

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