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Winner of Jack Layton Ferry Terminal competition: Now the details

The Jack Layton Ferry Terminal.

The ridiculously tight space between the Westin Harbour Castle, Lake Ontario and the Harbour Square complex was a key inspiration for the winning design for the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbour Square Park. Chosen last week from five finalists, the proposal from KPMB Architects, Netherlands-based West 8 and Greenberg Consultants solves the space constraints by creating a park whose hills rise to become a green roof for the terminal itself. The plan puts one use quite literally on top of the other.
“It’s a flat area and this elevation is very significant. Being able to get higher changes your perspective completely,” says Ken Greenberg of Greenberg Consultants. “You can imagine people picnicking on those hillsides, and having kids sliding down them in the winter. It will be something special and different on the waterfront."
Anyone who’s been to the Toronto Islands knows just how uninspiring the current ferry terminal is. “All the charm of a large public washroom,” says Greenberg. The winning design would provide better views, more green space and, within the terminal itself, a grand wooden ceiling that would better protect people from the elements. The rolling hills also faintly echo other new-generation parks along the waterfront, like HTO and Sugar Beach.
What happens next? While the city tries to rustle up the funds to pay for the redevelopment project, the winning team will enter a period of study with the stakeholders to work out the details and technical issues. For example, what will the new ferry docks look like and where will they go? Greenberg figures that could take a year. When construction does start, the port needs to remain open, which makes it a particularly tricky redevelopment.   
Writer: Paul Gallant
Source: Ken Greenberg
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