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Hidden landmarks: Why Toronto is at the forefront of the landscape architecture movement - The Globe and Mail
May. 01 2015 | The Globe and Mail | ALEX BOZIKOVIC.

The history of Toronto's University Avenue: The landscape designer André Parmentier planted the avenue in 1829; it was reshaped in the 1920s in the Beaux-Arts style; and in the 1960s, the current landscape was designed by the British-born architect Howard Dunington-Grubb to cap the newly built subway. It includes perennials, statues and vent stacks.

What is clear to Mr. Birnbaum – a century and a half of design ideas – is invisible to most of us, part of the scenery. That is the plight of landscape architecture, and this is what Mr. Birnbaum’s group is hoping to change: to make familiar the idea of a “cultural landscape” as something to be seen, valued and protected by the general public. As he puts it, “We’re making visible the often-invisible hand of the landscape architect.”

What exactly is a “cultural landscape”? It can be a street or a waterfront, designed or inherited. But most often it means a designed outdoor space, the work of landscape architects who deal with urban and ecological lenses, as well as vegetation and the formal design of plazas, streets and other outdoor spaces...Waterfront Toronto: In remaking 800 hectares of the industrial waterfront, that agency has brought together some of the best landscape architects in the world to remake the topography and to set a high standard for the urban fabric it is building....Parks matter! Parks generate real-estate value and, more importantly, a sense of place. As Mr. Birnbaum points out, the waterfront parks “were built first, communicating what the quality of life will be along the waterfront. We think it sets an enviable standard, and that’s why we will be bringing people from all over the globe to see the landscapes and to discuss these issues.”
Toronto  landmarks  landscapes  architecture  design  parks  waterfronts  Waterfront_Toronto  history  public_spaces  quality_of_life 
may 2015 by jerryking
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