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waterfront toronto garners toronto urban design awards

Canada’s Sugar Beach  and the Sherbourne Common Pavilion have each received 2011 Toronto Urban Design Awards. Canada’s Sugar Beach earned an Award of Excellence in the Large Places or Neighbourhood Designs category and the Sherbourne Common Pavilion was awarded an Honourable Mention in the Elements category.

The City of Toronto’s Urban Design Awards recognize and acknowledge the significant contribution that architects, landscape architects, urban designers, artists, design students, and city builders make to the look and livability of Toronto. This year’s competition drew a record 129 entries in nine categories.

The Large Places or Neighbourhood Designs category honours major areas of innovation that also provide evidence of community involvement and acceptance for large parks, area plans, subdivisions, industrial parks, campus plans and streetscapes. Canada’s Sugar Beach, designed by Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes in association with the Planning Partnership, transformed a parking lot and a neglected part of the waterfront to a park that has attracted thousands of people to the area since it opened in August 2010. The park features three distinct components: an urban beach; a plaza space; and a tree-lined promenade running diagonally through the park. The jury stated, “in every way, Canada’s Sugar Beach represents a superb addition to the city’s public realm, creating an intimate but spacious vantage point from which to enjoy the harbor.”

The Elements category recognizes a stand-alone object, landscape element or small-scale piece of a building which contributes significantly to the quality of the public realm.  The central park of the Easy Bayfront community, Sherbourne Common was completed in two phases that opened in September 2010 and July 2011. Teeple Architects designed the Sherbourne Common Pavilion, a building that provides vital functions for the park while being a stunning structure that enlivens the space with its blue-grey exterior and architecture features, that as the jury noted, “create a striking new gateway to the waterfront while providing useful public space functions. The angular, low-slung design, which references Frank Gehry, ensures that the structure serves as a strong visual counterpoint to the diverse landscape that surrounds it.”

Since 2005, Waterfront Toronto has received nine Toronto Urban Design Awards.  Design excellence is a core priority for Waterfront Toronto. The organization’s goal is that everything built on Toronto’s waterfront — from buildings to streets to parks and public art — will set new standards for architecture and public space.

To help achieve and uphold its standards for design excellence, Waterfront Toronto hosts international design competitions, works with some of world’s top architects and landscape designers and incorporates urban design as an important component in its environmental assessment process. The Waterfront Design Review Panel, an independent body comprised of some of Canada’s most prestigious architects and planners also guides and informs the organization’s projects.

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