Ground 25 – Spring 2014 – Micro

Page 1

25

Landscape Architect Quarterly 06/

Round Table The Dirt on Soil

14/

Features Tactical Urbanism

18/

Sites of Value Spring 2014 Issue 25

Publication # 40026106


Contents

03/

Up Front Information on the Ground Micro:

06/

Round Table The dirt on soil MODERATED BY JOCELYN HIRTES AND TODD SMITH

14/

Tactical Urbanism Big little things TEXT BY DENISE PINTO

18/

Sites of Value A capital development in Ottawa TEXT BY LOUISE THOMASSIN

22/

Business Corner Constructing a design TEXT BY KAREN LEASA AND DAVID MUGFORD

26/

Plant Corner Creating a pollinator paradise TEXT BY VICTORIA MACPHAIL

30/

42/

Notes A miscellany of news and events Artifact Micro-place

President’s Message

Editorial Board Message

President’s Message

Editorial Board Message

I have enjoyed my second and final year as President of the OALA, in my sixth year as a member of an impressive OALA Executive Committee and Council. I’d like to offer my sincere thanks to those around our decision table, in particular Glenn O’Connor, Sarah Culp, and Doris Chee, whose tireless devotion is not only inspiring but infectious. In addition to serving alongside these inspiring volunteers on Council, I have also had the pleasure of working with volunteers on some of the 25 committees and task forces recognized by the association. These committees receive the daily and expert support of our three very effective office personnel. Many thanks to Aina Budrevics, Administrator; Linda MacLeod, Registrar; and Joanna Wilczynska, Marketing and Communications Coordinator.

The projects, issues, ideas, and movements explored by our writers delve into the value and strength of small details, and their major effects on the landscape. We examine how minutiae can inspire new insights into, and maybe even a refreshed perspective on, those all-important details.

Recently, the association has commenced implementing our strategic plan. The plan is organized around five key goals over a three-year horizon. The plan will be revisited and republished in 2014. The outcome of pursuing this plan is that the association has been moved to a higher level of professionalism. In particular, the enactment of a Mandatory Continuing Education Program has prepared members for consideration of the effects of practice legislation. This year, members may commence recording and accumulating continuing educational credits to be used in the first reporting period staring January, 2015. Once the MCE Program Guide is accepted by the members at the AGM in March, 2014, the reporting structure will be made available. Active committees have also generated updated guides for member use regarding standard written contracts and design competitions.

TEXT BY ADRIENNE HALL

In this time of planning and implementation, many volunteers have positioned themselves in a manner that is most effective for the continued success of plan goals. I have truly enjoyed working directly with these members as all continue to devote valuable personal time and expertise to the association’s benefit. I look forward to continuing my service as an ex-officio member of Council, as Past President and the CSLA Board Member representing the OALA at the national level, for the next two years. JOANNE MORAN, CSLA, OALA OALA PRESIDENT 2012-2014

Spring 2014 Issue 25

Landscape architects have valuable roles to play in addressing micro-issues, including supporting the microbeings among us. In this issue’s Plant Corner, Victoria MacPhail explains the integral role that pollinators play in maintaining healthy natural ecosystems and the risks posed by the steep decline of their worldwide population. Soil, as our readers will know, is a vital part of supporting pollinators, and every other landscape. This issue’s Round Table discussion addresses the complexities of soils and how decisions that landscape architects make can have significant implications for the health and longevity of designed landscapes. Delving into the nuances of the daily work of landscape architects, Karen Leasa and David Mugford convene a panel of practitioners to discuss the ins and outs of contract administration. Their conversation highlights the importance of tending to the details of professional practice to ensure the overall vision is successfully implemented; there is no detail too small to make or break an entire project. In her article “Tactical Urbanism: Big Little Things,” Editorial Board Chair Denise Pinto looks into methods for manipulating public space on a small scale that support city-building and engage the public in creating vibrant landscapes and interesting places. Pinto references projects in Ontario and beyond that have embodied this approach, and encourages landscape architects to “do something big with what you have access to and create change.” We hope this issue inspires you to create change by any means possible; big, small, or even micro. KATE NELISCHER EDITORIAL BOARD MEMBER, GROUND


Masthead

.25

Editor Lorraine Johnson

2014 OALA Governing Council*

Photo Editor Todd Smith

President Joanne Moran

OALA Editorial Board Doris Chee Eric Gordon Adrienne Hall Jocelyn Hirtes Karen May Kate Nelischer Denise Pinto (chair) Maili Sedore Todd Smith Brendan Stewart Netami Stuart Victoria Taylor Dalia Todary-Michael

Vice President Morteza Behrooz

Art Direction/Design www.typotherapy.com Advertising Inquiries advertising@oala.ca 416.231.4181 Cover Photograph by Victoria MacPhail. See page 26. Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly is published four times a year by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects. Ontario Association of Landscape Architects 3 Church Street, Suite 407 Toronto, Ontario M5E 1M2 416.231.4181 www.oala.ca oala@oala.ca Copyright © 2014 by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects All rights reserved ISSN: 0847-3080 Canada Post Sales Product Agreement No. 40026106

Treasurer Sarah Culp Secretary Doris Chee Past President Glenn O’Connor Councillors Alana Evers Jonathan Loschmann Moreen Miller Associate Councillor—Senior Inna Olchovski Associate Councillor—Junior Katherine Pratt Lay Councillor Linda Thorne Appointed Educator University of Toronto Elise Shelley Appointed Educator University of Guelph Sean Kelly University of Toronto Student Representative Valerie Manica University of Guelph Student Representative Michelle Peeters *This list is accurate as of March 27, 2014. Council election results are not reflected on this list.

OALA

OALA

About

About the OALA

Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly is published by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects and provides an open forum for the exchange of ideas and information related to the profession of landscape architecture. Letters to the editor, article proposals, and feedback are encouraged. For submission guidelines, contact Ground at magazine@oala.ca. Ground reserves the right to edit all submissions. The views expressed in the magazine are those of the writers and not necessarily the views of the OALA and its Governing Council.

The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects works to promote and advance the profession of landscape architecture and maintain standards of professional practice consistent with the public interest. The OALA promotes public understanding of the profession and the advancement of the practice of landscape architecture. In support of the improvement and/or conservation of the natural, cultural, social and built environments, the OALA undertakes activities including promotion to governments, professionals and developers of the standards and benefits of landscape architecture.

Upcoming Issue of Ground Ground 26 (Summer) Habitat Deadline for advertising space reservations: April 21, 2014 Ground 27 (Fall) Engagement Deadline for editorial proposals: May 5, 2014 Deadline for advertising space reservations: July 28, 2014 Ground 28 (Winter) Underground Deadline for editorial proposals: August 29, 2014 Deadline for advertising space reservations: October 20, 2014

.25

Advisory Panel Andrew B. Anderson, BLA, MSc. World Heritage Management Landscape & Heritage Expert, Oman Botanic Garden John Danahy, OALA, Associate Professor, University of Toronto George Dark, OALA, FCSLA, ASLA, Principal, Urban Strategies Inc., Toronto Real Eguchi, OALA, Eguchi Associates Landscape Architects, Toronto Donna Hinde, OALA, Partner, The Planning Partnership, Toronto Ryan James, OALA, Basterfield & Associates, Peterborough Alissa North, OALA, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Principal of North Design Office, Toronto Peter North, OALA, Assistant Professor, University of Toronto, Principal of North Design Office, Toronto Nathan Perkins, MLA, PhD, ASLA, Associate Professor, University of Guelph Jim Vafiades, OALA, Senior Landscape Architect, Stantec, London

's environmental savings with Cascades paper Ground is printed on paper manufactured in Canada by Cascades with 100% post-consumer waste using biogas energy (methane from a landfill site) and is EcoLogo, Processed Chlorine Free (PCF) certified, as well as FSC® certified.

OALA Staff Registrar Linda MacLeod Administrator Aina Budrevics

Compared to products in the industry made with 100% virgin fiber, Ground: Landscape Architect Quarterly's savings are:

15 trees 55,306 L of water 158 days of water consumption

Marketing and Communications Coordinator Joanna Wilczynska

838 kg of waste 17 waste containers 2,178 kg CO2 14,566 km driven 25 GJ 113,860 60W light bulbs for one hour 6 kg NOX emissions of one truck during 20 days

www.cascades.com/papers


Lo l

A ll Lo

lG o

o sc fl re

Lo

b Ta

le

ve

&

se

at

rs ai Ch

IR

IR O N SM

IT H

Tr en ch

G

O

N SM

IT H

Pa v

er

G

ra

te

Lo

ra te Vi

Lo ll T

ld O

w To

n

F

he

40 5

Ch

ai

ct

or

St a

nl

ey

ll

Ad

Fr am

k ac nd o ir

er sM

od

er n

se

l pa O s s la rg e ib

IR O N

SM

IT H

D

el

So l

Tr ee

G ra

te

Street b Park Street brings rings together top tier manufacturers manufacturers to of offer ffer fer the very responsible, high quality, quality, design-focused solutions environmentally responsible, best in environmentally Architecture, Interior Design and Ar chitecture communities. for the Landscape Architecture, Architecture

A TU R E D B R A N D S F E ATU

EARTHSCAPE EARTHSCAPE APE PLAY PLA AY Y | INTECTURAL INTECTURAL | IRONSMITH I R ONSM I TH | LOLL LOLL DESIGNS DESIGNS | OLD OLD TOWN TOWN FIBERGLASS FIBERGLASS | OMEGA II I I FENCE SYSTEMS | VICTOR V ICTOR STANLEY, STANLEY, INC. INC.

info@parkst.ca

www www.parkst.ca .parkst.ca 1.888.788.7408


Up Front

03

.25

01 HISTORY

andre le notre’s legacy Throughout 2013 and part of 2014, a series of events has been taking place in France and across Europe to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Andre Le Notre’s birth (1613). Events include restoration works, publications, symposia, and exhibitions. The final and largest of all is the exhibition Andre Le Notre in Perspective 16132013, which ran from October 22, 2013, to February 23, 2014, at the Château de Versailles in France. The exhibition was curated by University of Toronto professor Georges Farhat, an architect and historian; Béatrix Saule, director of the National Museum of Château de Versailles; and Patricia Bouchenot-Déchin, historian and research associate at Versailles.

02

perspective. These are the tools he used to create many gardens, including his masterpiece, the gardens at the Château de Versailles, which have inspired generations of artists, architects, landscape architects, and urban planners around the world for more than three centuries.

Andre Le Notre was born at the Tuileries in Paris on March 12, 1613, to a family of royal garden officers and garden designers. His training under Simon Vouet, King Louis XIII’s painter, gave him a grasp of drawing and

Up Front: Information on the Ground

03 01/

Bird’s-eye view of the general plan for the Mall at Washington and environs; 1901-1902 watercolour

IMAGE/

Francis L.V. Hoppin. Courtesy of U.S. Commission of Fine Arts

02/

View of the Tuileries Garden after 1671, looking west

IMAGE/

RMN-Grand Palais (musée du Louvre)/ Jean-Gilles Berizzi

03/

Andre Le Notre (1613-1700)

IMAGE/

Carlo Maratta

Georges Farhat, an associate professor at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto, has studied Andre Le Notre’s design methods for more than two decades and considers him to be “one of the forefathers of landscape architecture as a discipline.” Farhat points out that Le Notre, “through his office as Comptroller of the King’s Buildings, Arts, and Manufactures, oversaw a wide range of projects, from flowering to infrastructure.” According to Farhat, Le Notre’s influence transcends the confines of the garden: “His layout at Versailles, which integrates landscape and town within one unified large-scale


Up Front

04

.25

05

04

composition, has inspired modern urbanism and regional planning as well as postwar urban design. Examples include the McMillan Washington plan (1901-02) and City Beautiful designs such as projects for Ottawa, French Grands Ensembles (19471975 social housing), and former OMA partner Xaveer de Geyter’s ‘Insert’ strategy for an after-sprawl urbanism (2002).” The exhibition has been a collaborative process involving fieldwork, archival research, writing, and editing. Several students from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design were involved in putting together materials for the exhibition, either as research assistants through the Work Study program or as participants in a seminar on the 20thto 21st-century legacy of the French formal garden. Farhat was commissioned by the Centre de recherche du château de Versailles to undertake an historical and optical analysis of the axial layout of the Grand Canal of Versailles. This study resulted in an all-glass illuminated model of the terrain of the gardens of Versailles and an associated video with graphics and animations demonstrating optical effects, such as collimation and anamorphosis. (The video is available on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=-RnjYn-pWWU.)

