Landscape Architect Quarterly
Features Subway Station Soundscape
Round Table Art and Audio
Publication # 40026106
Summer 2015 Issue 30
Up Front Information on the Ground
Subway Station Soundscape Animal control through acoustics text by Claire Nelischer 08/
Round Table Art and audio
moderated by Jane Perdue
Technical Corner Sound walls
text by Netami Stuart, OALA, with Tamar Pister
Professional Practice All hands in the dirt: an interview with Helle Nebelong
interview conducted by ruthanne henry, oala
Editorial Board Message
Editorial Board Message
The 2015 CSLA Congress’s theme was “Green Futures Livable Cities of Tomorrow,” with a focus on landscape architects’ contributions in three key areas, including landscape, urbanism and infrastructure; active transportation; and heritage and cultural preservation.
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and listen to the sounds of landscape. Our urban environments tend to be noisy and busy. How can landscape design mitigate or curate your experience of sonic input?
The CSLA College of Fellows welcomed eight new members—five of whom are OALA members— at the College of Fellows Investiture Ceremony during Congress, in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the profession over an extended period of time. Congratulations to Virginia Burt, Trevor McIntyre, Glenn A. O’Connor, John Quinn, and Alexander J. Topps! Induction to the College of Fellows is the highest honour the Society bestows on members; only 207 people have been given the prestigious designation “FCSLA.” The Congress also marked the launch of two notable documents. The Canadian Landscape Charter was ratified by the CSLA’s component associations. The purpose is to uphold the identified core principles of landscape architecture in Canada: to recognize landscapes as vital; consider all people; inspire stewardship; expand knowledge; and show leadership. As well, a ceremonial signing of The CSLA and Component Associations Terms of Reference also took place at Congress. This is a living document between the CSLA and the components (of which the OALA is one) that outlines our collaboration and ensures a clear, solid working relationship.
Notes A miscellany of news and events
Proudly, the OALA was represented at the CSLA Awards of Excellence ceremony. Congratulations to the following Ontario-based firms for their well-deserved recognition.
Artifact Shadows and light TEXT by lorraine Johnson
• PUBLIC WORK—office for urban design & landscape architecture was awarded a National Honour in the category of Planning & Analysis for Midtown in Focus, Toronto, Ontario. • Virginia Burt Designs won a National Merit Award for Acadia Point, Blandford, Nova Scotia, in the category of Residential Design. • The Scott Wentworth Landscape Group Ltd. was presented with a Regional Citation in the category of Design for The Lake Ontario Park Revitalization Project in Kingston, Ontario [see page 18 for more on this Regional Citation].
Summer 2015 Issue 30
The OALA is pleased to announce a new addition to our office team: Ross Clark, the new Coordinator for Communications and Marketing. Reporting to the Executive Committee of Council, Ross works closely with the OALA Administrator and Registrar to deliver member programs and services aligned with the Strategic Plan and in accordance with the Organizational Chart. Please join us in welcoming Ross to the OALA. Sarah Culp, OALA oala President
Our Round Table gathers artists working in and with sound to have a dialogue about the technologies, aesthetics, and experience of landscapes designed with sound in mind, or using sound as an element. More urban transportation infrastructure means more (often mandated) noise attenuation. Netami Stuart, OALA, with Tamar Pister, provides an overview of the materiality of sound walls endorsed by the MTO for use in Ontario landscapes. Claire Nelischer recounts the story of the sonic bird control at the Bathurst subway station in Toronto, and talks to some transit users and locals about this soundscape. In other features, Ruthanne Henry interviews the venerated Helle Nebelong about kids’ play spaces; Graham MacInnes revives the halcyon days of streetcar networks in Ontario cities; we learn from Kate Nelischer about the TreeMobile program seeking to address food insecurity; and, Jake Tobin Garrett reminds us to look to the streetscape during the park design process. Finally, this issue pays tribute to those individuals and firms awarded for their contributions, design savvy, brilliance, dedication to the profession, and for being amazing! Todd Smith, OALA Chair, Editorial Board
Editor Lorraine Johnson
2015 OALA Governing Council
Photo Editor Todd Smith
President Sarah Culp
OALA Editorial Board Shannon Baker Doris Chee Michael Cook Eric Gordon Ruthanne Henry Jocelyn Hirtes Vincent Javet Han Liu Graham MacInnes Kate Nelischer Denise Pinto Tamar Pister Phil Pothen Maili Sedore Todd Smith (chair) Brendan Stewart Netami Stuart Dalia Todary-Michael
Vice President Doris Chee Treasurer Jane Welsh Secretary Chris Hart Past President Joanne Moran Councillors David Duhan Sarah Marsh Sandra Neal Associate Councillor—Senior Katherine Peck
Art Direction/Design www.typotherapy.com
Associate Councillor—Junior Maren Walker
Advertising Inquiries email@example.com 416.231.4181
Lay Councillor Linda Thorne
Cover OKTA, by Field Sound, Douglas Moffat and Steve Bates. Photograph by Douglas Moffat. See page 10. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org Copyright © 2015 by the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects All rights reserved ISSN: 0847-3080 Canada Post Sales Product Agreement No. 40026106
Appointed Educator University of Toronto Peter North Appointed Educator University of Guelph Sean Kelly University of Toronto Student Representative Matthew Perotto University of Guelph Student Representative Amanda Glouchkow OALA Staff Registrar Linda MacLeod Administrator Aina Budrevics Coordinator Ross Clark
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 email@example.com. 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 Issues of Ground Ground 31 (Fall) Cost Deadline for advertising space reservations: July 27, 2015
Ground 32 (Winter) Creatures Deadline for editorial proposals: August 17, 2015 Deadline for advertising space reservations: October 26, 2015
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, Senior Landscape Architect, Novatech, Ottawa 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. 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 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
Tree Planting Systems Tree Surrounds Root Management
Structural Soil Support Storm Water Management Street Furnishings
GreenBlue Infrastructure Solutions 1 866 282 2743 greenblue.com
Establishing the future urban landscape
street space opportunities Picture a park. What do you see? Perhaps grass, gardens, and trees, or maybe a playground, water feature, or plaza. What about the streets, sidewalks, or laneways around the park? How are those designed—or not designed—to complement the park? These nearby spaces are not only potential sources of new open space themselves (for example, in Toronto, streets make up 22
Up Front: Information on the Ground
percent of the city’s land area, while parks make up 13 percent), but they can also be critically important to the experience of a park if designed right. Often we focus our attention solely inside the boundaries of a park, missing out on the spaces that surround it in the public right-of-way. San Francisco’s recent Green Connections plan, for example, points out that streets bordering parks should be viewed as opportunities to pull the park experience into the street. By including surrounding streets in the scope of park design projects, we can create more flexible environments where parks that may have enough space in the winter months can spill out into an adjacent street in the summer. Or we can simply create a safer, more pleasant public realm experience. This was top of mind at a public design consultation I attended for the Salem and Westmoreland parkettes in Toronto, which sit across from each other just north of Bloor Street in the Bloorcourt neighbourhood. These two small, almost linear parks are separated by a residential street, with Salem Parkette further bisected by a laneway.
