Love Park and Rees Ridge win Waterfront Parks Design Competition

Waterfront Toronto, in partnership with the City of Toronto’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, today announced the winning design submissions for the York Street Park and Rees Street Park design competition.  Love Park by Claude Cormier et Associés has been selected for York Street Park, and Rees Ridge by wHY Architecture and Brook Mcllroy has been selected for Rees Street Park. The goal of the design competition was to solicit bold plans for the two parks from leading international design firms that would integrate with the existing vibrant public spaces along Toronto’s waterfront.

“The jury was thrilled with the quality and effort reflected in the design submissions for both York Street and Rees Street Park,” said Chris Glaisek, Chief Planning and Design Officer at Waterfront Toronto. “The winning designs best responded to the design requirements for each space, and we’re very excited to see these visions come to life.”

Love Park by Claude Cormier et Associés

The jury unanimously selected Love Park as the winning design for York Street Park. The jury appreciated the simple and timeless nature of the design and agreed that its natural elements and elegant forms created a contemporary and inviting space for visitors. The classic approach to this design, with a central water feature and lush perimeter, makes the spaces appealing for both winter and summer uses. It also creates beautiful aerial views from the surrounding office and residential towers, along with excellent opportunities to exhibit public art throughout the space.

Rees Ridge by wHY Architecture and Brook Mcllroy

Similarly, Rees Ridge was unanimously selected as the winning design for Rees Street Park. The jury was impressed with its bold and thoughtful design, which includes a large ridge that changes the relationship of the waterfront to the downtown. The team’s multi-functional design allows for year-round activity and includes exciting potential for future programming and events that will meet the needs of local residents. This design also creates many opportunities for flexible art integration.

Members of the jury included Michael Van Valkenburgh, Principal, Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (Chair of the Jury); Neil Hrushowy, Principal Urban Designer, City and County of San Francisco; Jane Hutton, Assistant Professor, University of Waterloo; Matthew Hyland, Director/Curator of Oakville Galleries; Janna Levitt, Principal, LGA Architectural Partners.

“I’d like to thank all of the five short-listed teams for their submissions and congratulate Claude Cormier et Associés and wHY Architecture and Brook Mcllroy, who have exceeded our expectations for what the York Street and Rees Street parks can become,” said Mayor John Tory. “I know we all are looking forward to seeing their creativity come to life in these parks. They will be vibrant additions to Toronto’s waterfront.”

Construction of York Street Park is expected to commence in 2019 with a budget of approximately $7 million. Construction of Rees Street Park expected to commence in 2020 with a budget of approximately $10 million.

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at