Future Landscapes
Design, Visualization & Photography
01_Under-Pods_Winter_130730.jpg

Ontario Place Revitalization Vision

Graphic Design, Landscape Architecture, Visualization

Opening its doors in 1971, Ontario Place quickly established itself as a destination that attracted visitors from every corner of the province.

At a time when Toronto’s waterfront was actively industrial, the idea of creating a destination and park along the waterfront reshaped the relationship between the urban landscape and Lake Ontario. Today, Ontario Place remains an important public asset and provincially significant cultural heritage landscape.

Working as part of a multi-disciplinary team lead by Urban Strategies, PUBLIC WORK was focused on elevating the potential of landscape as part of the site’s transformation. Inspired by the site’s legacy of innovation, fun and live music, PUBLIC WORK helped the province re-imagine Ontario Place as a year-round destination to engage visitors of all ages in a new parkland setting for recreation, festivals, music, culture and discovery.

The new vision features a mix of urban and natural parks with cultural and community amenities set within the landscape across the islands. 

Employer: PUBLIC WORK Office for Urban Design & Landscape Architecture
Client: Infrastructure Ontario
Role: Visualization + 3D, Project Coordination, Concept Design
Location: Toronto, Ontario
Date: 2013
Project Team: Urban Strategies (Lead Consultants), BA Group (transportation), Savanta (natural heritage), The Municipal Infrastructure Group (servicing), DPM Energy (utilities), N. Barry Lyon Consulting (market), LPS Avia (Aviation), HGC Engineering (Noise)

All images and adapted text property of PUBLIC WORK Office for Urban Design and Landscape Architecture

Introduction to Open Spaces

Introduction to Open Spaces

Within the unique position and landscape of Ontario Place, the future open spaces of each test concept—the parks, trails, promenades and plazas—share a common set of challenges.

These challenges, such as how to transform Ontario Place into a world-class destination, how to link to the existing shoreline trails, and how to better connect with the city, are addressed by a series of ‘CORE ELEMENTS’ that are present in each test concept.

The culturally activated BLUE PARK creates a memorable central water experience within Ontario Place. THE WATERFRONT TRAIL brings continuity to the waterfront, linking key green spaces from east to west. Finally, ONTARIO LATITUDE PARK adds a strong north-south pedestrian connection from the city to the lake.

Test Concept Document

Test Concept Document

Ontario Place Revitalization Plan

Ontario Place Revitalization Plan

The success and unique identity of Ontario Place as a waterfront destination depends on having a variety of public spaces that can accommodate a diversity of programs. The open spaces envisioned include naturalized green edges, vegetated topographies, culturally programmed parks, urban beaches, artfully designed gardens, recreational open spaces, festival + market grounds, and urban waterfront plazas.

Winter Programming

Winter Programming

Ontario Place Pods & Cinesphere Waterscape

Ontario Place Pods & Cinesphere Waterscape

In each test concept, the BLUE PARK activates the central waterfront with culturally programmed pods and a timber floating landscape. The floating landscape can host performances, aquatic gardens, markets, and a harbour pool, bringing a new way to interact with the Toronto’s waterfront.

View to the Pods & Cinesphere

View to the Pods & Cinesphere

The Blue Park elements will work together with programming in the pods, engaging the sides, roof, and underside of the pods for cultural uses such as outdoor performance, concerts, and special installations.

Under Pods - Winter View

Under Pods - Winter View

The floating elements can be combined into different configurations to adapt to different events and seasons, and can be added to over time, making the Blue Park a highly flexible and truly unique destination on the water.

Under Pods - Summer View

Under Pods - Summer View

MODULAR FOLDED LANDSCAPES are based on the geometry of the diamond-shaped pods, and can be configured in different ways depending on the season or use. In summer performance, harbor baths, floating food market and other events can take advantage of the structure of the pods to create cultural events that take water as their first point of activation.

Under Pods - Pan Am Games

Under Pods - Pan Am Games

When Toronto hosts the Pan Am games in 2015, the pods can be used for broadcasting and showcasing watersport events.

Echo Beach Dunescape

Echo Beach Dunescape

The calm inner waters and protected dunes at Echo Beach host water activities, kayaking, beach sports and play.