Despite good questions about playground equipment and amenities for seniors, the conversation kept coming back to the street and laneway. Some residents were concerned about people running across the street between the two parks, while others worried that the bushes near the laneway would present visibility issues for small kids. “People just zoom through the laneway,” a woman pointed out. “Could we put in speed 01-02/
Berczy Park renderings
Claude Cormier + associés Inc.
bumps?” someone asked. “What about raising the pavement up to the level of the park to signal this is a pedestrian-oriented spot?” asked someone else. It quickly became clear that any design for these parks needed to take into account the laneway and street. The only problem was that street improvements are not usually part of the discussion of park improvements in Toronto. They were good ideas, the landscape architect told everyone, but they were outside his scope and budget. The local councillor was supportive of improving and animating the street and laneway, but pointed out that it was a different city division and a different pot of money. Parks staff were at the meeting, but not transportation staff. In Toronto, money for park improvements comes largely from park levies on development (allowed under Section 42 of the Planning Act), which aren’t used for street improvements.
But we do have an example in Toronto of how money for street improvements could be used as part of the same process as an overall park improvement: Berczy Park. This small, triangular park in downtown Toronto, just east of the financial district and used by lunchtime workers, residents, dogs, and children, recently went through a redesign process by Claude Cormier + associés. Two of the key principles identified early on in the redesign were the need for flexibility and connections, including adjacent streets and sidewalks. This led to the proposal to redesign Scott Street, which flanks the western portion of the park, into a curbless, flexible street that can become part of the park when shut down to traffic. The street thus became an integral part of the park design right up front.
After the redesign is completed, Berczy Park will extend visually and physically onto and across Scott Street. When more space is needed, such as for an event, the street can be shut down and, because of its design, easily become part of the park. That’s a whole bunch of new space opened up and a smart way of designing this small, highly used park. In this case, the City funded the street improvements through density bonus funds, and park improvements through park levies. It would be great to see more of this kind of proactive thinking in municipalities throughout Ontario. Of course, we can go in and do street improvements after the park improvements, as a separate process, but why not make it part of the conversation right up front during public consultations? It’s what people want to talk about. Text by Jake Tobin Garrett, who works as policy and research manager for Park People and writes about parks on his blog at www.thislandisparkland.com.
Street crossing and laneway through two parkettes in Toronto
Jake Tobin Garrett
third year, with a new ordering website in place, sales tripled for TreeMobile. Thanks to the growth in demand, Gysel and her team of volunteers add new trees and plants to the offerings each year, and were asked by Transition Toronto to expand to Toronto in 2014. Gysel is currently in discussions with groups in Hamilton and London that are interested in establishing the program in their own communities. A total of 2,170 plants have been distributed by TreeMobile since 2011, approximately 10 percent of which were trees.
urban fruit project Food security is an increasing concern for Canadians. Access to fresh, healthy food is a challenge for many, especially as more and more people live in cities instead of rural areas that offer the space to grow and produce food. A 2012 study by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, titled “Food Insecurity in Canada,” states that 4 million Canadians, including 1.5 million children, “experienced some level of food insecurity.” In Toronto alone, 20 percent of adults and 25 percent of children live in poverty, with barriers to accessing food. The urban agriculture movement seeks to address this by empowering urban dwellers to grow their own vegetables and fruits. TreeMobile plays an active role in this work. The organization was founded in 2011 by landscape designer Virginie Gysel, a BLA graduate from the University of Guelph. Gysel had been working as an activist in Guelph, but was becoming frustrated with the traditional forms of protest. “I wanted to move from being an activist to being a ‘practivist’ (practical activist)—building the world I want instead of fighting the one I don’t,” she says.
While discussing food security challenges with fellow volunteers at a meeting of Transition Guelph, an organization that helps communities become more resilient to climate change, Gysel responded simply: “Let’s just plant it.” Gysel developed the concept for TreeMobile as a not-for-profit that delivers affordable fruit trees and perennial food plants to people living in cities, made possible by Gysel’s access to wholesale plant rates as a landscape designer. Gysel references a quote by Wangari Maathai, the late Kenyan environmental activist, which encouraged her to pursue TreeMobile: “Until you dig a hole, you plant a tree, you water and make it survive, you haven’t done a thing. You are just talking.” With the help of other Transition Guelph volunteers, TreeMobile delivered its first trees and plants to Guelph residents in 2011. “I always said I’d never get into it, but that didn’t work out,” says Gysel, who grew up on a tree farm and watched her father run a nursery. She credits her childhood, and her education in landscape architecture, with giving her the skills needed to run TreeMobile and to select plants that are easier to care for and deliver better flavour than commercial varieties. Although quite small the first year, TreeMobile has continued to grow and deliver to more backyards, schoolyards, and parks. By the
Each new year brings exciting new initiatives to TreeMobile. For the second time, Gysel is growing vegetables in the garden of the church near her home in Toronto. Gysel has partnered with the church to also use its property as a distribution site for the TreeMobile annual delivery weekend. Any remaining plants will be donated back to the church and community gardens. The “Edible Community Garden Grant” was also launched this year in a partnership between TreeMobile and Orchard People, a Torontobased fruit tree-care training and consulting company. Through the grant, 18 fruit trees and orchard care training will be awarded free of charge to organizations in Guelph and Toronto that demonstrate a commitment to planting and caring for the trees, and that have available land. The TreeMobile concept has resonated with urbanites, who are quickly spreading the word about the organization. “If people hear about it, they’re keen,” notes Gysel of the tremendous growth of the program. TreeMobile accepts orders through its website each year until early April. Plants are delivered by “cheerful volunteers,” as Gysel describes them, over the last weekend in April in Toronto, and the first weekend in May in Guelph. Text by Kate Nelischer, a Senior Public Consultation Coordinator at the City of Toronto, and a member of the Ground Editorial Board.
TreeMobile founder Virginie Gysel
framed a dynamic streetscape and stone buildings evoked visions of Europe. While flipping through the photos I could almost hear the streetcars’ chime. Back then, downtown living provided a sustainable form of independence and the freedom to travel about town with substantial ease. Banks, cafés, work, and home were all just a short walk or streetcar ride away. But time brings changes, and Oshawa barely resembles its former, sprightly self. Tangled mazes of curvilinear streets, cul-de-sacs, and tract housing developments define a landscape shaped by our enduring relationship with the personal automobile, an invention deeply rooted in the city’s history. In 1876, Robert Samuel McLaughlin relocated his carriage 06 Public Transit
streetcars and suburbs What is considered the backbone of the urban landscape? Is it a city’s streetcar and subway lines, bike lanes, or elevated freeways? The predominant mode of transportation changes depending on where you are in the world. Amsterdammers are avid bicycle users, Tokyoites prefer the subway, and Torontonians rely heavily on automobiles. Nevertheless, all of these transportation methods (and their related infrastructure) provide people with the ability to travel relatively freely, which, in a world full of stoplights and gridlock, might be what we desire most. Returning to the suburban city I was raised in, after four years of university, made me a firm believer in the power of education. I’d brought home more than just my framed diploma and dirty laundry, I had acquired a critical eye and the confidence and curiosity to ask, “Why are things the way they are?” and “must
they remain this way?” I thought about the moment I received my driver’s license, and the tremendous sense of freedom that accompanied it. Before then, I’d spent an incredible amount of time in the passenger seat, dependent on my parental chauffeur. Ironically, I was driven to school due to the danger of crossing busy streets. Recently, I discovered a few photographs of my hometown, Oshawa, Ontario, taken during the early 1900s. I was impressed by the town’s (apparent) high quality of life; in fact, it would be difficult for me to describe a more ideal urban situation. At the time, the town of Oshawa offered pedestrian-centred living at its finest: shops with verandas 07
Simcoe Street South, Oshawa, 1910
The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
Oshawa Railway Bus Fleet, 1942
The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
Summer streetcar at the Four Corners, 1910
The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
Up Front company to the town of Oshawa and, in turn, changed history. Bourgeoning rail and harbour facilities made the location appealing, and greatly contributed to the company’s success. The McLaughlin Carriage Company grew to become the largest carriage works in the British Empire, and would eventually form General Motors of Canada, one of the world’s major automakers and most powerful corporations in the country. As cars increased in popularity and began inundating city streets, trams were viewed as cumbersome and outmoded. Financial struggles leading up to the Great Depression sealed the streetcars’ fate in Oshawa and, with the start of the Second World War, passenger rail service was
finally put to an end. The tracks were promptly torn up, and the trolleys were replaced with nine Yellow Coach buses.
