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Midtown plan wins national award as "model for other cities"

A plan that would entrench, expand and entwine midtown’s green spaces has won recognition from the body that governs those who design the nation’s outdoor spaces.

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), which counts 1,900 of the country’s approximately 2,000 landscape architects as its members, named it one of the best pieces of work in the country, excelling in craft, leadership, project management, innovation, as well as environmental and social awareness.

The plan, developed by a team that included landscape architects Public Work and infrastructure consultants Parsons Brinckerhoff, identifies five potential green space continuums which the team describes as “large scale public space proposals that bring together changes in the design of parks, streets and open space.” The include a long stretch of green along Yonge Street on either side of Eglinton, anoher along Eglinton itself, the transformation of Broadway, Montgomery, Roehampton and Orchard View “into a lush, green, multi-purpose promenade,” and a “re-imagined” Redpath Avenue to be bookended by “two great parks.”

“This is a project that was given an award for planning and analysis,” says CSLA executive director Michelle Legault. “Many landscape architects consult, and they develop plans for cities. This one developed with the City of Toronto, a blueprint that will help guide the evolution of the public spaces and public realm in midtown.

“Essentially what we’re saying is that this is a really high-level, highly efficient, extremely innovative plan. It’s a model for other plans for other cities.”

Plans are just plans until they are executed, of course, but this one, approved by council in its Aug. 25 session, is meant to be executed over a period of two to three decades.

Writer: Bert Archer
Source: Michelle Legault
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