Claude Cormier is a landscape architect and designer from Montreal. His talented team is behind some of the most innovative spaces in Toronto and Montreal, as well as some in the US and overseas.
Next, Claude is bringing his unique brand of urban design to 30 Ordnace. The project is at the conception stage and the details are still in the works. Nevertheless, Claude and the rest of the team have a very clear vision of what they are trying to create.
Because his company designed so many interesting spaces around Toronto over the years, we're taking a look at how elements from some of them will come together at 30 Ordnance.
HTO - URBAN BEACH
This was one of Cormier's first projects in Toronto, completed about ten years ago. HtO Park was also Toronto's first urban beach. Located at the foot of the CN tower, it was meant to celebrate Lake Ontario, a strong source of identity for the city, and give people a bit of an escape from downtown.
Sugar Beach could be considered a sequel to HtO. It was inspired by the sugar-scented breeze coming from the Redpath sugar refinery. "The idea behind both beaches is to build a sense of community for the people who live downtown and encourage them to spend a day by the water," Claude says.
The white sand dotted with pink umbrellas and the red and white candystriped accent rock give the space a playful quality that will also be incorporated into 30 Ordnance.
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL & RESIDENCES
The landscape design for the flagship Four Seasons Hotel & Residences was a play on its historical Yorkville neighbourhood and the Victorian houses that surround it. There is still a playfulness in the oversized features as well as an interplay between the modern and the historical.
THE BRICK WORKS
Like Liberty Village just west of the 30 Ordnance site, the Brick Works is all about breathing new life into an area with an industrial past. According to the Claude Cormier website, the idea behind the project was "to transcend the overused term sustainability" and emphasize "the idea of trajectories of movement through the site – of water, cars, electricity, trains, and wildlife."
30 Ordnance is part of a larger master plan currently under review by the city. The master plan is expected to provide a 3.8 acre public park, designed to bring families together for recreation and outdoor play. The concept, while still under development, is to create a large public space for the community that will incorporate the future Fort York Pedestrian and Cycle Bridge, connecting the existing and future park system in the City’s west end.
We're combining the notion of community-building at HtO Park, the magic and whimsy of sugar beach, the history of the Four Seasons and the ecological mindfulness of the Brick Works.
"This project is like something we're cooking up from a mix of influences," Claude says. "We want to build a really strong urban experience for people who will live there and for visitors. This project will be for people who love living in the city, but with an environmental sensibility."