and the legacy of this once thriving corporation has impacted both the design of cities and our way of life.
A similar story was echoing across Ontario. From Ottawa to Sault Ste. Marie, streetcars were being phased out while more popular and (initially) affordable modes of transportation, like buses, were ushered in. The urban landscape was forever changed when the social and economic functions of the street were stripped back to make way for the newest, shiniest form of freedom— the automobile.
Being born and raised in suburbia has taught me first-hand how it can feel to be stranded in a maze of subdivisions full of row houses and quintessential parks with seemingly no way out. As a result of the perpetual sprawl of low-density subdivisions and deliberately separated land uses, the automobile seems indispensable to getting around: the only way to become a fully mobile member of society, it seems, is to buy into the culture created by General Motors more than a hundred years ago.
Those who’ve read books with an urban design focus are probably familiar with the Great Streetcar Scandal, which pegs General Motors as the main culprit behind
Along with change, time also brings the potential for innovation. Each type of transportation grants people mobile freedom; however, some modes undeniably cost more than others. Perhaps the next few decades will lead to diverse, walkable cities across Ontario, ringing once again with the sound of the streetcar’s bell (and the odd car horn too)… Text by Graham MacInnes, a member of the Ground Editorial Board.
Oshawa Railway summer streetcar, 1915 The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa Train at General Motors Plant, 1957 The Thomas Bouckley Collection, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa
the electric streetcar’s demise. Few people during the 1920s actually owned their own car, with the majority of the population traveling by electric-powered public transit. General Motors recognized that eliminating streetcars would dramatically increase demand for automobiles and, consequently, the company conspired with oil and tire corporations to trash electric trolley lines across the United States. It’s highly likely that the streetcar was already doomed, and General Motors merely expedited the inevitable. Yet the death of the streetcar marks the beginning of an era dependent on personal automobiles, 10
Subway Station Soundscape
Animal control through acoustics
text by Claire Nelischer
Pigeons are unwelcome at the Bathurst subway station in Toronto. Kate Nelischer Efforts to control pigeons at the Bathurst station have included successes and failures. Moonangel, Creative Commons Public response to the TTC’s efforts has been mixed. Kate Nelischer Feeding pigeons continues to be an issue. Anthony Easton, Creative Commons
Pass through the Toronto Transit Commission’s Bathurst subway station on any given day and, between the clang of streetcar bells, the hushed conversations of commuter crowds, and the rumble of subway cars, you could catch a more curious sound: a high-pitched screech, sounding for two minutes, every ten minutes. You might think it’s an unlucky bird trapped inside the station. But listen closely and you’ll find that this sound emanates from a small speaker installed high up on a wall in the lower level of the station: the Bird-B-Gone. Produced by U.S.-based company Bird Chase Super Sonic, the Bird-B-Gone represents a fascinating hybrid of human intervention
Subway Station Soundscape
and natural processes. It emits a sound that mimics that of a pigeon in distress, sending a warning signal to nearby pigeons that danger lurks within, thus deterring the birds from entering the station. The TTC installed the device in the winter of 2013, the newest addition to a number of pigeon control measures already in place at the station. “It’s not a screech of a hawk or a predator, it actually replicates the sound of one of their own in distress. But [the pigeons] are not coming in to rescue their own!” says Brad Ross, Communications Director for the Toronto Transit Commission. “It’s actually designed to keep them away, to frighten them, because they hear one of their own in trouble and their response is to leave.”
Public reactions to the Bird-B-Gone sound machine have been mixed. The sound is quite loud, and can be jarring to those who are hearing it for the first time. Signs have been posted throughout the station—with the humorously vague heading, “Station Cleanliness”—to inform TTC riders that the sound they hear is a pigeon control measure. But many TTC riders, such as Annex resident Aarani Sivasekaram, are taken aback when they first hear the noise.
Brad Ross contends that, while some users find the sound irritating, grating, and generally unpleasant, it really comes down to health and safety considerations for subway users and the TTC’s imperative to control the pigeon population around the station. The device has been in use for more than a year, and, according to Ross, the results have been generally positive. The pigeons are now staying outside the station more than before, and there has been a marked increase in station cleanliness as a result. However, despite the TTC’s effort to control the pigeon presence—using a variety of methods beyond the Bird-B-Gone that include humane trapping and spikes to prevent roosting on rooftops—the pigeons are still attracted to the station area by the constant source of food. It’s not the patties and eclairs from the bakery inside the station that draw them in; it’s the bird feed that some people spread at the Ed & Anne Mirvish
Parkette on Bathurst Street, just north of the station entrance. While the TTC and the City of Toronto have posted signs discouraging the public from feeding the birds, this practice has proven difficult to control.
“The first time I encountered the pigeon machine, I was shocked. I thought it was a bird trapped in the station, and I thought, oh my gosh! So I looked up and around and tried to find the bird I was hearing. As I was doing that—I guess I was being dramatic about it—a passerby told me that it was actually a machine to address all the pigeons in the station and to scare them away,” says Sivasekaram.
“[The pigeons] just come back. You can take them away and release them humanely, but they return. They’re pigeons. That’s what they do,” says Ross. “As long as there’s a food source, they’re not going anywhere. So we need to figure out a way to keep them out of the station, at least.”
She points to a contradiction inherent in the use of the Bird-B-Gone device: it is intended to make the station a cleaner, nicer place to be, but in doing so, introduces a highly unpleasant sound that affects the user experience of the space. It’s a real pigeonand-egg dilemma. Since then, however, Sivasekaram says she has adjusted to the sound, and rarely notices it. For her, it has become just another part of the soundscape of Bathurst Station. BIO/ Claire Nelischer is a writer, walker, and planner who lives in Toronto, where she coordinates projectS and outreach activities at the ryerson city building institute.
