Moss Park
2016 ongoing, Toronto, Canada

More Moss Park is envisaged as a frame of public program elements (building, landscape, and art) surrounding an open public ‘common’. The revitalized park will not only provide new recreational opportunities, but more importantly, a flexible, inclusive and timeless park for everyone.

Suitable for the specific urban context, More Moss Park recognizes the site's important connection to Allan Gardens to the north. The park redesign places programming along the edges, with sports activities along Sherbourne Street, a promenade along Queen Street East and family facilities like a splash pad and playgrounds along Shuter Street. These three edges are activated with plenty of inhabitable thresholds between city and park, while the western edge is held by the new community centre that can open directly onto the park.

This proposal recognizes the heritage of the site, both through a non-literal reinstatement of  ‘lost’ topography from the time of Toronto’s founding — but also reinterpreting the longstanding tradition of this site as a host to community. Furthermore approximately half of existing trees will be preserved and integrated to the improved urban canopy. 

There are many user groups and multiple active recreation desires for the park. The open commons in the centre of the park can accommodate a little league baseball game with informal spectator seating all-around, a large concert, or festivals, informal sports, community events, and more.

There are currently many desire lines across the park, but rather than simply solving a problem of linking point A to point B, this more nuanced, escapist design with wandering circulation provides a respite from the city grid and maximizes encounters between users.  The park is also organized to have an iconic feature (an elevated pathway) oriented to provide a meeting point in the park, and a viewing point to the growing Toronto Skyline.

More Moss Park will be dedicated to providing inclusive recreational space and programs, responsive to the needs of the local community, including vulnerable and at risk communities, while advancing LGBTQ inclusion in sport and recreation. Moss Park would be a transformative moment for the City of Toronto.

client
City of Toronto, The 519
partners
MJMA, Public Studio
consultants
LGA Architectural Partners, SvN Architects + Planners, EMC Group Limited, Blackwell, Smith + Anderson 
team
Adriaan Geuze, Claire Agre, Jelle Therry, Giulia Frittoli, Kurt Marsh, Lauren Micir, Liz Pulver, William DiBernardo, Yi Lun Yang