The exhibition was divided into eight rooms demonstrating the biographic, socioeconomic, territorial, technological, aesthetic, and other dimensions of Andre Le Notre’s work. It featured many unique archival pieces, paintings, manuscripts, etchings, and hand drawings as well as the 15metres-long glass model of the Grand Canal installation. The last room of the exhibit concluded with projects from all over the world, from the 18th to the 21st centuries, that have been inspired by Le Notre’s work and legacy. These include Vera’s 1912 manifesto for a modern garden, Le Corbusier’s Villa Church at Ville-d’Avray, and projects such as Rockefeller Center in New York, Peter Walkers’ 9/11 Memorial Park, Dani Karavan’s 3-km-long Axe-Majeur at Cergy near Paris, among others. Farhat’s intent for the exhibition was to renew the understanding of Le Notre’s work, its place in history, and retrace the ramifications of socio-cultural and technological challenges of early modern times into later and current design practices, as well as stimulate creativity in landscape architecture and other fields of professional activity. There is a companion book to the exhibition, Andre Le Notre in Perspective, consisting of 40 essays from 33 scholars and professionals, edited by Patricia Bouchenot-Déchin and Georges Farhat, available both in French and English (Hazan and château de Versailles, distributed by Yale University Press). TEXT BY KAARI KITAWI, AN MLA STUDENT AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO.

06 04/

Georges Farhat’s model of the terrain of the gardens at Versailles was included in the Le Notre exhibition in France.

IMAGE/

Georges Farhat

05/

The Axe-Majeur of Cergy-Pontoise, created by Israeli artist Dani Karavan, connecting the long Paris axis from the Louvre to La Defense

IMAGE/

Jean-Pierre Dalber

06/

The Axe-Majeur of Cergy-Pontoise

IMAGE/

Serge LaRoche


Up Front

05

.25

07 URBAN AGRICULTURE

food-growing inventions

09

as an outdoor classroom, the trellis structure —for climbing beans and other food plants—doing double-duty as a backrest for kids’ seating. The garden beds are made out of re-purposed wading pools, designed in a hexagonal pattern like a beehive. For Eastdale Collegiate Institute, also in Toronto, Nadeau has designed one of the largest food-producing roofs in the city. With seating for 140 people, the space can be used as an event venue, helping to fund school projects.

Justin Nadeau, until recently senior coordinator of school innovation at FoodShare, a non-profit organization in Toronto, is an inventor. Using familiar cast-off items such as old aquariums, wooden pallets, and restaurant equipment, he fashions functional food-growing items for young green thumbs to use in classrooms. Another word for what Nadeau does: design. But he calls it, simply, “tinkering in the basement.” Luckily for the schools that are the recipients of his designs, the “basement” at FoodShare—a 1960s-era high school that the Toronto District School Board leases to FoodShare—is full of old equipment ripe for re-purposing. Consider Nadeau’s File-A-Sprout invention, for example. Using a metal filing cabinet rendered obsolete in the age of digital data storage, Nadeau has created a moveable feast: a little grow room, set on casters for ease of mobility, whose cabinet drawer opens up to reveal a compact sprouting unit complete with growing medium (coir) and grow-lights. Set in a classroom corner, File-A-Sprout becomes part science experiment, part fun kids’ project, and part healthy snack. The simplicity of the surprise—opening a drawer to find food—is its design strength and its replicable appeal. As Nadeau explains, “Schools are comfortable with that scale.”

08

Sometimes Nadeau scales up—as he did for an invention he calls the Vegequarium, which started out as a 10-gallon aquarium at FoodShare and has morphed into a 1,000-gallon aquaponics project for a classroom at Bendale Business and Technical Institute in Scarborough. Three hundred tilapia fish were raised in the unit, though the system suffered from four days without power during the December, 2013, ice storm. “When I started to work in the urban agriculture sector,” says Nadeau, “there was somewhat of a lack of design and construction expertise in the field. That’s what I felt I could bring.” Nadeau’s conceptual and building skills have been called into service particularly for a number of green roof and terrace garden projects. At Brock Public School in Toronto, for example, he designed a terrace garden

Creating multi-purpose spaces and multi-purpose designs is clearly Nadeau’s forte, all with a focus on food. Perhaps the quirkiest expression of this yet is his Living Salad Bar. Retrofitting an old salad bar unit he found in a storage room at the FoodShare office, he added grow-lights. The stainless steel hotel pans are now the planting beds for sprouts and salad greens that take just a few weeks to reach harvestable size. As Nadeau puts it, “It’s really neat to see a salad growing in a salad bar!” TEXT BY LORRAINE JOHNSON, AUTHOR OF CITY FARMER: ADVENTURES IN URBAN FOOD GROWING AND EDITOR OF GROUND.

07/

The Living Salad Bar, designed by Justin Nadeau

IMAGE/

Justin Nadeau

08/

A small-scale aquaponic installation, designed by Justin Nadeau

IMAGE/

Justin Nadeau

09/

The food-growing green roof at Eastdale Collegiate Institute in Toronto

IMAGE/

Justin Nadeau


Round Table

06

.25

CLAY AY CO-MODERATED BY JOCELYN HIRTES AND TODD SMITH

The fundamental value of soil is often glossed over or underrated. Assumptions are made—"It's soil, it'll work"—when in fact soils, in all their variety and complexity, are crucial to the long-term success of built landscapes. For this Round Table, we have brought together a panel, including a soil scientist, soil technician, landscape architect, soil/aggregate supplier, biologist, and ecologist, to talk about what everyone agrees should not be called dirt!

SA AN ND

SILT


Round Table

BIOS/

JOCELYN HIRTES, ISA, STUDIED BOTANY PRIOR TO LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, AND EARLY IN HER CAREER PURSUED WORK IN URBAN FOREST RESTORATION AS WELL AS ELC ACCREDITATION. THESE INVESTIGATIONS NOT ONLY AWAKENED AN INTEREST IN SOILS AND THEIR PROPERTIES, BUT ALSO FRAME THE ECOLOGICAL CONSIDERATIONS THAT HAVE INFORMED HER PRACTICE EVER SINCE. SHE VIEWS SOIL AS A MATTER OF PRIMARY IMPORTANCE FOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, BUT ONE THAT IS OFTEN UNDERESTIMATED OR OVERLOOKED ENTIRELY. JOCELYN IS A LANDSCAPE DESIGNER AND CERTIFIED ARBORIST AT VICTOR FORD AND ASSOCIATES. MARNEY ISAAC, PHD, IS AN ASSISTANT PROFESSOR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SCARBOROUGH, CROSSAPPOINTED TO THE DEPARTMENT OF PHYSICAL AND ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES AND THE CENTRE FOR CRITICAL DEVELOPMENT STUDIES, AND IS GRADUATE FACULTY IN THE DEPARTMENT OF GEOGRAPHY, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO. HER RESEARCH PROGRAM APPLIES ECOLOGICAL PRINCIPLES TO AGRICULTURAL LANDSCAPES, WITH PARTICULAR ATTENTION ON IDENTIFYING AND DEVELOPING STRATEGIES FOR ENVIRONMENTAL SERVICES AND SYSTEM RESILIENCE. HER LAB INVESTIGATES PRACTICES THAT IMPROVE THE EFFICIENCY OF NUTRIENT CYCLES, OPTIMIZE PLANT-SOIL INTERACTIONS, AND PROMOTE LANDSCAPESCALE SERVICES IN LOW-INPUT AGRICULTURE AND AGROFORESTRY SYSTEMS. HER RESEARCH APPROACH MAKES USE OF A DIVERSE SET OF TECHNICAL TOOLS AND EMPLOYS VARIOUS TEMPORAL AND SPATIAL SCALES: FROM MECHANISTIC MANIPULATIVE TRIALS AT THE RHIZOSPHERE SCALE TO LARGE AGROECOSYSTEM DYNAMICS. DR. ISAAC ALSO SUPERVISES A CONCURRENT RESEARCH PROGRAM THAT INVESTIGATES DIFFUSION OF AGROECOLOGICAL INFORMATION THROUGH AGRARIAN NETWORKS AND INNOVATION IN SOCIAL-ECOLOGICAL SYSTEMS. HAROLD LEE, M.SC. (ECOLOGY), HAS WORKED FOR THE ONTARIO MINISTRY OF NATURAL RESOURCES FOR THE PAST TWENTY YEARS, DEVELOPING THE ECOLOGICAL LAND CLASSIFICATION FOR ONTARIO. TRAINED IN SOILS, HE HAS SAMPLED SOILS ALL ACROSS ONTARIO AND IS CURRENTLY A MEMBER OF SITE, SOILS AND SUBSTRATES ONTARIO, HELPING TO EXPAND THE SCOPE AND STANDARDS FOR SAMPLING SITES, SOILS, AND SUBSTRATES IN ONTARIO.

Todd Smith (TS): Urban (introduced) and naturally occurring (extant) soils are very different. Clients sometimes have unrealistic expectations about what is possible given the soil(s) on site. Can we do more to restore and amend urban soils than we are doing, rather than always importing topsoil? Maybe we need to revise our “typical” plant palettes for a more urban plant palette? Do we, as an industry, think we know more about soil than we actually do? Chelsea Stroud (CS): Perhaps one reason the industry tends to think they know more about soil than they really do is because a lot of the textbooks and literature out there is about agricultural soil or natural soil. There is not a lot about engineering soil or producing soil from what we have out there already and making it a better soil. We take textbook ideas—that soil should be a sandy loam, 2 percent organic matter, with a pH below 7—ship this to the site, and then think that we’ll have the perfect soil. But that’s not realistic. We should be trying to work with soil that’s native to the area, and then try to amend from there.

07

.25

JACK LEGG, CCA-ON, IS THE BRANCH MANAGER OF SGS AGRI-FOOD LABORATORIES, GUELPH, AND ALSO SERVES AS THE STAFF AGRONOMIST. HE HAS BEEN WITH AGRIFOOD LABORATORIES SINCE 1996, AND HAS BEEN A CERTIFIED CROP ADVISOR SINCE 1999. AGRONOMIC RESPONSIBILITIES INCLUDE QC REVIEW OF SOIL TEST REPORTS, DEVELOPING FERTILIZER PLANS, MANAGING FIELD SERVICE STAFF (CUSTOM SOIL SAMPLING AND GPS MAPPING), AS WELL AS MAINTAINING A SALES ROLE WITH DEALER AND FARM CUSTOMERS. JACK ALSO SERVES ON NUMEROUS COMMITTEES, INCLUDING THE CCA CEU REVIEW COMMITTEE, ONTARIO AGRI BUSINESS ASSOCIATION’S SOIL AND RESEARCH COMMITTEE, ONTARIO SOIL MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND SERVICES COMMITTEE, AND THE OLPC PLANT BIOSECURITY ADVISORY PANEL. EMILY MUELLER DE CELIS IS AN ASSOCIATE PRINCIPAL AT MICHAEL VAN VALKENBURGH ASSOCIATES, INC. LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS (MVVA) IN CAMBRIDGE, MASSACHUSETTS. SHE HAS BEEN BOTH THE PROJECT MANAGER AND A MEMBER OF THE DESIGN TEAM FOR WATERFRONT TORONTO’S CORKTOWN COMMON AND HARBOURFRONT CENTRE’S ONTARIO AND CANADA SQUARES. HER EXPERIENCE IN TRANSFORMING DE-NATURED, OFTEN TOXIC, POST-INDUSTRIAL SITES INTO PUBLIC LANDSCAPES HAS INFORMED HER UNDERSTANDING OF SOIL AS A LIVING SYSTEM WHOSE HEALTH IS NECESSARY FOR THE CREATION OF RESILIENT, ROBUST, AND SUSTAINABLE URBAN ECOLOGIES. MATHIS NATVIK, BSC, MLA, HAS A PASSION FOR PLANTS AND SOILS THAT “TOOK ROOT” WHILE HE WAS GROWING UP ON A SOUTHWESTERN ONTARIO FARM SURROUNDED BY CROP FIELDS, CAROLINIAN FORESTS, WETLANDS, AND THE LAKE ERIE COAST. IN 1999, MATHIS STARTED HIS OWN ECOLOGICAL RESTORATION BUSINESS, INITIALLY FOCUSED ON LARGE-SCALE RESTORATIONS, ALONG WITH A NATIVE PLANT NURSERY. THE BUSINESS GRADUALLY DIVERSIFIED OVER A DECADE TO INCLUDE THE DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION OF GREEN ROOFS, RAIN GARDENS, WILDFLOWER MEADOWS, AND PUBLIC GARDENS. HIS DESIGN APPROACH IS HIGHLY INFLUENCED BY ONTARIO’S NATURAL ECOSYSTEMS, RURAL LANDSCAPES, AND THE GREEN ROOFS AND LANDSCAPE STYLES OF NORWAY, WHERE HE WAS BORN. MATHIS IS CURRENTLY A PHD STUDENT AT WESTERN UNIVERSITY WHERE HE STUDIES THE RESTORATION OF OAK SAVANNAS AND WOODLANDS AND IS A TEACHING ASSISTANT FOR A THIRD-YEAR BIOLOGY COURSE ON RESTORATION ECOLOGY.