Our panel explores the sound environment in a wide-ranging discussion of this often-neglected component of designed landscapes Moderated by Jane Perdue BIOS/
Darren Copeland is a Canadian sound artist who has been active in Toronto since 1985. He is also the founding and current Artistic Director of New Adventures in Sound Art (NAISA). Key interests explored in his work include multichannel spatialization for live performance, fixed media composition, soundscape studies, radio art, and sound installations. Marla Hlady draws, makes sculpture, works with sites and sounds, and sometimes makes video. Hlady’s kinetic sculptures and sound pieces often consist of common objects (such as teapots, cocktail mixers, jars) that are expanded and animated to reveal unexpected sonic and poetic properties often using a system-based approach to composition. She’s shown widely in solo and group shows in Canada, U.S., Italy, Britain, Norway and Iceland. She has mounted site works in such places as the fjords of Norway, a grain silo (as part of the sound festival Electric Eclectic), an apartment window in Berlin, a tour bus in Ottawa, the Hudson’s Bay department store display window, and an empty shell of a building. She also, at times, collaborates. Hlady completed her BFA at the University of Victoria, and her MFA at York University. She is currently an Associate Professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Arts, Culture and Media and is represented by the Jessica Bradley Gallery. Dipna Horra is a visual and media artist with a background in architecture. She holds a Masters of Fine Art from the University of Ottawa and a Bachelor of Architecture from Carleton University in Canada.
Douglas Moffat explores the relationship between sound and the built landscape, creating spaces built for listening. His recent project “Listening to Las Vegas” explored the sonic environment of the Las Vegas Strip. He has presented works at the Jardins de Me´tis Festival international de jardins and the Send + Receive Festival. For two summers he has co-tutored workshops for the Architectural Association in London. He and frequent collaborator Steve Bates were recently awarded the competition for “OKTA”—the first public sound installation for the City of Toronto. He lives in Montreal, Quebec. Ellen Moffat works with sound and space, image and text in independent, collaborative, and interdisciplinary projects. Rooted in the vocabulary of sculpture—space, the body, and materiality—her primary media is sound. Her audio projects range from multichannel installations, to electroacoustic instruments, and to performance, live actions, and community projects in galleries and off-site venues. jane perdue, mcip, rpp, is public art coordinator for the city of toronto. Christopher Willes is an artist, composer, and performance maker based in Toronto and Montreal. His recent work has been presented at the Art Gallery Of Ontario, Cluster Festival (Winnipeg), the Music Gallery, and the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. He collaborates regularly with Public Recordings (rehearsal/performance, AGO), Small Wooden Shoe (Sound Live Tokyo, Japan), Urbanvessel, and Dancemakers. He received his MFA from Bard College. noisysubjects.com
OKTA, by Field Sound, Douglas Moffat and Steve Bates, in June Callwood Park, Toronto
Douglas Moffat (DM): My background is in landscape architecture, and I try to find ways to build landscapes that are fundamentally about sound. In my projects, I often collaborate with the artist Steve Bates. We worked together on OKTA, the name of our project in June Callwood Park in Toronto. Our approach is that there needs to be some way that the sound itself can relate to the landscape. We’re less interested in traditional interactivity, in people interacting directly with an object or with a sound, but more that the sound itself is of the place that it’s happening in. The interactive element in our project at June Callwood Park is that the sound itself is controlled and distributed and influenced by clouds that pass over the
park, through a mechanism—essentially a cloud camera—that reads clouds passing over and, with that information, adjusts and changes the sound that’s happening there. Jane Perdue (JP): So it’s interactive with the environment, basically, not with individuals. DM: Exactly. There’s not really a one-toone interaction with visitors to the park, other than that they would be listening. The sound itself would be somewhat tuned into the changing weather above them. Dipna Horra (DH): What are the actual sounds that come out of it?
Ellen Moffat, SoundWalk, Saskatoon, 2011
JP: Darren, could you give us some background on your work?
DM: We haven’t officially launched the project yet. We have a lot of different sound material, and some of it we like and some of it we don’t. Steve and I will be in Toronto soon to do the programming and the interactive elements, and to work through all the sounds that we’ve developed in our studio. Some of it is prerecorded, some of it is based on instrumental music we’ve recorded ourselves working with musicians in Montreal who have tried to come up with this idea of what a cloud would sound like, and some of it is sound that we’ve made ourselves. It’s important to us to make sound specifically for the place and the project. So we need to hear what that environmental context sounds like. We prepare a lot of
material and then the actual mastering and production actually happen on site. Ellen Moffat (EM): How will the public encounter the audio element within an environment that’s bound to be noisy? DM: It’s a rather subtle soundwork in that sense. It’s not particularly loud. There are 24 sound-making columns, which are sculpture elements. You have to approach it and listen in an area that’s been prepared for listening. That’s the main way people would encounter it. There’s also a Web aspect that gives you a view of the cloud and what the camera itself is seeing, which gives you an idea of why the sound is the way it is.
Darren Copeland (DC): The sounds that are around us every day are the material of my work. Music can happen out of any situation, so I like to think that the sounds around us all the time have an aesthetic function as well as a communication function; sound works on a number of levels at the same time. I would like to see more public art that is aware of this fact. Sound changes the ecology of a place. One of the things I’ve tried to do in my work with Andreas Kahre is to make pieces that contain the sound within the location of the installation. This is a tricky thing to do. The footprint of the sound is limited to where the piece is, rather than disseminating into areas beyond it. We’ve been using things like tactile transducers; one has to touch the object to hear the sound. Also, we use audio spotlights or directional speakers—speakers that emanate sound in a very narrow beam so that you have to be in a specific location to hear the sound. What’s also interesting is that in accounting for the sounds that exist in a place, the sounds that you’re placing there are one component of the overall soundscape as opposed to something that happens in spite of the soundscape. For our sound installation in Edmonton, Sound Columns, which consists of four directional speakers pointed downwards, we located them at an entranceway to an outdoor public swimming pool. Before you submerge yourself in the water you get to hear recorded sounds of the river valley in Edmonton, and other water-related recordings from the area.
There are all kinds of critters making noise underwater; it becomes an otherworldly yet very natural soundscape that goes along with this enjoyment of water that’s happening at the pool. The sonic environment is the main engine behind how my work is placed in a public situation. JP: Ellen, could you give some background on your work and how you approach sound? Ellen Moffat (EM): A lot of my work with sound is directed towards gallery installations, but I also do some offsite work. I see my projects as an ephemeral experience of sound; my goal is to increase people’s attention and attentiveness to the sound environment. Several years ago, I curated
a public art project, aneco, for the City of Saskatoon. One of the projects was a sound installation by Charlie Fox. It was an eight-channel sound piece and it used field recordings of sounds from different nature preserves. The piece was an intervention within an audio system in a bus mall. Rather than Muzak—the intention of which is to prevent loitering—this reversed the situation and gave a wonderful tease of the sound of geese migrating in the middle of January or of wolves howling. It could evoke an awareness of that location in times past or just offer another consideration of the urban environment. JP: How did people react? Were they surprised?
Dipna’s Ears, binaural microphone, 2009, by Dipna Horra, with technical collaborators Ken Campbell and David McDougall
Dhunia: Octet, an 8-channel audio installation, by Dipna Horra, 2014
EM: I think the subtleness of that piece was the most difficult aspect of it. Those who were aware of it would go to the site and listen to the sound. I’m really not sure how many people became aware of the sound by waiting for the bus.
Christopher Willes’ project responded to the collection at the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives.
