UntitledCyclist

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I am afraid I don't quite get this park design. I'm really glad it's finally open, and whatever the landscaping, having A park here is better than NO park. But, is it one of those places that looks and works better in person than in photos? It's incredibly busy. I find the green they chose for all the sculptures same-y and garish, but also not bright enough to be really cheery or uplifting. Most of the works seem to be purely decorative without obvious function, which is valid in a sculpture garden, but not sure these quite read as true artworks on their own? It's sort of that in between space between park furniture and art, where you hope to see a mix of form and function. I'm being a harsh critic based on some photos though. I'll try to make it down for a first-hand look soon!
 

LUVIT!

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There are some pretty details here.
However I'm afraid that over time like so many public spaces, lack of maintenance from the city or whomever due to money, irresponsible dog owners, substance abusers hanging about, lack of security for the general public, this will be become like many others spaces around town.
Shabby.
 

UtakataNoAnnex

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Those are representations of blue herons (Ardea herodias) @Northern Light ?
 

isaidso

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I am afraid I don't quite get this park design. I'm really glad it's finally open, and whatever the landscaping, having A park here is better than NO park. But, is it one of those places that looks and works better in person than in photos? It's incredibly busy. I find the green they chose for all the sculptures same-y and garish, but also not bright enough to be really cheery or uplifting. Most of the works seem to be purely decorative without obvious function, which is valid in a sculpture garden, but not sure these quite read as true artworks on their own? It's sort of that in between space between park furniture and art, where you hope to see a mix of form and function. I'm being a harsh critic based on some photos though. I'll try to make it down for a first-hand look soon!

Urban parks came into vogue a century ago to offer a green (nature) calming oasis. By that measure, this 'park' fails miserably. It's more amusement park than traditional park. I've been 2-3 times. It's impossible to relax there but it's a nicer place to be than the sidewalk. I'm assuming it's for people that don't actually like nature (trees, plants, flowers)?
 
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Northern Light

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I made it down here on my latest walk, on October 27th, 2022:

We''ll walk the space roughly from south to north, but with some significant turnarounds to capture different views of spaces.

I was there in the late afternoon and report 2 families making use of the playground, 1 dog walker and 1 student taking a seat and doing some reading.

Considering the cool weather, I think that's 1/2 decent usage.

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This isn't a park design review post..........so I'll keep it tight. Overall, I like it. The strata components (parking entrances) are unfortunate, and misuse is already an issue (while I was there).......

But mostly, good quality on the plantings and material finishes.

In the second last pic, I find the use of the plain concrete retaining wall along the Wellesley frontage unfortunate. It makes sense to go w/the concrete if you're going to mount seating to it; but if not, something with a bit
more panache would be preferred for such a conspicuous spot. But elsewise, quite decent.
 

Undead

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To me, this park feels overwhelmed by the hard scaping because of the small overall size. Those rocks are especially disagreeable to my eye; never liked that landscape fad.
 

jozl

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It seems to me that the designers are trying to do too much. There’s no focus no “ center”. The design elements just kind of bump into each other and are confusing in both the layout and style. The boulders act as barriers instead of a comforting place to sit and relax. The park lacks warmth.
 

junctionist

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More should be done to make the public aware of parks with significant hardscaped areas in the landscaping. They're begging to be animated. Picture a used book or artisan jewellery market there. If it were bigger, it could host farmer's markets.

You can't have a market in a grassy park on a muddy day from late fall to early spring. But you can certainly program a hardscaped area year round, as long as there's winter maintenance. The problem is that a lot of people who'd benefit from these spaces don't even know they exist.
 

Northern Light

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More should be done to make the public aware of parks with significant hardscaped areas in the landscaping. They're begging to be animated. Picture a used book or artisan jewellery market there. If it were bigger, it could host farmer's markets.

You can't have a market in a grassy park on a muddy day from late fall to early spring. But you can certainly program a hardscaped area year round, as long as there's winter maintenance. The problem is that a lot of people who'd benefit from these spaces don't even know they exist.

Awareness may be an issue; I'm not sure. I rather suspect the bigger obstacle to modest pop-ups or Farmer's Markets or buskers etc is byzantine permitting processes, fees, insurance requirements and the like.

There are lots parks people are aware could support some programming (and indeed have some programming) but spaces are more empty than utilized.

Think the bandstand in Kew Gardens; or amphitheater in Earl Bales, both of which are overdue for sizable capital investments, but I digress.

Farmer's Markets, can be, and often are allowed to pitch on soft spaces; though it certainly isn't ideal and can see vendors more likely to no-show with a threat of bad weather, its also really hard on the turf (tends to get muddy/rutted etc.)

I agree, a bit more animation would be good. Though I don't want to see every park subject to commercialization. I think we could do a lot more w/park-let/public square type investments, on side streets as they approach major shopping districts to create small-scale opportunities for this sort of thing.

The existing space at Danforth/Logan is already popular, but I think could be substantially improved:

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IF the parking adjacent to this public space were removed and public/square park widened accordingly, permanent space could be found for musicians here. Paving the adjacent roadway in interlock, and replacing the street lighting here w/pedestrian lights to indicated a pedestrian-priority zone would help further, along with raising/enlarging and making permanent the bumpouts that can be seen here.

There are a host of intersections through out the city with similar potential. Not all would get a space as substantial, but many could, and smaller spaces can prove popular too:

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In all parks, there are opportunities to better animate space by properly considering adjacent retail, if applicable (missed, in this case I would argue, as 11 Bay does not feature a good restaurant patio overlooking the park)

Consideration to making parks more hospitable in winter is also key, and I would argue might be best achieved by simply making sure one principle pathway has a snowmelt system laid in under it so as to keep clear, safe, and easy to navigate year-round. Proper 4-seasons landscaping also matters in ensuring spaces don't seem barren in the winter. (here, I think this design has something to offer, once the plants establish and grow)
 

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