Marney Isaac (MI): I’d like to address the concept of nutrient cycling. We often think of soil as a static body, but soil is constantly evolving. The idea of amendment is a one-time addition. But if you plant certain species, there is a constant contribution of nutrients into the system. I’m not sure how much that is taken into account when you are making prescriptions for soil amendment in your design planning in urban environments. But there is definitely a flux there that could be looked at in more depth, relative to decomposition, root exudation, root turnover, etc., as contributors to soil fertility on site. Jocelyn Hirtes (JH): Jack, could you speak about amendments? I’m thinking specifically about soil test reports that recommend specific amendments at certain rates to achieve a more “acceptable” soil. Jack Legg (JL): Several years ago, we developed a topsoil report with the Ministry of Transportation because a lot of their jobsites involved determining whether the on-site soil was suitable or needed to be replaced. Any time you do a test, the next obvious question is, “What

TODD SMITH, BSC, MLA, ISA, GREW UP ON A FARM NEAR WATERLOO, ONTARIO, AND SPENT A LOT OF TIME AROUND CROP AND KITCHEN-GARDEN SOILS. HE BELIEVES IT IS CRUCIAL FOR LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS TO UNDERSTAND WHAT SOIL IS AND WHAT IT CAN DO FOR THEIR PROJECT GOALS AND FOR HUMAN AND NON-HUMAN ENVIRONMENTS. HE HAS STUDIED PERMACULTURE AND BOTANY TO COMPLEMENT HIS PRACTICE, AND IS A LANDSCAPE DESIGNER AND ARBORIST AT IBI GROUP IN TORONTO. CHELSEA STROUD, BSC. AGR. (HORT.), GRP, HAS BEEN A TECHNICAL SALES REPRESENTATIVE WITH GRO-BARK SINCE JANUARY, 2011, WORKING CLOSELY WITH LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, DESIGNERS, AND CONTRACTORS TO DEVELOP SITE-SPECIFIC CUSTOM SOIL BLENDS. SHE IS INVOLVED WITH DEVELOPING ENGINEERED SOILS AND MULCH PRODUCTS FOR THE LANDSCAPE MARKET IN ONTARIO AND QUEBEC. BEFORE WORKING WITH GROBARK, CHELSEA WORKED AS A GOLF COURSE SUPERINTENDENT AND IN A SOIL TESTING LABORATORY. SHE GRADUATED FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH IN 2004 WITH A BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN AGRICULTURE, WITH A MAJOR IN HORTICULTURE, AND AN ASSOCIATE DIPLOMA IN HORTICULTURE. SHE BECAME AN ACCREDITED GREEN ROOF PROFESSIONAL (GRP) IN 2011. ERIC WILSON IS A PEDOLOGIST/LAND RESOURCE SPECIALIST. HE PREVIOUSLY WORKED WITH THE ONTARIO MINISTRY OF AGRICULTURE, FOOD AND RURAL AFFAIRS. HIS EXPERTISE IS IN SOIL CLASSIFICATION, SOIL INVENTORY AND SURVEY, SOIL INTERPRETATION (CANADA LAND INVENTORY), ECOLOGICAL LAND CLASSIFICATION, SOIL REPORTING, AND EXTENSION. HE TEACHES ECOLOGICAL LAND CLASSIFICATION (ELC), WITH A FOCUS ON SOILS, AND IS CURRENTLY INVOLVED IN RIPARIAN PLANTING AND RESTORATION PROJECTS WITH THE CITY OF GUELPH RIVER SYSTEMS ADVISORY COMMITTEE.

should that test value be?” So, because of that, we put on a range which is what a typical loam to sandy/loam soil should be, what should be considered optimal. Obviously, any time something is out of the “typical” range, then it produces the suspicion that the soil is not suitable (we see this especially in terms of pH). In southwestern Ontario, we tend to have high pH soils because of the limestone bedrock, which produces high calcium (calcareous) soils. The textbooks say that nutrients are most available to plants between 6.5 and 7.5 pH. This is true, but the assumption that a soil pH of 7.7 is somehow contaminated or detrimental, is false. I see a lot of jobsite specifications in which people are looking back to the textbooks to see what the perfect soil should be and designing their specs to hit that, when in fact this is very difficult to do. In many cases, it would be better to amend that on-site soil, which very likely has sustained growth for centuries anyway, be it farmland or native trees and grasses, and just make it a little better.


Round Table

.25

of sphagnum peat moss because it has no nutrient profile. I realize that it’s expensive, that it’s mined, that it’s non-renewable, but I can’t really recommend a compost unless I know what the profile of that compost is in terms of chemical composition.

We have to make sure that everyone realizes that soil is not just dirt. It’s an ecosystem. It has structure—bulk, density, porosity, aggregate stability—as well as a whole population of life—microbes and nematodes, bacteria and fungi. A native soil has that in place, whereas in a manufactured soil, that’s difficult to add. It’s tough to take raw ingredients and mix them together and make a soil that will perform as well as a soil that has been on site—that has all those biological, physical, and structural properties going for it. Emily Mueller De Celis (EMDC): As landscape architects, we are given urbanized sites that are being reclaimed from postindustrialized conditions. Often, the soils in these sites have been contaminated to varying degrees. Although we would prefer to work with existing native soils, sometimes we are faced with the challenge of there being no viable horticultural soil. For example, at Corktown Common and Ontario Park, and at Canada Square at York Quay—two very different landscape typologies and very different scales—there was absolutely no existing soil that we could reuse. The only option we had was to use manufactured soils specifically designed for these two conditions. With our soil scientists on the design team (Pine and Swallow Environmental), we researched the local soil sources in the Toronto area to understand their properties. We used those native soils as the base loam, and we mixed in different ratios of sand and compost or organic matter to create various soil profiles for the different ecologies that we were re-introducing to these de-natured sites. Our idea

Physical

Chemical

— Aggregation and Structure — Surface Sealing — Compaction — Porosity — Water Movement and Availability

— PH — Soluble Salts — Sodium — Nutrient Holding Capacity — Nutrient Availability

Biological — Macrofauna — Microfauna — Microorganisms — Roots — Biological Activity — Organic Matter

01

08

TS: Within the reality of urban sites and the fact that there is often no topsoil, is the archival record a help? It would tell you what the topsoil used to be. Can you extrapolate from the existing subsoil to the topsoil?

02

was to bring these “natures” back to these sites—to reclaim and reinsert nature into urban environments. To achieve this, we needed to design and import new soils based on how they occur in nature. JL: Whether there is native soil or not, another thing that contributes to the problem is that most jobs have a deadline, and equipment operators are moving soil around whether the conditions are right or not. When the fields are wet, we don’t want to have compaction and other types of structural issues, yet it’s difficult to show up on a job site and tell everyone to shut it down because the soil is not ready to handle that equipment. The other thing I often see is the use of compost as organic matter. Organic matter additions are a good thing, but when you’re using large amounts of compost to increase the organic matter and make the soil look rich and black, it often over-contributes to the nutrient profile and the saltiness to such a point that plant growth is unsustainable. We have to make sure that for the recipes that are including compost—which is quite variable in nature because every compost is different, composed of multiple raw materials—more is not necessarily better. Composted pine mulch is very different from municipal/vegetable compost that maybe isn’t mature and has multiple ingredients. Now, whenever I recommend an amendment toward increasing organic matter, I speak in terms

JL: You can likely access the old county soil maps to see what the soil type was in that specific region, but really, whether it was clay loam or loam or sandy loam, it really shouldn’t matter that much, as long as the soil has good physical properties, good drainage, good nutrient content, adequate organic matter. EMDC: With urban sites, it’s a bit of a challenge to go all the way back to a site’s original soils before it was urbanized. The sites we work with in urban settings have transformed so drastically. For example, at Corktown Common, the site was part of the Ashbridges Estuary at the mouth of the Don River before it was first developed. All of the soils in that area were organic soils. Though we designed and have built a brand new marsh in the park, it was not possible for the whole park to be a marsh. We had to introduce new ecologies—a collection of lawns, a prairie, a series of wooded hillsides—that supported contemporary needs and activities that are important for the community around the park. You would not necessarily find those same soil types on that site in looking at its deep ecological history, but they are natural systems and plant communities that are within the Toronto area. Being that site specific sometimes is not possible in urban conditions; instead, we find analogue sites that are within the larger region to see what types of soil can be designed to support those particular communities that are introduced to the site.


Round Table

09

.25

JH: Do you have a monitoring program to go back and check to see how things are going with the soils you’ve built? EMDC: Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto have been visionary in terms of thinking about how to maintain Corktown Common and how it will develop over time. We’re working with them to create organic landscape maintenance guidelines which they plan to use as a pilot project. The basis of these guidelines is to manage the park by monitoring the soils and by maintaining them organically, meaning no chemicals or synthetic inputs. Through testing and amending the soils, they will be monitoring the health of the plants, which is an acknowledgement of the symbiotic relationship between soil and plants. The guidelines include maintenance of the soils throughout the year. But you can only plan so much for natural systems. Once you put them out there they have their own trajectory. Eric Wilson (EW): Are you sourcing native topsoils to construct those soil profiles for the Corktown project? EMDC: Yes. We have 11 different profiles in that project. But the basic ingredient of the design is a native topsoil; that’s the base loam and, depending on the plant community, the ratio of that base loam with sand and compost or pine fines is tweaked, which allows for the right type of drainage, nutrients, etc. For the marsh that we constructed, the soils are designed to be hydric as they will always be inundated with water. For the lowland prairie soils, they are designed to be saturated at times and then dry at others. For the upland prairie, the soils are designed to have more water-holding capacity. All the microclimates were taken into account when we designed these profiles, but the basic components are very simple; we worked with native soils, and then adjusted the ratios to be community-specific. MI: Within your field of landscape architecture, what is the protocol for follow-up on soil development?

03

JH: Unfortunately, there doesn’t seem to be much of a protocol for that, but I suppose it also depends on the kind of work you’re doing. When I was working in urban forest restoration, a key component of the work was returning to the site for monitoring, but I think that was a special case. Most landscape architects are operating within a budget, and there is a plant warranty that might be a year or two, but no one has included a line item for going back to check the soils through testing or other means. Practitioners often focus on aboveground elements because they are visible, with not much consideration for what’s going on underneath. EMDC: What I’ve seen lately within our firm is that clients are much more aware of the impact that healthy soil has on new landscapes, and how they establish and grow into their own. We have always started early on in the design process, discussing the value of constructing with good soils. Now, the conversation has gone to the next level to help them understand the value of monitoring their soil as part of managing their landscape. This has really happened in the past five years or so. Not always, but very often, we have been able to go back to their landscapes and track how things are evolving.

Harold Lee (HL): Ecological Land Classification (ELC) was devised as an effective tool for monitoring. We can use it to actually evaluate our success and judge how we are doing. When it comes to impact assessment and wetland evaluations, there are a lot of things going on in our landscapes that aren’t followed up on. Did we actually make the right decisions? Did we actually do the right science there? I’d like to mention one caveat related to soil engineering. I liken this to a discussion I’ve heard lately about our own nutrition. Let’s say you put all the ingredients that make up a carrot into a blender and process it. You won’t end up with a carrot. To expect that we can just make a soil mixture and it will have the same potential as a soil that has evolved and matured over time is hopeful.

01/

Soil properties

IMAGE/

Todd Smith

02/

Corktown Common, south section

IMAGE/

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.

03/

Engineered soil profiles, Corktown Common

IMAGE/

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, Inc.


Round Table

So first and foremost is to protect the soils in the first place to make sure we are not putting those nice yummy soils under pavement. And then evaluating and valuing our soils so much that we have a higher-level process of actually taking care of our soils. Mathis Natvik (MN): It’s really based on the site. Whether you’re dealing with a tree pit on Yonge Street or a site like High Park, where you have existing soils, or if you’re doing a new construction, it’s very different from site to site. In my experience, I find that soils in the urban environment are over-amended. This doesn’t happen as much on largescale sites because the cost would be into the millions of dollars. But moving to the

10

.25

smaller urban environment, you are designing the soil, and amendments are possible. You can still use the ELC approach if you’re doing a tree pit on Bay Street. And there you really want the coarsest soil possible. In urban areas, you have to think about the salty run-off from all of the snow removal. These tree pits are so compacted that they have no drainage, so all the water that goes in in the winter, all evaporates in the summer, but the lime stays and builds up. What we really need is to have coarse soils that are connected well to drainage below.

on rock. There is a trickle of snow melt coming down the mountains all the time and that produces the most enormous trees. On our farm in Chatham Kent, there’s an abandoned rail line going through, and the aspens have just gone right across it and oak seedlings are coming out of it. It’s a 15-foot-deep bed of rail gravel and the trees grow perfectly fine in that. We have a tendency to treat all sites the same—like a planter box—adding lots and lots of amendments, but it’s not always necessary. With a lot of my big-scale projects, including public plantings, I use a USGA sand on everything. No amendments. The soils of a wetland, upland prairie, lowland prairie, oak savanna, they evolve over time, and it’s determined by the hydrology. If I put pure inorganic sand in a spot that has water, or water flows and floods it, it gets colonized by wetland plants—the build-up of organic material is extremely rapid. After ten years, there will be a nice 6-inch layer of black muck there. If the hydrology is right and the planting is right, the soil development happens on these sites that are manufactured (where you’re bringing in all the soil).

I don’t think nutrients are the problem, especially when you think of some of the biggest trees in North America—on Vancouver Island—they are just growing

04

05

On big sites, I do a lot of micro-topography, such as pits and mounds when we do forest regeneration. If you look at the lake plains in Kent County, Essex County, it was all under water [post-glaciation], and it’s really compacted calcareous clay. The only thing that will grow there is green ash or silver maple, but if you put back the hummocks that you see in the original forest, suddenly you can grow that diverse oak hickory forest again. You can’t plant an oak hickory forest right to begin with because of the water that floods and sits there in the spring and kills all the diversity. But just a tiny bit of earthwork can jump start the diversity and natural tree regeneration. The organic material builds right up in five or six years by itself.