JP: Dipna, could you tell us about your work? DH: My father’s a retired sound and broadcast engineer, and my interest began more profoundly around 2008 when I did my Masters. I come from a background in architecture and I’ve always been very interested in cultural space—in the making of cultural space—because I come from the combined cultures of Indian ancestry, born in Kenya, and then immigrating to Canada when I was quite young. I’m really interested in how the sonicscapes of all those cultures come together. Similarly, for a lot of Canadians the idea of native or mother tongues or different languages comes into the making of physical space. When I began working with sound, it was, in a way, to bring forth this cultural idea of sound and also the idea of storytelling and how our histories are tied together through these stories. I’ve been working with sound primarily in the gallery setting; however, I collect all of my sounds through field recording, through the actual making of binaural microphones that then collect sound. My most recent project, which I have been developing over the last few years, is called Dhunia, which means the material world
in many Eastern languages. The project is based on a parable that my grandmother told. The story is told in Punjabi. How much of that can we still understand and what gets lost in translation? In many ways, our audio landscapes don’t often match our physical constructs. A lot of my work looks at generic domestic forms, and then how they are often radically altered by sounds, by stories, by languages. I really believe in the power of sound because, coming to Canada when I was young, what always stuck with me was the way that community came together around sound. Some of my first sound pieces actually drew sounds from the Hindu temple in Canada, and the community actually singing together. There’s a kind of solidarity made when communities create sound. I’m very interested in the vibrational qualities of sound. I’m turning objects into speakers; it’s a way of having us pay a little bit more attention to things we would normally give a lot of visual power to—for example, a window, which I’m transforming
into a speaker. It’s also about perception, and how this massive environment is full of different kinds of sounds, but we’re actually able to differentiate sounds, perhaps pull out cultural sounds, perhaps actually make an analysis of the layers of sounds in our landscape. JP: Christopher, could you address how some of your work involves listening to archives? Christopher Willes (CW): My background is in music, formally, but then I studied visual art, with an emphasis on sound. I’m interested in the tools used for employing sound in public space, such as directional speakers and transducers. It’s always interesting to see things that have different histories turned in on themselves; for example, the use of music in public spaces to control loitering. There’s a darker side to the use of audio in pubic space, and I feel that as artists who are working in that domain, we are turning that on its head in different ways. Last year, I did a project in the Church Street neighbour-
hood of Toronto for the Rhubarb Festival. I was invited to respond to the Canadian Lesbian and Gay Archives. They have a cassette tape collection that dates back to the mid-1970s. It’s a community archive and it’s all donation based, but it hadn’t been documented. My project was to try to rally the community around that material again. We actually hosted a sleepover party where we went through as many of the tapes as we could and re-documented them, trying to figure out what’s on the tapes. And this was after a month-long process of inviting specific people from the community who have more personal relationships to that material to respond to the tapes. The project ended up being quite layered, but there were essentially two components. One was an exhibition of the cassette tapes, which had an audio guide with voices of people from the community responding to listening to those tapes. The second part was to re-amplify specific tapes that were recorded in that neighbourhood, back into the neighbourhood through sidewalk speakers. We invited establishments on Church Street to tune into the online broadcast we did of the tapes. So, it was a matter of re-enlivening recordings that were made in that neighbourhood back into the sites where potentially they were made, and also thinking about how over time those sites have changed. That was one project that dealt with this idea of audio being site-responsive in a public context. Another project is a collaboration with a company in Toronto called Urbanvessel, which is headed by a composer named
Juliet Palmer. They have a project called Singing River that’s happening in June and July . It’s on the Don River, or, as it’s called by First Nations, the Wonscotanach River. It’s a big project inviting a lot of different artists to respond to the site and create work that’s in relationship to water. What Juliet and I are doing is developing an installation there that is amplifying the sound of the river through a small pedestrian bridge on the bike path there. We’re also using transducers, so we’re imagining a kind of physical experience, where you feel the rapids, and you have a more isolated access to sounds that are recorded with a hydrophone sitting underwater. We’re trying to get a soundscape of water, and then re-enlivening it through the bridge. We’re thinking of this bridge as a man-made kind of intervention into the river, and we’re trying to turn the river back onto that. JP: Marla, could you speak about your work? Marla Hlady (MH): The idea of technology and sound is incredibly interesting for me because a great deal of my practice comes from thinking through the functionality of what I’m using, as a way to invest my practice with more meaning. I also work with tactile technology. I’m interested in the recorded sound in relation to fidelity, and how technology has really shifted how we come to sounds now. Prior to recording technologies, it would’ve been a social event that was experienced live and would be ephemeral and fleeting. How do you start to create contexts that will be soundworks that use technology in a way that allows some kind of heightened awareness of the social potential of the experience? There are two things that jumped out at me. Brandon LaBelle is an interesting writer on sound, and he once talked about overhear and over here: overhear when you overhear something, and then also the idea of sound being so ephemeral that it comes over here, like this idea of being interrupted by something that’s out of place.
I love this mutability of sound. I often just work with the sounds that are present and attempt to organize them in a way that they stop being disorganized, because there’s this idea of order and disorder. If something has some structure we understand, we think of it as ordered. Music has an order, but when sounds don’t fall into this sense of order, we think of it as disordered or potentially one definition of noise. How do you deal with technology, sociality, ideas of sound, ordered sound versus nonordered sound? Those are ideas that have come into play around my work. I did a collaboration with the musician/ composer Eric Chenaux: Smedaholmen Tourist (with Amplifiers). I was invited to Norway to the fjords south of Bergen and west of Oslo, the Fitjar islands. We all essentially had an island. There were fifteen of us for a month working away, and it was amazing. The natural world has a kind of organic order to it that has a kind of existing soundtrack. How can you make an artwork that can compete with that kind of site? So, I thought, I’m going to insert myself like a tourist. Literally into this landscape. I invited Eric Chenaux to come to Norway to busk with me in the Norwegian island landscape as tourists. We sat on the shore and busked, and I converted guitar amps into ocean floating buoys that were just offshore. Eric was riffing off of Norwegian folk fiddle music with a bowed guitar, and it was amplified out of one of the buoys, and also out of a swinging speaker that I spun. Then out of the other two buoys, Eric had made a kind of a bass-layer sound for the bowed melody—organlike chords he pre-recorded using a guitar pedal that sounds like a cheap organ, also taken from Norwegian folk fiddle tunings. We were amazed at how the audience hung out on shore for hours listening to us busk. I think part of it was that we were using Norwegian folk-ordered sounds that they were familiar with but shifting the music
Smedaholmen Tourist (with Amplifiers), by Marla Hlady, 2012, a soundwork and performance in collaboration with Eric Chenaux
Martha Hlady, performance by Juuso Noronkoski
just enough. And then embedding it into this landscape in a way that they could relate to but was new enough that they could look and hear a bit differently... How do you bring together sound with what you see? The two are always inextricably bound. Can one shift the other; can sound shift the visual and can visual shift the sound? JP: How do you expect the public to engage in an open space, in the landscape, in the urban environment? What are your expectations or hopes for how they will react? CW: There’s a really lovely book by the French philosopher Henri Lefebvre about rhythm analysis, in which he talks about the rhythm of urban space, and he uses sound as a way to encapsulate that. When I’m working with materials that have some sort of narrative or historical fact, or resonance, or specific histories, I’m interested in how to turn them in on themselves so
we avoid a singular narrative. In terms of the narrative use of sound over the space, I’m trying to reveal history that was forgotten. I’m trying to imagine some possible future I can bring people into, to create a narrative space. MH: Those of us who use tactile technology will definitely reference some sort of phenomenal experience, and with phenomenal experience comes social, political, gender, class, race, all of those complicated combinations that we individually carry with us. EM: When we ask how the public responds to the work, which public are we talking about? DH: That’s a really interesting point. I have presented my work in so many different contexts, and yet in almost all of those contexts, very few people understood Punjabi. It didn’t matter because there was always a way of analyzing the work through a variety of means. You just never
know who you’re going to reach through putting these sounds out in the world. The political and social and cultural power of sound is incredibly profound. And you can really touch, literally touch, a very different part of human experience because of the way it affects us through vibration.
