June Callwood Park

Toronto, Ontario

Photo Credit: gh3

 

CASE STUDY

Research by: Samantha Miller

Edited by: Nicole Brekelmans

Case study compiled in 2019

Project: June Callwood Park

Type of Urban StrategyEcological Infrastructure

Type of ProjectUrban Park / Urban Forest

LocationToronto, Ontario 

Date Designed/Planned: 2010

Construction Completed2014

Designergh3

 

Designed to honour the life of June Callwood, a celebrated Canadian social activist, journalist, and author, June Callwood Park is an urban forest full of colour. Callwood worked to create safe havens for some of the city’s most in-need groups such as Casey House for people living with AIDS, Diggers House for street kids, and Nellie’s (women’s shelter). After her death, the City of Toronto announced an international design competition for the design of a park to celebrate her life, in which gh3 won the award for the contract. The design team found inspiration in a quote from one of Callwood’s last interviews where she said, “I believe in kindness,” and translated the sound waves right into the design of the park. The pattern of the pavement is meant to resemble the exact soundwaves when looking at the park in plan view. 

 

The park also was designed to have an urban forest, that consists of native Canadian trees. The trees chosen are a sampling of the species of trees that would have been present on the Lake Ontario shoreline at the time in which the city was settled (gh3, 2014). In total, 300 trees were planted, including Red Oaks, and Crabapple trees. They were also looking for a new and fresh way to create a natural setting through its urban forest, within a dense urban environment. The creation of June Callwood Park is part of a larger city plan to redevelop and refurbish the surrounding areas with connecting bridges, walkways, a new visitors centre (Chrisholm, 2009). This project fits well within the case studies of ecological infrastructure because the urban forest has long-term benefits for the environment. It is designed to last generations, through its durable material choices and new plantings. Making long-term investments in ecological infrastructures such as urban parks, green spaces, pocket parks, and urban forests is crucial for a city as large as Toronto.