Round Table

11

.25

With a brand new landscape, the plants are so stressed because they’ve been ripped out of the nurseries, thrown into a brand new environment—a totally different microclimate, different conditions—and they’ll sit there for many years while their roots are trying to create that symbiotic relationship with the new soil. Eventually, biological activity will stabilize, but what we’ve found is that introducing more soil biology at that critical point is like a spark plug. CS: We find the same sorts of results. Rather than using manufactured products or compost teas, we use blends of different types of organic material to cover all of the bases and maximize the amount of biology that we’re inserting or blending into the soil. 06

Likewise with green roofs. In Germany, it’s common to just throw straight crushed brick on the roof and within five or six years it reaches its maximum organic content, which is about 1½ to 2 percent organic content—that’s as much as it can hold in that oxidized environment. So if you put in 20 percent organic content at the beginning, it’s going to decline until it hits about 2 percent. But if you start with zero, it’s just going to go up and 2 percent will be its equilibrium for decades to come, and the plant community adjusts to that and you go through ecological succession to reach that. The succession and the potential for the way soils develop over time isn’t addressed on sites. They’re treated like planter boxes.

04-05/

Meadow establishment in coarse sand

IMAGES/

Mathis Natvik

06/

Composted pine bark, for soil amendment

IMAGE/

Gro-Bark (Ontario) Ltd.

JH: It’s a hard sell to clients to say, “We’ll just start with sand, and succession will happen over time. In years we’ll have a climax forest.” CS: I like the idea of using base sand, but some organic material at the beginning will definitely give it a jump start. Why wait five or six or ten years if you can amend from the very beginning? Unless cost is the number one factor; but the cost of USGA sand is more than the cost of organic material, so it does balance out. MN: USGA sand is permanent; it’s mineral material, so it will never leave the site. JH: How easy is it to “grow” a soil? Does mycorrhizal inoculation work well in urban soils? EMDC: What I’ve seen with our landscapes where we have used biological amendments—or compost tea—is phenomenal. In comparing projects that haven’t been inoculated with those that have, the ones that have been have a serious leg-up. When you go back after the first or second year, you can see an amazing amount of growth. It has proven to us that soils are not just a combination of sand, silt, clay, and some nutrients; soils are living systems.

MI: Often, it’s not so much what’s there to start with but rather where we want it to be. Diagnose the system and prescribe it to the point that you want a certain level of nutrients or the soil to look a certain way. And that can be done if you know what species you have. You already know the litter fall, and the rate of decomposition of that litter fall will contribute a certain amount of organic material, and a microclimate modification will occur. There are ways to predict where it will be in a certain amount of time. JH: That makes perfect sense for urban environments, where it doesn’t matter what was there before because we’re not going to get back to pre-development conditions. I think that ideally we should just make appropriate selections within the given context, plant the soil, and leave the site to grow without having to keep coming back to amend the soil and care for the plants. To me, that’s the very simple answer. Analogue systems, plant assemblages, or extrapolation from ELC communities can give us clues regarding what to plant in our completely unnatural urban environments. MN: One challenge is that with tree plantings, problems usually occur beyond the warranty period and beyond the landscape architect’s involvement in the


Round Table

project. Again, scale is the big problem. If you’re doing a 100-acre restoration project, the long-term amendments aren’t possible or affordable. You have to establish something that will go through ecological succession in a direction that is possible on the site. You have to plant the right things right from the start for it to go in a predicable way. In terms of the nursery trade, they push plants really fast and really hard. The plants are often in a state of metabolism where they’re growing fast and they need the diet they’ve been receiving in those conditions to continue. For example, I planted chokecherries on a green roof in Toronto. I bought them in 20-gallon pots—they were grown in pure compost. They died one year later. Then I got ball-and-burlap chokecherries from a nursery near Dundas, where the soil is hard clay pan, with almost no organic matter, and they did beautifully on a green roof. It’s almost like matching a blood type when it comes to nursery soil conditions. Our planting palettes could be much bigger if we had nursery stock that is actually designed to survive in different types of environments. You can’t take a tree from a really rich environment and put it in a poor environment. It’s like taking a big goldfish and putting it into a little goldfish bowl. The bowl limits the size. MI: I would actually say almost the opposite. Plants are highly plastic, and they can adapt to multiple stressors in the environment. In our nursery trials, we’ve found that when you load a species at the nursery phase to luxury consumption—to the point where it has too much nutrition—when it goes into the field in a stressed environment it will actually rely on its internal resources instead of seeking out soil resources. It has a bunch of nitrogen inside of it to use for a certain period of time. This technique has been adopted for most forestry programs in Ontario. For example, nursed spruce and pine are spiked before they go out so they can withstand harsh environments.

.25

MN: Well, the big difference here is that the plants are nitrogen spiked, whereas it’s the soil structure that I’m really talking about. The peat-based growing medium in most pots just sucks the life out of plants in the summertime; the peat moss wicks all the water in drought conditions. I see this a lot in subdivision plantings where there are these mitigation plantings/buffer plantings along ravines, and they’re putting in these enormous caliper trees with the growing medium that comes with them. The failing point is the growing medium. If you plant bare-root trees in there, within five years they’ll grow straight past the larger-caliper trees. It’s not just that they’re bare-root; it’s that they’re not aggravated by that wicking action in the summer. CS: In terms of recommendations and goals, I’m hoping that landscape architects will try to avoid relying so much on the sand, silt, and clay content and the texture of the soil—which are absolutely important factors—and to look instead at the performance characteristics you’re aiming for. Allow the soil blender to come up with the recipe based on what they have available locally. JL: By definition, a soil should be 50 percent mineral, 25 percent water, and 25 percent air, with a certain percentage of organic matter mixed in. The physical properties of soil are probably the most overlooked, but also probably the most important. When we’re handling soils to put them into place, we can’t do so without damaging the structure. Most of the physical structure is produced and improved by biological activity—the earthworms, the microbes, the bacteria, and fungi. All the things that are decomposing the organics are secreting glues and resins and gummy substances that help build and make a better soil structure, one that resists compaction better. Really, it’s a three-legged stool— the physical, biological, and chemical—but unfortunately everyone assumes that a fertile soil is a good, productive soil. That’s not always the case, because you need all those other things to be in place. There are so many environmental things that come into play.

12


Round Table

13

.25

MN: I’ve been using mycorrhizal inoculants quite a bit lately with really nice success, and studying it for my PhD. The first green roof I put in included little bluestem in a 4-inch-deep growing medium. I installed it in 1998 and it has never been watered. It’s growing in pure gravel dredged from a boat launch. I got the little bluestem from a sand dune, and the mycorrhizae came with the plants. A lot of the success of this green roof has to do with the mycorrhizal associations that help it survive. It’s definitely something really important, but it’s very complex and very plant specific. You have to match the plant and the soil types. JL: I’d like to make a comment about compaction. The compacted soil below the topsoil layer, in the 30cm range, will not relieve itself naturally—certainly not in any sort of human standard of time. You have to break that up artificially, to open up the porosity, to get moisture movement and aeration movement. Once it’s there from heavy equipment or naturally, it doesn’t repair itself very quickly. CS: An organic amendment will maybe help maintain that non-compacted surface until you plant your plants, which will continue to amend the soil over time.

Recommended Books on Soil Beck, Travis. Principles of Ecological Landscape Design. Island Press, 2013. Brady, Nyle C. and Raymond Weil. Nature and Properties of Soils (14th ed.). Prentice Hall, 2007. Craul, Timothy A. and Phillip J. Craul. Soil Design Protocols for Landscape Architects and Contractors. John Wiley and Sons, 2006. Craul, Phillip J. Urban Soils: Applications and Practices. John Wiley and Sons, 1999. Dunnett, Nigel and James Hitchmough. The Dynamic Landscape: Design, Ecology and Management of Naturalistic Urban Planting. Taylor & Francis, 2008. Hightshoe, Gary. Native Trees, Shrubs and Vines for Urban and Rural America. John Wiley and Sons, 1988.

TS: What about scarification? Does that help?

Kingsbury, Noel and Piet Oudolf. Planting: A New Perspective. Timber Press, 2013.

JL: Absolutely. You have to do some aggressive, deep sub-soiling. You have to break that up to a 35cm to 50cm depth. As deep as you can.

Tugel, A.J., A.M. Lewandowski, and D. Happe-vonArb (Eds.). Soil Biology Primer. Soil and Water Conservation Society, 2000.

EMDC: I think it’s important to remember that urban landscapes—even when they’re established and look like they’ve been there forever—are actually quite fragile if they don’t have the right kinds of plants and soils. Healthy soil really is the beginning step of sustainability and resilience in urban landscapes.

Urban, James. Up by Roots: Healthy Soils and Trees in the Built Environment. International Society of Arboriculture, 2008.

All: Good point! Hear, hear! WITH THANKS TO VICTORIA TAYLOR, OALA, FOR TRANSCRIBING THIS ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION.


Tactical Urbanism

14

.25

01

01/

Hanging wall garden, Cambridge, created by architecture students from the University of Waterloo

IMAGE/

Simeon Rivier

02/

The guerrilla installation of bump-outs at a Hamilton intersection included daffodils on each pylon to ensure that no one would mistake it for a City initiative.

IMAGE/

Philip Toms

03/

Church Street parklets, Toronto

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Church Wellesley BIA

Big Little Things


Tactical Urbanism

15

.25

TEXT BY DENISE PINTO

As I walked along Lakeshore Boulevard in Etobicoke on an impossibly cold day, I noticed an unexpected beacon of warmth: someone had crocheted a little cozy around a telephone pole—softening a piece of city infrastructure with an artistic intervention of the grandmotherly variety. It made me think about the things that make our city more human, and ways we can manipulate public space on a small scale in hopes of a big impact. 02

In cities around the world, small interventions like these have been gathered under the banner of “tactical urbanism.” The term, coined by Mike Lydon of The Street Plans Collaborative in New York City, originally referred to “short-term actions for long-term change.” Now, you can hear the term coopted for many more tiny civic moves that range from infrastructure to beautification, from temporary to semi-permanent. So, I wanted to know—what’s the state of these tactics in Ontario? Where are we seeing interesting interventions of the almost overlook-able that instigate new ways of thinking or reacting to the built environment? I started with Hamilton. Lydon had visited there recently and imparted his wisdom about light, cheap, and quick changes to the public realm. Lydon’s visit was prompted by architect Graham McNally, of Toms + McNally Design, who first saw the urban planner in a video and decided to reach out to him. “In the video, he talked about the success that tactical urbanism is having across North America as a way to accelerate changes to the public realm in cities,” says McNally. “I pitched the idea of bringing Mike up to Hamilton for the Hamilton Burlington Society of Architect’s annual Architecture Week lecture, and the Society strongly supported the idea. From there, we planned a workshop with Mike and members of the public, and we came up with a number of very interesting ideas for interventions that could be installed across the city.”

03

The months that followed included the guerrilla installation of pylons that forced cars to turn widely and allowed pedestrians more room to cross the street. The brightly defiant cones were a small but important disruption to the habitual pattern of the selected urban intersection, and they did not go unnoticed. “Within a week, the City removed the pylons and a memo was circulated about the vandalism,” McNally reflects. To get the City on his side, he reached out to the local Ward Councillor, Brian McHattie, and John Mater, a director of Transportation, Energy & Facilities. He turned their attention to the possibility brought on by these temporary actions and collaborated with them to install permanent versions of the bump-outs at nine more intersections—this time “more firmly fixed to the asphalt.” The vision of “big little things” was gaining traction and official legitimacy. Public officials can definitely help move things along. Recently, Church Street in Toronto benefitted from the installation of small impermanent “parklets,” which added a bit of grace and respite to a busy vehicular corridor. Spearheaded by the ChurchWellesley Business Improvement Area and

ushered by local Councillor Wong Tam, the idea “turned a parking space into a people space,” says Nancy Chater, OALA, an Associate at The Planning Partnership. The firm was working on the ChurchWellesley Neighbourhood Village Plan, and led the design and implemetation of the parklet project. With seating, plantings, umbrellas, and shade structures, the parklets are exactly as they sound: tiny parks that provide a micro-network of open spaces along a vehicle-dominated corridor. These sidewalk forays into the roadway easily blended with the mosaic of Church Street activity, but the approvals required betrayed their natural fit. From fire access to water mains to traffic circulation, the regulation for them was daunting. “It’s the kind of thing that often stalls an innovative project if it doesn’t follow the rules,” says Chater. With good political support and good community support, the project flourished. Students from the Local 27 Carpenters’ Union assembled the modular platforms offsite, tailoring each one. “They were custom built and custom designed, which is a good thing,” notes Chater. “Each rightof-way is different and has different needs.” Volunteers recruited by The 519 Church Street Community Centre were mobilized to plant them out, hauling and dumping bags of soil to produce a rapid transformation of the street. Although the parklets were temporary and, relative to more permanent park-making, quickly installed, they’re perhaps one of the most ambitious examples of tactical urbanism. Many emerging interventions are much smaller, taking on flood walls or fence posts. This micro-advocacy is not always as infrastructural as the devices catalogued by the official movement, but they are still guided by a sense of experimentation and social precision. They sit opposite to notions of resource scarcity and inaction that have come to mar modern-day planning. The idea is a simple one: do something with what you have access to and create a change.