JP: Some of you have worked in a gallery situation, so it’s more controlled. But maybe you could speak about some of the challenges of working in the outdoor elements, in addition to the reaction of the public in the urban environment with traffic and nature and so on?
DC: When we hear a sound, we all have different associations with those sounds. So the artist is jamming with the environment, and it is a three-way jam between the sounds that exist there, the people who hear them, and the artist who’s inserting these other composed sounds, for lack of a better word. But in the end you can never control what associations people are going to make.
EM: Interactivity is more challenging and difficult than a fixed sound installation.
JP: Doug, I’d like to talk about some of the practicalities around creating a sound installation while working with a team. I know your background is as a landscape architect, but the design of the June Callwood Park was pretty much fixed before there was the introduction of the sound element. Could you talk about your experience? DM: A sensitivity to context is almost par for the course. I think that as an artist working with sound, context is already there in your mind, and how you choose to address it is the question. In terms of June Callwood Park, there was still an opportunity for the panel that was looking at the public art proposals, as well as for the artists themselves and the design teams, to weave the project into the context of the park. We were able to work with the team to describe what we were hoping to do; we did adjust the design of the park to fit the artwork. There was a lot of collaborative back and forth before the park was built.
DM: The long-term stability of the work is something we take really seriously. We’ve been able to test out a lot of things temporarily. For example, we did a sound installation at the Jardins de Metis festival for three summers. We work with a really great electronics engineer and artist as well, Jeffrey Jones, here in Montreal. It’s a really fascinating challenge to be able to find ways to bring sound into landscape. Landscape projects, as we all know, tend to have a longer time frame; it takes a few years even to get the trees up and a relaxed-looking park setting, and by that point you don’t want your sound project to have already gotten rusty and falling apart. So a proper functioning landscape sound project has to last. We think about that from the beginning and make all of our design decisions with that in mind. Technically, how to meet that becomes more of a creative process in terms of designing and encouraging methods that maybe we wouldn’t have used otherwise. MH: I’m a complete coward when it comes to permanent works because I feel like my attention doesn’t prevail, it keeps moving forward. So my strategy has been to design objects that are meant to be mobile. They’re constantly changing locations. They’re constantly capable of taking on different sounds. And they’re designed more like a musical instrument, although they don’t look like a musical instrument.
DC: I think it’s like building a home or having a car or something like that. It will fade away over time if it’s not maintained, if it’s not inhabited. Unless that sort of decay is a part of the intent of the work, it requires care and often that can fall on the shoulders of the artist, or the commissioner of the work. Rarely is there an easy solution to maintaining it. It’s kind of an adaptation process. For instance, there’s a sound installation on Toronto Island, and the artist, Barry Prophet, has put in the time every year to adapt and maintain the work. One issue he’s pondering right now is that one of the elements of the work needs to be replaced and it has raised the issue, for him, of perhaps making an artistic change to the work. So even the original intent of the work may have to change over time in order for it to keep being a part of the world. CW: A couple of years ago, someone showed me a book called Village Bells by Alain Corbin. It’s a really nice history of French village bells, and it brings up all these issues of sound as a way to create collectivity but also as a control device, and also that these objects that make sounds are embedded in the history of religious oppression, and this kind of thing. Reading that made me think: what are the contemporary equivalents of sound devices in public that participate in creating a sense of public or counter-public, or inclusion or exclusion? with thanks to dalia todary-michael for coordinating this round table discussion.
CSLA Awards Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Awards of Excellence— Ontario Region
The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Awards of Excellence are given for outstanding accomplishment in landscape architecture. Congratulations to the following Regional Award winner.
Lake Ontario Park Revitalization Project, Kingston, Ontario
Courtesy of The Scott Wentworth Landscape Group Ltd.
CSLA Regional Citation Project Name: Lake Ontario Park Revitalization Project Consultant: The Scott Wentworth Landscape Group Ltd. Client: City of Kingston Location: Kingston, ON Category: Design Project Description: This iconic waterfront park, originally built in the 1800s, is situated on the shoreline of Lake Ontario. The park was in need of renewal in both its function (in order to bring people back) and its key structures. Care was required to minimize the impact
on more than 1,000 existing trees. The design principles included establishing a greenspace that would provide the opportunity to live a healthier lifestyle outside. This was accomplished through a diversity of outdoor amenities, both passive and active, appealing to all ages. Key features include shoreline restoration to provide swimming and beach access, upland sand beaches, a boat ramp and dock, shoreline event space, restoration of the existing pavilion and heritage washroom buildings, beach volleyball courts, accessible walking trails, splash pad, play structures, and extensive seating and picnic areas. The park has taken its place among favourite destinations for both residents and visitors to Kingston. Its continuing legacy is that of a place to get people to unplug and reconnect with nature.
2015 OALA AWARDS
Congratulations to all those honoured with 2015 OALA Recognition Awards, and a special thanks to the OALA Awards Committee: Joanne Moran, Sarah Culp, Linda Thorne, Nelson Edwards, Jim Melvin, Jane Welsh, and David Duhan.
OALA Awards OALA Public Practice Award: This award recognizes the outstanding leadership of a member of the profession in public practice who promotes and enhances landscape architecture by working for an improved understanding and appreciation of the work of landscape architects in both public and private practice. This year, two Public Practice Awards are being presented. Linda Irvine Linda Irvine has been employed by the City of Markham since 1998 as Manager, Parks and Open Space Development, responsible for overseeing all new park development within Markham’s new communities and subdivisions. For more than 16 years, she has managed an expanding department of professional staff who have been part of a team to deliver more than $90 million dollars of new parks across the municipality. Markham is well known for designing and delivering “complete communities,” such as Cornell, and the delivery of great parks and public realm is an essential component of this overall vision. Prior to joining the City, Linda was a faculty member in various landscape architectural programs in the United States and Canada for approximately 15 years.
