Downsview Park, located in the north-west portion of the City of Toronto, is a 572 acres federally owned land with approximately 200 acres of developed parkland . The Keele Street Entries and Connection project is one of many developments within Downsview Park that TLA has had the opportunity to be involved in.
The Keele Street Entries and Connections project improves the interface between the Park and the public realm. The project scope is comprised of Park Plaza, Wycombe Court and Diana Court, all connected by a 3.0m wide multi-use trail.
Located on the south-east corner of Keele St and Sheppard Avenue West intersection, Park Plaza is identified by welcoming signs, playful landforms and a canopy structure that visually leads pedestrians into the park.
The canopy expresses a connection to the Park’s historical land use as an aircraft manufacturing plant, and its current use as an urban park. The form (outer frame) of the canopy and the paving patterns take on a deconstructed shape of Downsview Park’s logo. Together, they visually lead pedestrians into the Park.
Borrowing from the international design competition’s scheme of “Tree City”, the support columns evoke a feeling of enclosure within masses of trees. The fluttering of “leaves” (kinetic components secured to the interior bracings) of the canopy animate the plaza ground plane.
The interior bracing was designed to mimic inter-plane struts and bracing wires on bi-planes. The dynamic shadows create changes with the time of day and seasons.
Both Wycombe and Diana Courts are formalized entrances into Downsview Park along Keele Street. The courts provide respite along the multi-use trail where patrons are encouraged to sit and relax.