A NATIONAL STUDIO PROJECT | UN PROJET NATIONAL D'ATELIERS
University of Toronto
Behnaz Assadi, Assistant Professor of Landscape Architecture
DANIELS SCHOOL OF ARCHITECTURE, LANDSCAPE, AND DESIGN
LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE GRADUATE PROGRAM
LAN2014 | LANDSCAPE COMPREHENSIVE STUDIO
Running along the western edge of Toronto’s downtown core ‘West Toronto Railroad’ has been connecting Toronto to Southampton and Owen Sound since 1968. The first portion of the land between Cariboo Avenue to Dundas street was purchased in 1997 after seven years of negotiations between, rail operators, the City of Toronto Economic Development, Parks Committee, Evergreen Foundation and Toronto’s Community Bicycle Network. Scott Torrance Landscape Architects and Brown and Storey Architects were the design team in charge of the construction of the first phase of the path, which began in 2008 and completed in 2009. The site for this studio was the second phase of West Dundas Railpath which is currently pending coordination with several other ongoing projects in the city, namely; the Georgetown South Project, a planned expansion of rail capacity along the line for GO Transit and the Union Pearson Express.
Located at the heart of a post-industrial neighbourhood in Toronto’s west end, the site spans from Dundas Street West at Sterling Road all the way to Sudbury Street. With recent exhibitions like Banksy and the arrival of Toronto’s Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) last fall, what once was mostly ‘artists and bohemian types, for better or worse, is now opening up to future development’. This consequently put more emphasis on the significance of the site as an urban node along the rail way corridor.
Throughout the course of the studio the students attempted to design a comprehensive linear landscape in a non-linear manner. Given that design disciplines are inherently collaborative, each of the three projects will be done either in groups or pairs.