Throughout her career, she has served and promoted the profession well, in all of her roles on the Boards, Committees, and Task Forces of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, and the American Society of Landscape Architects. Further, Linda has given numerous papers and presentations at professional conferences, and has written extensively in professional publications about the important role for landscape architects in the planning and design of meaningful, relevant, healthy, and sustainable parks and public spaces. William Sleeth William Sleeth had an unwavering commitment to the public practice of landscape architecture at the City of Kitchener. He was a graduate of the University of Guelph where he distinguished himself as someone committed to environmental issues. When William started his job with the City of Kitchener in 1980 he faced a number of challenges resulting from the limitations of what the City understood about landscape architecture. William worked tirelessly to raise the value of the profession at the City. In his 34 years of public practice he not only increased the profile for landscape architecture but also was instrumental in the development of new public projects and policies that have changed the face of Kitchener. Through William’s efforts and with the support of the OALA, the City of Kitchener by 1989 had revised their job description and hiring criteria for landscape architects. Today the City employs ten landscape architects and requires full OALA membership; the City’s landscape architects now have authority for review and approval of various subdivision and site development submission requirements. Throughout his career, William worked to translate landscape architectural principles and processes into the environment of municipal parks planning and development practices. These fundamentals have been articulated through William’s career works by way of the many master plans, planning studies, and infrastructure development projects led by him, as well as by his
work to create municipal standards and standard processes that embody landscape architectural principles. DAVID ERB MEMORIAL AWARD: The award is named after David Erb, who was an outstanding volunteer in furthering the goals of the OALA, and his examples set a truly high standard. The award is the best way to acknowledge the one outstanding OALA member each year whose volunteer contributions over a number of years have made a real difference. Kendall Flower Kendall Flower is a tireless volunteer who has made significant contributions to the OALA over the past several years. As Chair, and the driving force, of the Mandatory Continuing Education Committee (MCEC), Kendall Flower has led a small committee and the entire Association membership through one of the most challenging growth and transition stages that we have faced as a professional association. We have been taking steps to refine and define who we are as a profession and as professionals; the implementation of a Mandatory Continuing Education program is one more big step. Kendall has brought her wonderful gifts to this volunteer leadership role as a thoughtful, organized, tireless, persistent, and committed volunteer. Since 2012, Kendall has led her fellow volunteer committee members in the development and implementation of a program that has been based on extensive consultation with the OALA membership. At their many monthly meetings, Kendall and the committee developed many tools to engage OALA members and to refine the MCE program through several rounds of iteration. The sheer volume and diversity of products has been incredible. OALA AWARD FOR SERVICE TO THE ENVIRONMENT: This award is given to a non-landscape architectural individual, group, organization, or agency in the Province of Ontario to recognize and encourage a special or
unusual contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment. The contribution must emulate the fundamental principles of the OALA and the OALA Mission Statement and go beyond the normal levels of community action in preserving, protecting, or improving the environment. This year, there are two recipients for this award. 01. Green Infrastructure Ontario (GIO) Founded in 2011 by Steven Peck of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC), Janet McKay of Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), and Tony DiGiovanni of Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association (LOHTA), the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition is affecting policies and decision-makers in both the public and private sectors for a more economical, sustainable, and healthy built infrastructure. Policy wins attributed to the work of GIO are seen in the recent acknowledgment of green infrastructure by the Province of Ontario Municipal Affairs and Housing in its revised Provincial Policy Statement. This shift of momentum in favour of green infrastructure as a legitimate alternative to grey (traditional) infrastructure can largely be attributed to GIO and their 2012 report: “Health, Prosperity and Sustainability: The Case for Green Infrastructure in Ontario.” This report drew upon input from diverse stakeholders and existing research to present an argument for improved policy and support of green infrastructure in Ontario. 02. TRCA for the Living City Policies for Planning and Development in the Watersheds of Toronto and Region Conservation Authorities The Living City Policies document is the result of collaboration of environmental professionals within the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) in the production of a technical policy document that provides the foundation for site review and design in compliance with the Conservation Authorities Act. The document also advocates the integration of art and science when addressing environmental issues in a rapidly growing region. This creative approach to our urbanizing landscape will bring value
and permit development of complex siteplanning scenarios while respecting our greenspace system.
The Complete Guide to Backyard, Balcony and Apartment Composting, coauthored with Mark Cullen (1992).
The first of its kind in Ontario, this document has been reviewed by 18 municipalities within TRCA’s jurisdiction, been through extensive public consulation, the BILD (the Building Industry and Land Development association), and several provincial agencies. It has gained solid support as a policy document clearly articulating the Conservation Authority roles and responsibilities and partnering approaches with other agencies and groups to address urgent environmental needs. The vision for a well-designed and scientifically managed environment that supports sustainable living and an attractive public realm is certainly fundamental to the concepts of “nature in the city” and a future Living City.
Lorraine frequently contributes articles to magazines and journals such as On Nature, and, in addition, she has been editor for a diverse range of landscape-related writings. In addition to her writing, editorial work, and speaking engagements, Lorraine has taken a leadership role in notable community organizations and teaches at York University in the Faculty of Environmental Studies.
OALA Certificate Of Merit For Service To The Environment: This certificate is given to a non-landscape architectural individual, group, organization, or agency in Ontario to recognize and encourage a special or unusual contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment. Contributions may have had a local, regional, or provincial impact through policy, planning or design, or as an implemented project. Lorraine Johnson Lorraine Johnson’s work has been instrumental in connecting social and ecological issues related to gardening, native Ontario landscapes, urban neighbourhoods, community parks, and local activism. Many of Lorraine’s publications have served as reference for the identification and potential use of native plants in Ontario for many landscape designers and architects. She has authored more than ten books, including: City Farmer: Adventures in Urban Food Growing (2010); Tending the Earth: A Gardener’s Manifesto (2002); 100 Easy-to-Grow Native Plants (1998); and The New Ontario Naturalized Garden: The Complete Guide to Using Native Plants (2005); Grow Wild: Native Plant Gardening in Canada and the Northeastern U.S. (1997); and The Real Dirt:
OALA CARL BORGSTROM AWARD FOR SERVICE TO THE ENVIRONMENT: This award is given to individual landscape architects or a landscape architectural group to recognize and encourage special or unusual contribution to the sensitive, sustainable design for human use of the environment. This award is named in honour of Carl Borgstrom who, of all OALA’s founders, was the most actively in tune with the natural landscape. Fiona Rintoul Throughout her career, Fiona Rintoul, Principal of Fiona Rintoul & Associates, has focused on providing design and consulting services with an emphasis on community-based ecological design for many institutional, commercial, and residential projects. Over the past 29 years, Fiona Rintoul & Associates has been actively involved in the renewal of the St. Joseph’s Health Centre in Guelph. Beginning in 1986, the firm has continually made a significant contribution to the protection, enhancement, and sensitive restoration of the Health Centre lands. Fiona has skillfully integrated aspects of sustainability through ecosystem enhancement and management and successfully used community involvement practices for the 44-hectare site improvements, ensuring its healthy development and progression over time. Fiona Rintoul is a passionate advocate for the natural environment and landscape architecture in Ontario, particularly in Guelph
and surrounding areas. Her firm’s work at St. Joseph’s Health Centre reflects a strong commitment to sustainable design practice. OALA JACK COPELAND AWARD FOR ASSOCIATE Leadership And Contribution: This award recognizes the outstanding leadership and contribution of an associate for going above and beyond to assist fellow associates. Activities include, but are not limited to, tutorials, LARE exam help, special tasks, OALA Library, special events, meeting associates and others, including being an associate representative on OALA Council. This award is named after Jack Copeland. Jack was an active Ottawa area member who passed away in 2013. Jack was an enthusiastic advocate for Associate members. Katherine Peck Since March 2013, Katherine Peck has been an associate representative on OALA Council and has been critical to the success of LARE preparation workshops and the expansion of the OALA library. Writing the LARE is an intimidating task for many associates, and any support along the way is incredibly valuable. In addition to her coordination with the associate membership, Katherine has been vital in tending to the OALA library—a critical resource for many members. This year, the OALA was also approached by the Toronto Botanical Gardens (TBG) with the idea of hosting a satellite library at their facility. Katherine coordinated with the TBG to set up a LARE review workshop at the TBG with great success, and, in doing so, began a new collaborative opportunity for the OALA. Along with this, Katherine has started investigating the feasibility of the OALA hosting an e-library of LARE study materials, pushing an innovative approach to making OALA resources more accessible to members. OALA HONOURARY MEMBER AWARD: The Honourary category of membership is for non-landscape architects Council wishes to recognize for outstanding contributions in their own fields to improving the quality of natural and human environments.