Tactical Urbanism

On a summer morning in Cambridge, a group of architecture students from the University of Waterloo decided to do just that. They covertly lowered a series of planters over a flood wall, a gesture of reconnecting the city to the Grand River. Rather than going through official permits, the project flew under the radar. “Our approach is absolutely guerrilla,” said Simeon Rivier, one of the team members. “We prefer to operate in the shadows; our installations are often meant to supplement the official program.” The hanging plants were installed in just 90 minutes. “That installation process was part of the design from day one,” says Rivier. “There is much attention and money being spent in revitalizing this historic portion of the city, but the river remains fortified and unnatural. We recognized this and seized the opportunity to soften the harsh environment created by the flood wall.” Within days they noticed children playing on a wooden bench below the hanging garden—a sight that would not have made sense when it was still a barren fortification.

.25

05

Urban tactics have also been known to evolve and multiply. The Palmerston Square Project in Toronto began with a discarded chalkboard but quickly turned into an artistic hub complete with stencilled cardboard tubes and crocheted flowers. Anjum Chagpar, a Palmerston Square resident and “Park Ranger” for the David Suzuki Foundation’s Homegrown National Park Project, says, “Inspiration breeds inspiration. It’s contagious.” As part of the David Suzuki Foundation’s movement to get residents involved in creating a network of neighbourhood green spaces, Chagpar and her neighbours were invited to dream up new ideas to revitalize an area bordered by a Catholic high school and enclosed by a chain link fence. Serendipitously, a chalkboard tied to the fencepost became a point of departure. When it quickly filled with public musings and inspirational quotes, it inspired resident Yu Li to recreate an installation he’d seen at a neighbourhood block party: Tubular Fun by Ksenija Spasic. The neighbourhood approached Spasic, a local artist, to help them create their own version. Cutting cardboard tubes lengthways, they created what were essentially giant magnetic poetry words (minus the magnets). Each brightly stencilled word was hooked onto the standard-issue fence and assembled into sentences by the impulses of passers-by. The installation changed constantly. Jode Roberts, Communications Specialist at the David Suzuki Foundation, describes this as “crowdsourcing” a natural corridor. The

04 04/

Installation of hanging wall garden, Cambridge

IMAGE/

Simeon Rivier

05/

Homegrown National Park Project parade

IMAGE/

Evan Holt

06/

Temporary snow seating

IMAGE/

Fadi Masoud

07/

The O-Town Bombers covered an Ottawa bus with more than 500 crocheted granny squares.

IMAGE/

Justy Lisa Dennis

16

fence art was one of many small-scale actions, though it was perhaps the most novel. Others include pollinator gardens, pothole planters, and raised planting beds, and on the west side of Palmerston Square, front yards were enlisted, along with swings and tree houses, to broaden the public realm. Says Chagpar, “The Palmerston Square project provided opportunities to experience the qualities of nature—tranquility, creativity, generosity, whimsy, and beauty—either directly through more contact with them, or through proxies such as art installations and shared spaces.” Without the directive of an overarching plan, the neighbours generated a wave of surprising connections, interactions and new circumstances. An anonymous “park fairy” even began leaving spare change under a rock, resulting in more than $30 of unsolicited, highly unusual donations. The project was not only accessible, but it was also conceived of by residents. It dovetailed with an important emerging trend around DIY city-building that empowers locals to steward their spaces. “Meaningful and respectful community involvement can lead to some really creative and surprising ideas,” Chagpar adds. “Too often we’re asked to contribute our ideas to projects after the plans have already been decided.” Tactical urbanism is particularly powerful in the midst of too-thin public budgets, crumbling infrastructure, and a global financial crisis. The projects are communitybased, require little or no funding, and are being tested in real life. Widespread service cuts have inspired a whole movement of citizens filling out the spaces between large public projects and enhancements to private property. Some years back, the University of Toronto campus was adorned with a series of plastic doormats placed into the snow to create ad-hoc seating spaces. I caught up with Fadi Masoud, who co-instigated the project, to reminisce. “It was an especially snowy winter and the gigantic snow piles were not only taking up valuable circulation space, but were also visually unpleasant,” he said. But as a venue for a temporary installation, they couldn’t have been better. At the time, Masoud and colleague Magda


Tactical Urbanism

Warshawski were inspired by the Canadian Centre for Architecture’s “Call for Actions” competition and were searching for a space in the city to intervene “with little cost and little material.” They arrived at the idea of doormats—cheap and plentiful at local hardware stores. Settling on a series of colourful ones, they set to work transforming grey snow piles in a mere 30 minutes. Happily, the next day was a warm one. “We saw people actually sitting, chatting, taking pictures, or simply using them to wait for their food near a food truck,” Masoud says. The project received first place in the CCA’s competition.

06

07

Cheap and cheerful is a trademark of the tactical urbanist method. But that doesn’t always reveal how much physical labour goes into these micro public works. A team of women in Ottawa calling themselves the O-town Bombers once knit hundreds of 1foot “granny squares” to completely cover an OCtranspo Paratranspo bus. Justy Lisa Dennis, founder of the group, says of the practice: “Crochet is a free art form replicated by generations. This new form of crochet called yarnbombing has caught on like wildfire and is being replicated around the world.”

08/

A performance piece staging alternative ideas for the intersection of Upper James and Mohalk in Hamilton

IMAGE/

Jeff Tessier

09/

Model of the team’s ideas for Upper James and Mohalk

IMAGE/

Emma Cubitt

17

.25

Yarnbombing is as temporary as it gets in the world of urban tactics—and provides free spirit-lifting. “Many little actions can have far more value and impact than some large-scale attempts by boards and city plans,” says Dennis. “Smaller events are more accessible, tactile, and fun. I don’t know many people who would be intimidated by touching a fuzzy wool bear on a park bench.” In Toronto, a similar group called the Bissell Bombers takes on the St. George campus of the University of Toronto. Founder Brittany Holliss says that the group has made her more aware of urban furniture, trees, and city infrastructure. “I definitely have started looking at things in terms of their weight-bearing abilities and whether or not I’d be able to weave the yarn in and out of things. And with all the construction going around, it is certainly tempting to knit up some pylons. For now, though, our group would like to stay friends with city work crews and safety officers!” As for maintenance, tactical projects vary widely. The temporary seats and yarn installations were left to the whims of the public. In the case of the O-town Bombers, who worked at one point with the Friends of Dundonald Park/Centretown Community Centre to cover most of the park in yarn, the pieces were stolen and worn by the homeless. “It’s okay, we like the idea of keeping people warm in the winter too!” says Dennis. The Church Street parklets required a little more regular TLC. Maintenance was given over to the BIA, who took over watering and general upkeep. When smokers were pushed out of bars due to restrictions on indoor smoking, the parklets were an unfortunate victim, but the presence of a high number of smokers persuaded the team to add hanging receptacles to the sides of the railings in order to keep things tidy. In the Homegrown National Park model, residents are away from a highly trafficked main street, and in many cases the maintenance is another opportunity for community-building. In Cambridge, the hanging gardens were irrigated by pouring water into the trickle-down system, and with the river in their backyard, the Waterloo students gladly ventured out to give the gardens a drink.

08

09

In all the projects, a sense of iterative learning was a must—and in all projects, that learning was made possible by the small scale, small risk, and huge community backing that come with the territory. It strikes me that landscape architecture can learn something from this recipe: a few months invested in cultivating quick and temporary projects could become a useful addition to standard design process if only we’d allow ourselves that level of flexibility. Scale models are one thing, but using the world as a laboratory provides context-specific research that does two other important things. First, it creates a public appetite for the permanent version of the idea, without it being set in stone. McNally says of the value of small, temporary actions on our city writ large: “They can shake things up and show people a different way that the city could be configured or built.” And second, they make the world a better place for a short while. “A vibrant public realm is an indicator of a healthy community,” says Chater. “Getting people out and about on the street through walking, sitting, and interacting, is so important.” We don’t have to do this in one fell swoop. We can get there in small ways. Says Jode Roberts, “Small, creative interventions ... demonstrate that residents can play an active role in shaping their neighbourhoods. We’ve been really excited by how we can tap local creativity to make awesome things happen—from pothole planters and canoe gardens to butterfly corridors and musical parades—one inspiring tactic at a time.“ BIO/ DENISE PINTO IS THE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF JANE’S WALK AND CHAIR OF THE GROUND EDITORIAL BOARD.


Sites of Value

.25

TEXT BY LOUISE THOMASSIN

Much excitement has been stirring in Ottawa around the sale of a privately owned 37-acre site on Chaudière Island and the nearby Quebec shoreline. This unique piece of real estate is in close proximity to the downtown core and within sight of Parliament Hill. The area played a key role in the development of Canada and was an important site before European contact in North America. The magnificence and potential of the falls was apparent to settlers, and, in 1800, the first families of European ancestry capitalized on the falls’ natural power and began to develop Chaudière Island with mills. In 1900, a fire destroyed the mills and flattened much of the city. After the devastation, the mills were rebuilt, and a shanty town of simple wooden homes sprang up around them. To the chagrin of politicians on Parliament Hill, Chaudière Island and Lebreton Flats, an area south of the island on the shores of Ontario where many of the lumbermen lived, became increasingly unsightly—a stark contrast to the picturesque landscape and neo-Gothic federal architecture of parliament. The government began to take steps to improve the capital, hiring a series of landscape architects, planners, and architects to provide guidance on the direction of Ottawa’s future development. Montreal landscape architect Frederick Todd, who had worked with Frederick Law Olmsted, was the first to be brought on board, in 1903. He was retained by the Ottawa Improvement Condition, an earlier version of the National Capital Commission, during a period strongly influenced by the Parks Movement. He argued that Ottawa should have two priorities for its long-term design objective: to keep its natural gems in a beautiful condition; and to encourage industrial growth and prosperity, without sacrificing one for the other. Todd believed that the planning should not be restricted to Ottawa but should include Hull. Since Chaudière Island straddled the border between Ontario and Quebec, he proposed that it be reclaimed from industry and dedicated as parkland to act as a connector between the two provinces.

01 01/

Lithograph by C. Ingrey of Chaudière Falls prior to the erection of the bridges, circa 1826

IMAGE/

Library and Archives Canada

02/

Watercolour of Chaudière Falls, circa 1839

IMAGE/

Library and Archives Canada

18


Sites of Value

19

.25

02


Sites of Value

20

.25

During that same period and into the 21st century, others presented a different vision for Chaudière Island. Elder (Dr.) William Commanda, founder of the Circles of All Nations, advocated for the removal of the dam in order to free Chaudière Falls and return it to its former magnificence. His vision included replanting the island with native trees and creating an educational eco-park expressive of the site’s past and future. This would serve as a national symbol of reconciliation with nature, both of land and water, according to Commanda. Romola Vasantha Thumbadoo, the Coordinator for the Circle of All Nations in Ottawa, worked alongside William Commanda and has supported his work, including his vision of the Chaudière Island and falls, for more than a decade. “William Commanda’s vision is one of inclusivity—for the sharing of the ancient meeting place of his ancestors with others.” she says. “The Chaudière has been under the grip of industry over the past two centuries; the Commanda legacy calls for public space, not privatization. We cannot afford to slip into the old ways of thinking; it is time to build a relationship with the land, inclusive of all peoples.” She and William Commanda support the idea of commemorating the site’s recent industrial history, but believe the rest of the space should be returned to its natural state and planted with native species for the public to enjoy. “We live in the capital city of a great country and should make a point of prioritizing our natural environment to positively influence others to do the same, particularly in these times of climate change and global environmental crises,” she says. “The area

03

The City of Ottawa shelved Todd’s report, ignored his vision, and instead chose economic development over natural beauty. A hydroelectric dam was built in 1908 and put into operation in 1910 with the aim of controlling and standardizing the water level and distributing the waterpower. Other reports on the development of Ottawa followed, but it wasn’t until 1950 that a plan was devised that would affect Chaudière Island and its surrounding region. The Gréber plan, the single most influential planning instrument that directed the growth of Ottawa and Gatineau, had a solution for both Chaudière Island and the Lebreton Flats: clear the slums and industries and install a ceremonial parkway along the Ottawa River for Canadians to view through the windows of their motorcars. The newly formed National Capital Commission (NCC) approved the plan, but made some subtle changes. The industries on Chaudière could stay, but the slums would be replaced, not by parkland, but by a government complex of office buildings and parking lots. In 1962, the residents of the area were given a year to vacate their homes, and soon thereafter the mills closed. The 60s and 70s became a lost era for Chaudière Island and Lebreton Flats, with both sites remaining dormant, as the NCC lost control of federal planning initiatives to private developers. In 1990, Ottawa-based architect and urbanist Mark Thompson Brandt developed a master plan for the National Capital

