Canadian Shield in Yorkville Park
But that isn’t just any chunk of rock; it’s a piece of the Canadian Shield and it weighs a slight 650 tonnes. It’s also the place where, in summer and winter, you can see people lazing, eating their lunch or otherwise enjoying the sights and sounds of Yorkville.
It has become such a central part of the area, the American Society of Landscape Architects honoured David Oleson with a Landmark Award for his work there. Of course, The Village of Yorkville Park is more than just “the rock,” as it has become known. The grounds also feature horizontal fountains, misting fountains and 20 evergreen trees planted in round planters arranged in five rows of five trees. The park features a series of gardens designed to showcase the varied Ontario landscape, including a marsh area with a boardwalk, prairie grass, flower gardens and, of course, “the rock.”
The Landmark Award recognizes a distinguished landscape architecture project completed between 15 and 50 years ago that retains its original design integrity and contributes significantly to the public realm of the community in which it is located.
“Receiving the Landmark Award is a tremendous honour,” says Oleson. “It’s always been a privilege to be part of the design team that brought Toronto such a unique and engaging public space. So to be recognized for the lasting impact of the Village of Yorkville Park is a bonus.”
The Village of Yorkville Park was a collaboration between Oleson’s firm, Oleson Worland Architects, and landscape architecture firm, Schwartz / Smith / Meyer, which was based in San Francisco at the time of the park’s design.
Oleson is the architect behind ART Condos, the 11-storey residence at the corner of Dovercourt and Sudbury Sts. Already nearing completion, Oleson designed ART to embody the creative spirit and the Queen West arts community.
He has also designed several other iconic and award-winning Toronto projects, including the North Toronto Memorial Community Centre, which won the prestigious Governor General’s Medal for Architecture, the beloved Don Valley Brick Works, and Sherbourne Lanes, Toronto’s first midrise, infill housing project.
Photos courtesy Oleson Worland Architects