Rebirth of the Promenade

In Toronto, University Avenue could get an overhaul on a grand scale. The landscape architects PUBLIC WORK, the Michael Young Family Foundation and the non-profit Evergreen have a vision they call “University Park.” Their plan would convert 9.5 acres of asphalt into green space, creating a larger network that could be Toronto’s equivalent of La Rambla in Barcelona.

This would deliver huge benefits: green space to serve thousands of hospital workers and patients from neighbouring institutions; cycling infrastructure; and a place of great symbolic power. “Public space is more important than it’s ever been,” Adam Nicklin, a partner in the firm PUBLIC WORK, said. “And this is Ontario’s street. It’s Canada’s street. It could be the heart of the city.”

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