04

05

Commission (NCC) for the district that included Chaudière Island, along with Victoria, Amelia, and Albert Islands. The plan was based on the evolution of the site and its cultural landscape. He states, “The cultural landscape of the Chaudière Island is really a waterscape. The site is all about the historic Ottawa River and the falls. The revitalization plan is about bringing people back to the water.” The master plan’s main connector through the site is called the “Walk of Waters,” which navigates pedestrians through the entire district. 06


Sites of Value

21

.25

07

is important for its incomparable natural and geological history, its spiritual importance to First Peoples, and its contemporary historical relevance, and it should be preserved to be shared not only with Canadians, but the world.” In 2007, the NCC published a report by DTAH, which called for Chaudière Island to be multi-purpose (identifying it as an ideal cyclist route connection, and a place for connecting the waterways with boat access) and for the island to be part of the Lebreton Flats character area. The open greenspace on the eastern tip of the island was identified as a place where no buildings should be built, in order to preserve and enhance the iconic view of the parliament buildings. Chaudière Island has continued to hum with the sound of industry, most recently under Domtar, a Montreal-based paper manufacturer that, in 1998, purchased the mills, buildings, and timber slide from E.B. Eddy. Local newspapers report that Domtar is looking to sell the property; with the NCC stepping away from a proposal to purchase the lands (a proposal nixed by the federal government), Domtar is looking to private developers. In 2013, Windmill Development Group, a real-estate development company based in Ottawa and known for its green practices, signed a letter of intent with Domtar. The sale agreement commits Windmill to purchasing the property, with the only remaining condition being rezoning it for mixed-use development. Windmill intends to present its planning applications to the city of Ottawa and Ville de Gatineau in the spring of 2014. The plans include establishment of waterfront restaurants, cafés, and

public parks; setting up public gathering places that provide views of the river; building a mix of low-rise, high-rise, and affordable housing; redeveloping some of the heritage buildings; and creating various historical installations honouring the area’s logging and industrial history. The plan is an ambitious one and will require a high level of coordination going forward between the NCC, Ville de Gatineau, and the City of Ottawa. Not only will zoning, industrial contamination issues, and First Nations considerations need to be resolved, but a general set of regulations will also need to be created to merge the by-laws of the two cities and Federal Region. Mark Brandt, who has been retained by Windmill, states that “it is the first time the two cities have worked together at this scale, and the proposed development is arguably the most significant and complex one happening in Canada today.” The new deal has sparked interest in the cultural significance of the Chaudière Falls. According to John Zvonar, OALA, past-president of the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation who has long been involved in national historic sites across Canada and abroad, “Redevelopment of the land should be preceded by a values exercise to determine what has heritage value and thus should be protected moving forward.” Zvonar suggests using contemporary layers with the past as a point of departure. He proposes potential uses similar to those on Granville Island in Vancouver, such as shuttle boats connecting the island to points of interest on the mainland and the maintenance of some industrial operations while integrating shops, restaurants, and perhaps a new Science and Technology Museum to replace the one on St-Laurent Boulevard.

08

Another Ottawa landscape architect, Jim Lennox, OALA, principal of James. B. Lennox and Associates, stresses the importance of existing studies. “As a starting point, I would reflect upon the strengths and weaknesses of past reports and plans prepared for the island and the surrounding areas, and not let good ideas of the past pass us by.” Lennox further states, “It would also be worthwhile to examine some of the original drawings and prints of the Chaudière Falls to see what could be done to revert at least part of the falls back to their natural grandeur. Incorporating locks or an eel fishway into the falls would also be a real accomplishment.” With the buzz of renewed hope and optimism, what is clear about the Chaudière site is that it is a complex cultural landscape connecting Canada’s three founding peoples: the First Nations, the French, and the English. BIO/ LOUISE THOMASSIN IS A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL INTERN AT LASHLEY + ASSOCIATES IN OTTAWA.

03/

Timber slide designed to circumvent Chaudière Falls

IMAGE/

Library and Archives Canada

04-05/

Revitalization concept, 1990s, by MTBA

IMAGES/

Mark Thompson Brandt Architect & Associates Inc.

06/

Map of Chaudière Island and surrounding area, circa 1879

IMAGE/

Library and Archives Canada; edits by Wes Cross

07/

Aerial view of Chaudière Island

IMAGE/

Shanta Rohse; edits by Louise Thomassin

08/

Booth Board Mill. built 1912; closed since 1980 and derelict

IMAGE/

URBSite


Business Corner

.25

Navigating contract administration in landscape architecture

01

22


Business Corner

01-02/

The contract administration process can make or break a project.

IMAGES/

Shutterstock

23

.25

02 BIOS/

MIKE TOCHER, OALA, ASLA, MCIP, RPP, GRP MIKE TOCHER, OALA, IS A PARTNER WITH THINC DESIGN (TOCHER HEYBLOM DESIGN INC). THIS GROWING FIRM OF FIVE SPECIALIZES IN MUNICIPAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND PUBLIC REALM PROJECTS, INCLUDING PARKS AND STREETSCAPES, AS WELL AS COMMERCIAL, MULTI-RESIDENTIAL, AND INSTITUTIONAL PROPERTIES. MIKE HAS BEEN PRACTISING CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION FOR THE PAST 17 YEARS AND HAS BEEN THE INSTRUCTOR FOR THE LANDSCAPE CONSTRUCTION MATERIALS AND TECHNIQUES COURSE—BOTH IN THE CLASSROOM AND ONLINE—AT THE CHANG SCHOOL AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY SINCE 2008. BILL GURNEY, OALA, ASLA BILL GURNEY, OALA, IS A LIFELONG SKATEBOARD ENTHUSIAST AND FULLY LICENSED LANDSCAPE ARCHITECT WITH MORE THAN 16 YEARS OF EXPERIENCE IN PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE. HE CURRENTLY SERVES AS SENIOR DESIGN MANAGER WITH NEW LINE SKATEPARKS INC., PROVIDING SKATE-PARK-SPECIFIC DESIGN AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES TO MUNICIPALITIES AND COMMUNITY SERVICE GROUPS THROUGHOUT CANADA AND THE U.S. BASED IN TORONTO, BILL HAS RECENTLY ATTAINED MEMBERSHIP WITH THE TEXAS CHAPTER OF THE ASLA. KAREN LEASA, BLA, LEED A.P. KAREN LEASA IS A LANDSCAPE DESIGNER WITH THE PLANNING PARTNERSHIP. SHE HAS NINE YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE WITH A BACKGROUND THAT INCLUDES PARK AND OPEN SPACE PLANNING, COMMUNITY MASTER-PLANNING, STREETSCAPE DESIGN, AND RESORT DEVELOPMENT. SHE HAS SUCCESSFULLY COORDINATED AND MANAGED INTERNATIONAL PROJECTS WITHIN THE UNITED STATES, EGYPT, U.A.E., AND MOROCCO, AS WELL AS LOCAL PROJECTS WITHIN ONTARIO FOR THE PLANNING PARTNERSHIP, WITH A PRIMARY FOCUS ON CONTRACT ADMINISTRATION. JIM MELVIN, OALA, FCSLA, ASLA JIM MELVIN, OALA, A PRINCIPAL IN THE FIRM PMA LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTS, HAS BEEN PROVIDING CONSULTING SERVICES TO THE PRIVATE AND PUBLIC SECTORS FOR MORE THAN 30 YEARS. HIS FIRM ADMINISTERS MORE THAN $5 MILLION DOLLARS WORTH OF CONSTRUCTION ANNUALLY. JIM TAUGHT PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE MANY YEARS AGO AT RYERSON UNIVERSITY AND VOLUNTEERS WITH THE OALA. DAVID MUGFORD, BLA, ASLA (ASSOCIATE), ISA DAVID MUGFORD IS A LANDSCAPE DESIGNER AND PROJECT MANAGER WITH THINC DESIGN. HE HAS MORE THAN FIVE YEARS OF PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE WORKING ON ISSUES IN LANDSCAPE, ARBORICULTURE, AND ECOLOGY. HE HAS A PROFESSIONAL DEGREE IN LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE, AND AN EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND IN BOTH PLANT BIOLOGY AND BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION. DAVID HAS ESTABLISHED A DIVERSE PORTFOLIO OF WORK THAT RANGES FROM PRIVATE RESIDENCES, ESTATES, AND CONDOMINIUMS TO PUBLIC STREETS, PARKS, AND COMMUNITY MASTER PLANS THAT FOCUS ON PLACE-MAKING AND PROGRESSIVE URBAN FORESTRY STRATEGIES.

TEXT BY KAREN LEASA AND DAVID MUGFORD

The technical and legal aspects of the landscape architecture profession may not be the most stimulating to a creative mind, but these factors will often make the difference between a crumbling idea and a well-executed and enduring design. As such, the importance of contract administration (CA) within the design process must not be underestimated—by young professionals and seasoned practitioners alike. In an effort to explore various aspects of the CA process, Karen Leasa and David Mugford convened a round table discussion with three professionals from Ontario who, between them, have more than 60 years of experience practising in the field of landscape architecture. A variety of questions were asked to capture the larger themes of the CA process and to provide insight and advice. Karen Leasa (KL): What is your number one piece of advice for navigating the CA process? Mike Tocher (MT): You should ensure that you keep detailed and accurate records. Paperwork is important in the process, as you will likely end up referencing back to meeting minutes or documentation during the process. Having a paper trail to rely on will make everyone’s life easier.

Jim Melvin (JM): Having a good set of standard documents prepared (change orders, payment certificates, meeting minutes, etc.) is essential before the project starts, in order to help the process run more efficiently and aid in consistency and clarity for the contractor. You should always use a good set of documents (construction plans and specifications) starting from the initial meeting. David Mugford (DM): From your perspective as a landscape architect, what makes CA run more smoothly? Bill Gurney (BG): A capable and professional contractor will always aid in the process; however, you rarely have the luxury of choosing the contractor you will be working with. Encouraging the contractor to anticipate problems and be proactive will be advantageous throughout the process. You do not want to be the cause of a delay in construction, so anticipating potential conflicts will always be beneficial. JM: Always try to be present on-site during construction at strategic times. The client may sometimes send people to the site who aren’t capable of making immediate and informed decisions. You need to be able to find a way to get the right parties on-site to make decisions that will not delay work and will keep the project on schedule.


Business Corner

24

.25

03

KL: What is the importance of fostering relationships with clients, contractors, and peers as it relates to CA? And, in your experience, how does this impact design outcomes? MT: You need to have a professional relationship with everyone involved. In particular, I think you need to be fair and not take advantage of anyone just because you have the documentation to back it up. For example, if the contractor makes a mistake, be fair and determine if it really needs to be rectified or to what extent it needs to be revised. If it does need revision, what are acceptable methods of dealing with it? Simply requiring the contractor to tear something out and redo it because it doesn’t match the drawings might not be reasonable and might hurt you in the end, as the contractor may be able to find holes in your documents as well, and come back with extras.

03/

On-site staging of trees prior to installation

IMAGE/

David Mugford

04-05/

Construction of concrete ribbon wall

IMAGES/

Karen Leasa

JM: It is also important to network in the profession to build these key relationships. Attend events like the Landscape Ontario Congress—meet suppliers and other industry professionals, learn about new products. If you build your knowledge base and connect to local suppliers, you will be able to suggest specific suppliers that are complementary to your clients’ needs and to the design. Also, it’s important to always conduct yourself professionally on-site, to set a precedent, and in turn to gain the respect of others. DM: Please provide an example of building efficiency into design during construction. BG: Sometimes it all depends on the relationship you have with the contractor. They might have a more efficient way to get things done, and might offer suggestions of how to build efficiencies into the design—for example, suggesting a logical sequencing of the work (e.g., multi-tasking crews). JM: More and more contractors ask for digital references to lay out designs on-site. The design is laid out specific to the digital linework, and not necessarily to the dimensions indicated. In order to facilitate the

efficient transfer of information to the contractor, we need to ensure that the digital drawings are very accurate and do not present conflicting information. KL: What is always a constant in the CA process, no matter what the scale of the project? MT: Schedule is always an issue. Monitor progress at the beginning and identify any slippage in the schedule ASAP. If you are behind schedule at the start, it is very difficult to make up time afterwards. Make sure your contract documents require regular updates to the schedule and that the contractor provides these on a regular basis. JM: Extras are always a constant, and should be anticipated in the percentage of fees within the contract. DM: What qualities do you think are most important when dealing with contractors and sub-consultants? MT: Be respectful, ask questions, listen, and be willing to take advice. Hopefully you are working with people who are knowledgeable in their respective fields and have


Business Corner

25

.25

04

05

good advice and experience to draw upon. Making a change during the construction process might require being flexible and taking a different approach than originally anticipated, but in the end it is about building the project right and not about ego. BG: It is important to be fair, and respectful of others. Your job is to ensure that during the coordination and CA process you present a fair and equitable interpretation of the documents to the contractor and you are respectful of the knowledge that the chosen contractor brings to the table. KL: How important is it to understand the financial ramifications of decisions made during the CA process? MT: Before you require a change, always know how much it is going to cost and what implications the change will have on other aspects of the project. Have the contractor respond to a contemplative change order and then have the client sign off on the change before giving the green light.

