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jje1000

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I feel like the Oculus is wasted in its current location, lest it anchor a more involved programming of the park.

it would be far better suited relocated a short distance away to the Humber Bay shoreline, IMO.
 

smably

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Rendering from Giaimo Architects (http://giaimo.ca/oculus):
perspective+view+02+-+EDIT_01.jpg
 

DSC

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2020 Toronto Heritage Grant Awards Grant of $33,000 towards this work is up for approval at the Planning Committee on June 15.

Got out there today on the bike and was sorry to see that no work has been done since my last visit a couple of years ago. There also seems to have been no action on the Designation noted in the Report to the Planning Committee noted above.

A proposal to revitalize the Oculus, by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) Toronto and Giaimo Architects was one of five recipients of Park People's 2019 Public Space Incubator grant, funded by Ken and Eti Greenberg and Balsam Foundation. This revitalization project aims to transform the Oculus into a welcoming community gathering place along the trail by restoring and cleaning the existing pavilion and implementing flexible and contextual outdoor furniture. The project will also include a series of engaging and educational programming. In October of 2019, ACO Toronto submitted a grant application related to the heritage conservation work included in the pavilion revitalization proposal. City Planning staff conducted the review of the grant application in co-ordination with Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division staff and who support the scope of work and will be executing a Construction Agreement with the applicant to govern the work in summer 2020. Heritage Planning are finalizing a report recommending designation of the Oculus Park Pavilion in South Humber Park under Part IV of the Ontario Heritage Act and will bring forward to the Toronto Preservation Board and Council prior to the release of the funds. Designation of the property is a pre-condition for finalizing the Letter of Understanding for the grant award.
 

smably

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Email from the ACO today:
As many community members know, the project was initially planned to take place in Summer 2020. However, due to the pandemic the project has been postponed. The current plan is to start restoration in Spring 2021, with programming and events to take place Summer 2021. Circumstances are changing daily, and as such plans will adjust as needed depending on the pandemic and Public Health Guidelines. We appreciate everyone’s understanding, support, and continued interest in this project; we want to assure you that the revitalization is still well underway, just delayed.

Apparently they will be hosting a pop-up event at the Oculus next weekend: https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/the-oculus-pop-up-tickets-124472421363
 

AlbertC

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Oculus at South Humber Park may be headed for city’s heritage register


Sept 2, 2021

If approved by City council, as expected on Oct. 1, the designation will help protect the Oculus against the wrecker’s ball.

The pavilion narrowly avoided this fate in 2016.

It got a boost in 2019, when the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO), a charitable non-profit organization, and Giaimo, a Toronto-based architecture firm, proposed a rehabilitation project, using a $36,000 grant from Park People’s Public Space Incubator. The incubator is funded by the Balsam Foundation and Ken and Eti Greenberg. The project also had additional sponsors. https://parkpeople.ca/opportunity/public-space-incubator-2019/

The budget for rehabilitation was $90,000, including a City of Toronto heritage grant of $33,000, conditional on the structure being designated a heritage building.

The work was originally scheduled to be done in 2020, but was delayed by the pandemic.

This year, the exterior of the pavilion was cleaned and repainted, the flagstone refurbished, and new benches were placed at the site. The bathrooms were not part of the project and remain closed.

To encourage visitors and keep the site in the public eye, Stephanie Mah, vice-president of ACO Toronto, is working on developing programming for it.

“Cleaning it alone doesn’t ensure that it won’t become derelict again,” said Mah.

An exhibit offers self-guided tours and doubles as public art.

Walking tours are scheduled for the fall.

Musicians, attracted by the site’s impressive acoustics, have begun practising there.


 

junctionist

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This restoration is seemingly spanning decades. It's like the project to restore Arc en Ciel at Yorkdale station.
 

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Planning and Housing Committee consideration on September 21, 2021
PH26.12
ACTION​
Ward: 3​
85 Stephen Drive (The Oculus) - Notice of Intention to Designate a Property Under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act
Origin
(August 25, 2021) Report from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning​
Recommendations
The Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning, recommends that:

1. City Council state its intention to designate the property at 85 Stephen Drive (including entrance addresses at 75 High Street and 120 The Queensway) under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act, in accordance with the Statement of Significance: 85 Stephen Drive (Reasons for Designation) attached as Attachment 3 to the report (August 24, 2021) from the Chief Planner and Executive Director, City Planning.

2. If there are no objections to the designation, City Council authorize the City Solicitor to introduce the Bill in Council designating the property under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act.​
Summary
This report recommends that City Council include the property at 85 Stephen Drive (including entrance addresses at 75 High Street and 120 The Queensway) on the City of Toronto's Heritage Register, state its intention to designate the property under Part IV, Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its cultural heritage value for its design and physical, historical and associative, and contextual values.

The property at 85 Stephen Drive (including entrance addresses at 75 High Street and 120 The Queensway) is located within the South Humber Park, north of the Humber River Recreational Trail. It is bordered by the Humber River to the east, Stonegate Road to the north, Stephen Drive to the west, and The Queensway and the Humber Wastewater Treatment Plant to the south. Known as the South Humber Park Pavilion or "the Oculus," the purpose-built structure was designed in 1958-9 for visitors to the new South Humber Park and was set within the park's expansive picturesque landscape. The park was created in tandem with the adjacent Humber Wastewater Treatment Plant development and as part of citywide activity related to the flood control of ravines and valley lands after the destruction of Hurricane Hazel in 1954.

The city-owned pavilion was designed by the architect Alan Crossley in collaboration with the engineer Laurence George Cazaly. The South Humber Park Pavilion contains three separate but conceptually linked elements which form a singular structure: a trapezoidal ground plane of flagstone pavers, a concrete shelter structure with an oculus to allow sunlight to penetrate, and a rounded washroom building that is faced in stone of varied sizes. The South Humber Park Pavilion is a local landmark, and running south of the structure is the Humber River Recreational Trail, which was installed in the 1980s and increased access to the pavilion. There was also a cairn stone drinking fountain to the side (west) of the structure, which has been removed.

In 2019, The Oculus Revitalization Project, led by Giaimo and the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) – Toronto (ACO TO), was selected as one of the recipients for Park People's Public Space Incubator Grant (PSI). The grants will be used to transform the South Humber Park Pavilion into a community gathering space including temporary public art installation titled Brighter Days Ahead was installed in October 2020. Additionally City Council awarded a Toronto heritage grant $33,000.00 to the ACO – Toronto (ACO TO) to assist with the pavilion's restoration in 2021 with the condition that the pavilion be designated under Part IV Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act in keeping with grant award requirements. Since the Oculus is a City of Toronto asset, ACO TO and Giaimo have been working closely with Parks, Forestry, and Recreation and Heritage Planning staff throughout the entire project. A related exhibition opened on August 3, 2021.

Following research and evaluation undertaken according to Ontario Regulation 9/06, the provincial criteria prescribed for municipal designation, it has been determined that the property at 85 Stephen Drive merits designation under Part IV Section 29 of the Ontario Heritage Act for its design and physical, historical and associative, and contextual value.

Properties on the Heritage Register will be conserved and maintained in accordance with the Official Plan Heritage Policies.​
 

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