06/

Condo roof terrace site review

IMAGE/

David Mugford

07/

Silva cell installation process

IMAGE/

Karen Leasa

BG: I believe that your ability to “design on budget” will affect your reputation. Also, you can often judge the quality and completeness of construction documents by the number of change orders and additional charges after the fact. Ultimately, the signoff on change orders comes from the client. Some of these will be optional in nature and others you will have no choice but to implement. There is also some debate over including an owner’s contingency allowance in the tender form. The allowance is helpful to manage the unforeseen; however, it is important that the contractors don’t look upon this line item as their “Christmas Bonus.” I will often look at the project as if it were being financed by my own money, and I am careful in how I manage my own money. Also, when extras are required and quoted, you should know true value of work—don’t be afraid to challenge the contractor or talk them down in price. DM: Any final advice? MT: Be flexible. Every project is different and the CA process should be tailored to fit the size and scope of the project. Don’t make the process overly complicated if it does not need to be. However, knowing when this is appropriate comes with experience. So when in doubt, document. BG: I believe that one challenge for landscape architects is in understanding their role in CA from an allegiance perspective. While our role is to represent the owner and uphold the requirements of contract drawings and specifications, it is important to remain fair and equitable when disputes arise. Ideally, the answers are all right there in your drawings, notes, and specifications. The goal of thorough construction

06

07

documents is to eliminate all areas of ambiguity and eliminate sources of multiple interpretations. There are always going to be variables that are out of our control (drought, floods, wind, frost, seagulls eating your seed…lots of things that could affect your project along the way); you just have to learn to be flexible and find the best solution to the next problem. As landscape architects, we are natural problem solvers, and the same holds true when coordinating built work and translating our ideas into physical forms. Experience will inevitably help in the management of this process, but as we have heard, starting with a foundation of meticulous record keeping, proper documentation, and respect for those you are working alongside will start you in the right direction towards navigating the CA process.


Plant Corner

.25

01

TEXT BY VICTORIA MACPHAIL

There has been a lot of talk about pollinators in the media, but even experienced gardeners, designers, and biologists still have many questions. Pollination is the transfer of pollen from male to female parts of a flower, and is needed in most cases for seed and fruit production. Plants rely on external vectors for pollination to happen. While wind, water, and gravity can help move the pollen of some species, animal pollinators are responsible for the reproduction of about 75 to 90 percent of all flowering plants, including roughly two-thirds of the world’s crops. In 2005, the value of pollinators to Canadian agriculture was estimated to be $1 billion/year, and 02 01/

Pollinator-friendly garden at the University of Guelph

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

02/

A Mississauga pollinator garden

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

03/

Mining bee on blossom

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

04/

Monarch butterfly on purple coneflower

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

05/

Residential pollinator garden

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

03

26


Plant Corner

27

.25

about $400 billion/year globally. However, these values do not consider the role of pollinators in natural ecosystems and the ripple effects throughout the whole food chain, as it is not just humans who benefit from animal pollination. Birds and mammals eat the fruits and seeds that are produced, and even the pollinators themselves—caterpillars, in particular—are a source of protein for other animals. Animal pollinators include groups such as bees, flies, butterflies and moths, beetles, hummingbirds, and even mosquitoes, slugs, bats, and geckos. These animals do not set out to pollinate a flower; instead, they pick up pollen accidentally as they visit a flower for food (such as pollen, a protein source, and nectar, an energy source) or other resources (e.g., oils, scents), and then they transfer the pollen as they visit another flower. Bees are generally considered to be the best pollinators because they usually have very hairy bodies that pollen will stick to, and they are vegetarians. They visit many flowers to collect pollen for themselves and to provision their nests. Some types of flies also collect pollen, and beetles will eat pollen and a variety of other floral tissues. Wasps generally do not collect pollen and do not transfer it on their bodies so are not very good pollinators. Moths, butterflies, and hummingbirds concentrate on removing nectar, which they are often able to do while avoiding getting dusted in pollen, so they too are not very good pollinators (although there are exceptions). Unfortunately, every continent with pollinators (i.e., all except for Antarctica) has reports of pollinator declines in at least one region. In Europe, these declines and extinctions have been better documented than in North America, where long-term population data are lacking and knowledge of pollinator basic ecology is incomplete. But the signs of declines are already being noted. For example, butterfly species richness has declined by as much as 37 percent in some Canadian regions, and a comparison of bumble bee studies that occurred in the 1970s and the 2000s in Guelph, Ontario, found that although four species increased in numbers and three species had no change, four species decreased in numbers and,

04

of most concern, three species were absent. One of these latter species, the rusty-patched bumble bee, was the fourth most common species in the 1970s but has only been found at one site in Ontario in recent years. It is now listed as an endangered species. The causes of these declines can vary depending on the area and the species, but the biggest factors are habitat loss and fragmentation, pesticide use (especially a group called neonicotinoids), parasites and pathogens, exotic species, and climate change. Take a drive in the countryside and see what flowering plants are there for pollinators. Unlike fields of old, today many roadsides and field edges are mowed or sprayed to control “weeds,” hedgerows have been removed to allow for wider machinery to be used, and wetlands have been drained to increase crop area. A walk in the city may provide more flowers, yet the dominance of lawns persists, and lawns are deserts for pollinators. 05


Plant Corner

28

.25

You can create the varied grocery store that pollinators need by planting a diversity of plants so that there are flowers in some part of the garden from spring through fall. Choose several colours of flowers and include flowers of different shapes, as these will attract different types of pollinators. Plant each type in clumps so that they are more visible to pollinators and more energy efficient to visit. Native plants are usually preferred over ornamental or highly cultivated varieties as they often attract and are accessible to more pollinators, produce more seeds or fruit for wildlife, and can be easier to grow. But even non-native “weeds” such as dandelions and clovers can be very important to pollinators, particularly in the spring when little else is blooming.

06

Add in diseases escaping from managed bumble bee pollinators to wild ones, resistance building to the treatment of mites in honeybees, and unusual weather (late frosts, long droughts) that may destroy or limit the food resources available, and pollinators are having a hard time surviving.

Not only can designed landscapes be important grocery stores for pollinators, they can also provide diverse housing complexes. Seventy percent of our native bees nest in the ground, either in old rodent holes (as bumble bees do) or by digging their own tunnels in the dirt. Thus, it’s important to provide areas of exposed soil, such as around plants in the garden, edges of flower beds, or less dense patches of lawn. Avoid mulch in at least a section of the garden, as bees cannot dig through mulch to reach the ground and their nests.

The general public—and landscape professionals—can play a big role in protecting and sustaining our pollinators. We just need to provide our winged friends with the three essentials of life: food, water, and shelter. Pollinators need a continuous succession of plants flowering throughout their entire lives, which for some extends from early spring through fall. Bees that emerge early in spring rely on plants such as willows, wild strawberry, and serviceberry, while those that are long-lived rely on late-blooming plants such as goldenrod and some asters. Bees eat the same type of food throughout their lives, although the species visited may change. Adult hover or syrphid flies also need pollen and nectar, but their larvae often feed on aphids or decaying materials (a reason to allow some aphids to persist in the garden). Beetles will eat pollen, nectar, and floral tissues—they are not picky. Adult butterflies and moths rely on nectar (no pollen for them) but often need specific host plants for their larvae to feed on: the most famous example is the monarch butterfly, whose caterpillars feed only on milkweed plants.

07

Other bees live in rotting wood, old stems, or tree cavities. For example, mason and leaf-cutting bees make their homes in beetle tunnels, while the shiny green Augochlora bees nest in rotting logs, and the carpenter bee will actually chew the pith out of old stems and then lay their eggs. Leave a standing snag or stump in place or put some downed branches along the edge of the property to decompose naturally. Easier to do perhaps is to include plants with hollow or pithy stems in the garden, such as golden Alexanders (Zizia), blackberries and raspberries (Rubus), currants (Ribes), elderberries (Sambucus), roses (Rosa), sumacs (Rhus), and reeds (Typha), among many others. While hummingbirds and a few butterflies migrate, most pollinators need a safe place to spend our harsh Canadian winters. They overwinter as adults, juveniles, or pupae in leaf litter, long grass, plant stems, rotten logs, tree cavities, and rock piles. Therefore, it’s important to not “tidy up” the garden in fall—if you do, you will likely kill many beneficial insects. Leave the stems and the leaves where they fall, or at least have some in a corner or out-ofthe-way section of the yard. Pollinator-friendly landscaping can be done on any scale, including window boxes, balcony planters, flower beds,


Plant Corner

29

.25

08

09/

Ground-nesting bee

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

10/

Hover fly on a button bush flower

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

09

garden plots, grass-free lawns, green roofs, commercial grounds, landfills, parks, and more. Along with residential properties, it can also be done at places of work, places of worship, child-care centres, and more. For example, Pollination Guelph, a charitable non-profit group, has been working with Hospice Wellington and Guelph Hydro to slowly add pollinator-friendly landscaping to their properties, while also doing small- and large-scale plantings at other areas throughout Guelph. Take any opportunity you can to educate people about the importance of pollinators and their habitat requirements. You might encounter people who are worried about attracting bees because they are scared of getting stung. In fact, bees generally will not sting unless they need to defend themselves or, in some cases, their nests. Many actually do not have stingers, or they cannot pierce our skin. When a bee is visiting a flower, it is only interested in getting food and will ignore you even if you walk right by it. Another concern that arises is related to hay fever. Many individuals suffer from seasonal allergies and blame their scratchy and watery eyes on the bright, colourful flowers in bloom at the time. However, these showy plants are almost always animal-pollinated and produce small amounts of heavy, sticky pollen. It is wind-pollinated plants that produce copious amounts of light, dry pollen in inconspicuous flowers. As allergies are caused by breathing in airborne pollen, which triggers your immune system, it is the grasses, ragweed, and selected trees that cause the symptoms.

06-07/

Residential pollinator gardens

IMAGES/

Victoria MacPhail

08/

Squash bees inside a squash flower

IMAGE/

Victoria MacPhail

10

The rewards of landscaping for pollinators are great and longlasting, not just for ourselves, but also for pollinators, plants, wildlife, our ecosystems and planet. So plant away! For more information on how to create a “Pollinator Paradise,” visit www.pollinationguelph.ca. This site contains links, sorted by category, to more than 200 other websites. BIO/ VICTORIA MACPHAIL IS AN ECOLOGIST WITH A MASTERS OF SCIENCE DEGREE IN ENVIRONMENTAL BIOLOGY FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF GUELPH, WITH A SPECIALIZATION IN POLLINATION BIOLOGY. SHE IS A FOUNDING MEMBER OF, AND CURRENTLY CO-CHAIR AND DIRECTOR OF PUBLICITY AND OUTREACH FOR, POLLINATION GUELPH, A VOLUNTEER-RUN ORGANIZATION THAT WORKS TO PROTECT POLLINATORS AND THEIR HABITATS.


Notes

Notes: A Miscellany of News and Events

30

.25

plants Back to Eden: Landscaping with Native Plants, by Frank W. Porter, explores how to use and enjoy native plants, detailing the philosophy of native plant landscapes and the application of native plant practices for designers, landscape architects, and gardeners. Chapters on problem-solving with native plants address particularly frustrating areas of the garden, such as areas with low drainage, full shade, or poor soil. Also included are chapters on native grasses, rushes, and sedges, along with colour photographs. Published by Orange Frazer Press, Back to Eden is available in bookstores or online.

rocks Nick Eyles, one of the foremost experts on Ontario’s geology, has recently written a guide to the province’s geological wonders. Road Rocks, published by Fitzhenry & Whiteside, includes full-colour photographs, maps and GPS points, and information covering more than 250 important geological sites in Ontario. The book is available at bookstores or online.

trees Beneath the Canopy, a book about Peterborough’s urban forest and heritage trees, was recently published by the nonprofit organization GreenUP. Compiled by Sheryl Loucks and featuring several local authors and more than 220 full-colour photographs, the book not only explores Peterborough’s urban forest but also showcases the beauty and seasonal changes of the city’s parks and neighbourhoods. Beneath the Canopy is a community project, and funds raised support the work of GreenUP. To purchase a copy ($20), visit www.greenup.on.ca/ beneath-the-canopy.

01

exhibitions The Gladstone Hotel in Toronto is hosting the second year of Grow Op: Exploring landscape and place, a four-day event, from April 24-27, that celebrates innovative ideas and conceptual responses to landscape and place across a broad range of creative practices. Grow Op 2014 will facilitate a cross-disciplinary forum for landscape, garden design, art, and place-making within the vibrant setting of Toronto’s West Queen West neighbourhood. New to Grow Op this year is Equinosh, an event blending food, agriculture, design, sustainability, and harvest, to be held on Saturday, April 26 from 5pm to 8pm, featuring chefs Jamie Kennedy, Miriam Streiman, and Mario Paz. Curated by Victoria Taylor, OALA, Grow Op explores new territories and uncovers new modes of expression and meaning through projects that represent a wide range of approaches, from the prosaic to the poetic, the elemental to the ephemeral. For more information, visit www.gladstonehotel.com/spaces/ gladstone-grow-op/.

01/

Curated by Victoria Taylor, OALA, the exhibition Grow Op explores ideas about landscape and place.

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Grow Op

02-03/

A new citizen-science project, Bumble Bee Watch, engages the public in monitoring bee populations.

IMAGES/

Sheila Colla

04/

Landscape architect Nancy Chater, OALA, has led a Jane’s Walk in the Don Valley, exploring issues related to hydrology.

IMAGE/

Lorraine Johnson

05/

Jane’s Walk recently published an anthology of walks held in 2013.

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Jane’s Walk


Notes

31

.25

04

events The 8th annual Jane’s Walk Festival takes place on the weekend of May 2-4, 2014, in more than 100 cities worldwide, including many in Ontario. Created in 2007 in Toronto by friends of the urban thinker Jane Jacobs, the annual series of free, volunteer-led urban walks takes place to honour Jacobs’ legacy. The walks cover a wide range of geographies and interests, the main unifying feature being that they offer everyone the chance to explore their city’s neighbourhoods with fresh eyes and curious minds. For a list of Jane’s Walks taking place on the first weekend in May, visit www.janeswalk.org.

02

bees

03

Bumble Bee Watch is a new citizen-science program to help people learn about the diversity of bumble bees, generate longterm data on species distributions, and track declines/expansions. Partners in the project include Wildlife Preservation Canada, the Xerces Society, University of Ottawa, among others. The site was launched in February, 2014, and has already generated interesting results, including a record of the common eastern bumble bee in Vancouver, confirming that the species has become established in the wild outside of its natural range. Organizers are hoping to locate rare species such as the rusty-patched bumble bee by having more eyes on the ground; in the U.S., more records for this species were submitted by naturalists than were found by scientists searching for the bee. For more information, visit www.bumblebeewatch.org.

05

books Building on the success of Jane’s Walk (see NOTES item above), a recently published book celebrates the more than 100 walks and the more than 30,000 people who participated in the 2013 edition of Jane’s Walk. Dozens of walkers, walk leaders, and organizers sent photos and descriptions of their walks, and these have been compiled into a book published in both softcover and hardcover. The stories are funny, heartwarming, eye-opening, and inspiring, and they reveal some of what is shared and what is unique about urban communities around the globe. To order a copy of the first annual Jane’s Walk book, visit www.janeswalk.org.


Notes

32

.25

06

conferences

07

The upcoming Grey to Green: A Conference on the Economics of Green Infrastructure, from August 25-26, 2014, in Toronto, will focus on the health benefits of green infrastructure—for our economy, our ecosystem, and our community. Grey to Green will bring together leading-edge thinkers and doers across a diverse range of fields, revealing the intersection of health and green infrastructure protection and development, and bringing to light many of the important scientific, design, economic, and policy advancements in the green infrastructure field. For more information, visit http://greytogreenconference.org.

international The 51st International Federation of Landscape Architects’ World Congress takes place in Buenos Aires, Argentina, from June 5-7, 2014. The theme of the event, which includes speakers and tours, is “Thinking and Action.” For more information, visit www.iflaargentina2014.com.

revenue According to U.K. magazine BD’s global ranking of landscape architecture project revenue, the Canadian firm IBI Group has ranked third, globally, and retains its position as Canada’s largest practice.

06/

Penn State College of Medicine green roof, a green infrastructure project

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities/Darrell Peterson

07/

This year’s Grey to Green conference will build on the sucess of last year’s event.

IMAGE/

Courtesy of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities/Tracy Jackson


Notes

33

.25

new members The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome to following new full members to the Association: Julius Aquino*

Yuk Fan Lo*

Laurel Christie

Lisandro Lorenzatti

Jeffrey Craft

Jocelyn Morris

Robert Cram

Lori Philp

Sarah Eakins

Veronica Porter

Jessica Hutcheon

Peter Schaudt

Andrew M. Johnson

Jill Stanton

Luke Kairys

Anthony Van Dam

Jack Krubnik*

Xucan Zhou

See-Yin Lim*

Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members not having custody and use of the Association Seal. A message from the OALA Registrar As most members of the OALA know, the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects Act, 1984 (Bill Pr37, 1984), grants the designation of “Landscape Architect” only to those who are Full Members of the Association. 08 08/

Valley Forge elm seedlings

IMAGE/

Flickr

urban forests The Toronto non-profit organization LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) has reintroduced elm trees to the list of species they plant as part of their Backyard Tree Planting Program. According to LEAF, the Valley Forge cultivar is 96 percent resistant to Dutch elm disease and was created from American elms that were found to be naturally resistant to the fungus. For more information, visit www.yourleaf.org.

policy Toronto’s Shade Policy is the first of its kind in Canada, and a new short film— Partners in Action—presents the reflections of members of the Toronto Cancer Prevention Coalition Shade Policy Committee about this groundbreaking initiative. OALA members in the film include Sheila Boudreau, Alex Shevchuk, and Ruthanne Henry. To view the film, visit http://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=Jg1jD6E43Z4.

When you become aware of someone who is using the designation of landscape architect but is not an OALA member, or who misleads the public as to their designation, please contact the OALA Registrar, Linda MacLeod. A formal letter will be issued asking them to desist from using the title “Landscape Architect” or be subject to prosecution under clause 10.3 of the act. We require their name and the circumstances in which the “Landscape Architect” designation was used. I would also like to bring to your attention the correct designation for Associate Members: “An Associate Member shall be designated as an ‘associate’ and/or as a ‘landscape architectural intern’ which designations shall not be abbreviated or changed in any way. The ‘associate’ designation shall not be used on any letterhead, card, or sign, nor shall it be used, except with the official consent of the Council, in any other place or manner, lest its use be interpreted to imply the associate is a full Member rather than an intern of the Association.” Thank you for your due diligence and cooperation in this matter. LINDA MACLEOD, OALA REGISTRAR REGISTRAR@OALA.CA



INTRODUCING... INTR ODUCING...

rialto rialto A subtle texture adds beauty to this durable architectural slab. With its palette of warm earth-tones, creamy natural whites and marbled greys, Rialto is the per fect choice for beautiful pool decks, patios, walkways and roofftop terraces.

Scan to learn more about Rialto or visit: oakspavers.com/pavers/rialto

1.800.709.OAKS (6257) | OAKSpavers.com


Vision becomes reality.

PlayworldSystems.com

For more information please contact your local representative:

You anxiously anticipate the moment when your concept leaps off the page and into the reality of the communities you design for, destined to make an impact.

42 Woodway Trail Brantford, ON N3R 6G7 (519) 304-3437 NewWorldParkSolutions.ca

Trust us to bring your visions to life. ads1402085 © 2014 Playworld Systems®, Inc.

HIGHER SEA SEATING ATING T TING growing older adult mar ket accessibly designed to meet the needs of the growing market from

Ergo E rgo

Contour

Classic H Heritage eritage

www.classicdisplays.com www w.classicdisplays.com 1-800-461-6635 Classic Displays Displays

@ClassicDisplays @ClassicDisplays

Heritage Heritage - Ashwood


Large Selection of Canadian & International Stone Inspired Outdoor Living

404 STONE CARRIES A COMPLETE SELECTION OF LANDSCAPE STONE AND MATERIALS, METICULOUSLY ORGANIZED ON 25 ACRES • Natural Stone • Decorative Rock • Interlock • Cultured Stone

• Soil & Mulches • Aggregates • Bulk Bags • Masonry Products

Delivery Available

Explore our model gardens and Techo-Bloc displays to fire up your creativity Authorized Dealer

905-887-3404 / www.404stone.com / 2686 Stouffville Rd., Gormley, ON, L0H 1G0


LANDSCAPE

ARCHITECTURE

ism

+URB AN +GEOGRAPHIC

INFORMATION eco

S YS T E M +COMPUTER VISUALIZATION

GEO SCHOOL OF

DES IGN

theory into practice . Bachelor of Applied Arts . Integrated Land Planning Technologies

PLANNING

Style your surroundings with timeless and appealing streetscape products.

Learn more at treegrate.com or call 519 448 3395 McCoy Construction Castings is now EJ


MULTIPLI

PLANT A BIG IDEA. WATCH IT CHANGE A CITY. We don’t just want more urban trees – We want them to last. The Silva Cell’s open, modular design protects soil under paving, providing maximum rooting area for the tree and allowing water to permeate the entire soil column. This means healthier, longer-lived trees and a truly sustainable urban landscape. www.deeproot.com

True Global Design. The benefits of mass production + the richness of regionally sourced materials. Designed by Yves Behar and fuseproject. Annette Baubie Ontario/Manitoba, 416.659.6386 annetteb@landscapeforms.com Lee Day – DA AYtime Y Ytime Agency Eastern Ontario, 416.968.6655 leed@landscapeforms.com

DESIGN. CUL ULLTURE. TURE. CRAFT.


The Emerging Science, Health And Economic Benefits Of Designing Our Buildings With Nature

AUGUST 25-26, 2014 TORONTO, ON

A CONFERENCE ON THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE For our economy, our ecosystem and our community. Presented Presented By: By:

Sponsored Sponsored By: By:

Venue: Eaton Chelsea Hotel - 33 Gerrard Street West Toronto, Ontario, M5G 1Z4 Canada

@GRHCNA

WWW.FACEBOOK.COM/GREENROOFSFORHEALTHYCITIES



Artifact

42

.25

01

Remembering the Miniature Village TEXT BY ADRIENNE HALL

For years, Ontario youngsters and their families delighted in trips to Cullen Gardens and Miniature Village in Whitby, wandering the manicured gardens and exploring the micro world of funny-shaped people and quirkily sculpted bonsai. The gardens were filled with miniature scenes, predominantly of 20th-century small-town Ontario. In this micro-village, micro-people rode a micro-Ferris wheel, microtrains chugged on a micro-track, and micro-parents would take their micro-children to Lucky Fried Chicken. For some of those youngsters (including, perhaps, those who grew up to be urban designers or landscape architects), the miniature village was an introduction to the concept of landscape—a landscape

that was idyllic in its simplicity, defined and digestible in one glance—and we occasionally find ourselves remembering this micro-place. In 2006, Cullen Gardens folded, and this miniature world was packed up and hauled to a warehouse, where it languished for years. Now, the miniature village rests in yet another warehouse, in the care of the current owner, the Niagara Parks Commission (NPC). In 2011, NPC began showing pieces from the collection in its Christmas displays at the Floral Showhouse in Niagara Falls. Their hope is to reinstate the village in its entirety at the Showhouse gardens. Until then, the miniature village waits for its next generation of giant tourists. BIO/ ADRIENNE HALL IS A MEMBER OF THE GROUND EDITORIAL BOARD AND A LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURAL INTERN AT NAK DESIGN STRATEGIES, WHERE SHE RECENTLY WORKED ON A MASTER PLAN FOR THE FLORAL SHOWHOUSE AND MINIATURE VILLAGE IN NIAGARA FALLS.

01/

Christmas at the Miniature Village

IMAGE/

Whitby Public Library



Linear · Contemporary · Sleek

Project: MBTA Wonderland Pedestrian Bridge Designer: Arrowstreet Product: Umbriano®

UMBR I A NO® L ARGE FOR M AT SL AB P PA AVING customized to emulate granite, granite, marble, W ith colors colors a nd textures tex tures that that can can be marble, limestone or sandstone, sandstone, With and be customized to emulate limestone or triking beauty beaut y to to a random random dispersing dispersing of tthis his u nique product product owes owes its its sstriking of color color and and granite granite particles, par ticles, unique looks rremarkably emarkably n atural. c reating a mottled mot tled ssurface ur face tthat hat looks creating natural. $ QG EHFDXVH 8PEULDQR LV IURP 8QLORFN LW IHDWXUHV (QGXUD&RORU 3OXV ă DQ DGYDQFHG WHFKQRORJ\ $QG EHFDXVH 8PEULDQR LV IURP 8QLORFN LW IHDWXUHV (QGXUD&RORU 3OXV ă DQ DGYDQFHG WHFKQRORJ\ WKDW GHOLYHUV ERWK VXSHULRU VXU IDFH GXUDELOLW \ DQG FRORU ORQJHYLW \ WKDW GHOLYHUV ERWK VXSHULRU VXUIDFH GXUDELOLW\ DQG FRORU ORQJHYLW\ $YDLODEOH LQ VL]HV XS WR ´ [ ´ FP [ FP UHFWDQJOH ´ [ ´ UHFWDQJOH ´ [ ´ FP [ FP FP [ FP VTXDUH VTXDUH $YDLODEOH LQ VL]HV XS WR ´ [ ´ FP [ FP

81,/2&.

%2 % 2 672 6 72 1

& &+,& +,&$*2

'(75 52 2,7

1(: <2 25 5.

w w w. u n i l o c k . c o m

3+ 3 + , /$ / $ ' (/3 (/3+,$

&/ /(9 (9( (/$ /$1'

0,/ /:$ :$ 8 . ( (( (

7 725 25217 72 2

%8)) )$ $/2


Issuu converts static files into: digital portfolios, online yearbooks, online catalogs, digital photo albums and more. Sign up and create your flipbook.