Steven Peck Steven Peck is the founder and president of Green Roofs for Healthy Cities (GRHC) and co-founder of the Green Infrastructure Ontario Coalition (GIO), of which the OALA is a Steering Committee member. Through GRHC, Steven has advanced the green roof, green wall, and gardening industries by facilitating research, demonstration projects, conferences, and workshops. He has authored two books, Award Winning Green Roofs (2008) and The Rise of Living Architecture (2012). In 2007, he co-founded World Green Infrastructure Network, an international coalition dedicated to developing the living architecture industry world-wide. In 2008 he co-founded Green Infrastructure Foundation (GIF), a charitable arm of GRHC, providing education and resource materials for the development of living green infrastructure. He also spearheaded the development of an accredited Green Roof Professional (GRP) program.
architectural firm in the year 1984, where he worked on a variety of projects, including sports facilities, housing developments, commercial developments and property management. During that time he was active in the educational sector as part-time faculty at Ryerson University for twenty years. His close connection to and knowledge of the landscape construction industry also led to his involvement in the Landscape Ontario educational programs. He has also authored various articles in trade and property management magazines.
As a co-founder of GIO, Steven led the delivery of the report “Health, Prosperity and Sustainability: The Case for Green Infrastructure in Ontario” to the provincial government in March, 2012. He has made us all look at changing our ways in managing rainfall and runoff more naturally and encouraged the use of green technology to protect our natural environment, which ultimately improves our physical well-being.
Joanne Moran Joanne Moran has brought strength, energy, and leadership to the OALA, and more recently to the CSLA, on many initiatives to further landscape architecture in Ontario. Joanne’s contributions to the OALA are numerous. She joined the Association as a Full Member in 1994. She has served on many Association committees and, in particular since 2008, on OALA Council, Council Executive Committee, and most recently the CSLA Board of Directors.
OALA EMERITUS MEMBER: Emeritus members are full members of OALA who have ceased full time practice and who are nominated by another full member in recognition of their years of service to the profession. Marius Ois Marius Ois is one of the founding members of the OALA, having served as the first Secretary of the Association and has served on various OALA committees over the years. A member of OALA since May 22, 1970, and Fellow of the CSLA since 1982, he has had a positive influence on governments such as the City of Toronto and the Ontario Ministry of Housing, where he served as Chief Landscape Architect for ten years. He opened his private landscape
OALA PRESIDENT’S AWARD: The President’s Award is given in recognition of the contributions by an OALA Full Member who supports and advances initiatives and actions of the association and promotes the profession of landscape architecture in Ontario. It is given in recognition of dedicated volunteerism, generous service to the association, and for leadership in the field of landscape architecture.
Joanne consistently displays a high level of professionalism, dedication, and standard of care. She has devoted her professional life to advancing the parks and open space system within the City of Ottawa and to promoting landscape architecture in the province of Ontario. Joanne has brought a sense of renewal to the Association. She addresses challenges in a thoughtful, deliberate manner and with innovation and insight. She has given selfless volunteer hours each year to this end.
Barriers and opportunities text by Netami Stuart, OALA, with Tamar Pister
Often seen but rarely noticed, sound barrier walls are a ubiquitous feature of highway landscapes in North America, installed to buffer the sounds generated by highways, factories, railways, and other noisy land uses. They are the interface between the transportation landscape and the humanscale neighbourhood or home landscape, and often the most visible aspect of the highway or railway. For this reason, designing an enjoyable experience of the sound wall should be a high priority for transportation agencies. However, along with planting, sound barrier walls are usually one of the last parts of a highway or railway to be designed or installed.
EastLink project, Melbourne, Australia AECOM
On highway projects in Ontario, there is a limited range of construction methods and materials that the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) allows. Most of these are wall systems based on structural posts in concrete footings with panels of acoustical material slid between the posts to the engineered appropriate height. The panel materials vary, depending on the required acoustical function, and may be absorptive or reflective of sound. They are usually made from precast concrete, proprietary fibre-concrete mixtures, transparent acrylic, metal, or vinyl. During the Environmental Assessment (EA) for a new highway or railway, noise is assessed and recommendations are included in the report about the location and performance of the required sound mitigation. For highway projects, sound mitigation measures are required where noise will increase by 5 decibels or more, or where the noise in the affected area will be louder than 65 decibels after the project is complete. Before considering sound barrier walls, transportation designers should attempt to mitigate noise through grading design and pavement design or vibration-absorbing rail beds.
in reducing noise levels. According to AV Tree Farm in California, effective noise mitigation can be achieved by planting in multiple rows, 40-75 inches in depth (12-23 metres deep), with conifers offering yearround noise reduction. Transparent material: Materials with transparent qualities, such as durable acrylics and plastics, can be used in order to reduce the visual impact of a solid wall. Some of this experimentation was seen recently in Toronto, when Metrolinx announced their designs for controversial sound walls along the GO Georgetown South (GTS) rail, which included the use of transparent acrylic among other design elements.
Due to the MTO requirements for efficient design and construction, ease of maintenance, and low cost, the palette of materials/technologies available to Ontario wall designers is limited. Nevertheless, it is possible to make innovative designs for walls by working with the limited palette and taking creative control where possible, such as in the areas of experimentation outlined below.
The presence of sound walls within communities, both rural and urban, is a contentious matter that bridges domains of efficiencies, design, and aesthetics. Involving landscape architects early in transportation design development can facilitate the integration of landscape with engineering details; permit sufficient lead time to explore alternative barrier technologies; and provide a chance to customize and coordinate products and material palettes. Most importantly, including landscape architects and artists early in the design process can reduce contention by improving local understanding of how large-scale transportation projects affect neighbourhoods, environments, and the people who live in them.
Custom concrete forming and colours for panel systems: Striking effects can be created by largescale graphic design, a cohesive palette of materials, and bold colours. For example, the EastLink project, a 45-kilometre freeway link in Melbourne, Australia, was designed with coloured concrete forms inspired by the local geology, flora, and topography of the region. These were used in retaining wall and sound barrier wall systems along with coloured transparent panels.
BIO/ Netami Stuart, OALA, and Tamar Pister are Ground Editorial Board members.
The use of plant material: “Green wall” technologies often require complex vertical irrigation systems that are expensive and not feasible to maintain for highway agencies. Vegetation alone would also not provide sufficient sound protection to satisfy the requirements of most environmental assessments— generally, a 5-decibel reduction in the projected noise. However, the judicious use of well-selected plant material to complement a sound wall can make a vast difference to the perception of that wall. When used correctly, vegetation can help soften noise, and mitigate the wind and visual impact of highways. Critical design factors include considering the amount of space available, the plant material selected, and its physical arrangement. In most cases, vegetation can be used in combination with hardscape sound walls and earth berms as added factors
Interview with Alan Oldfield, an acoustic engineer at AECOM Netami Stuart (NS): Could you describe the basic physics of sound barriers? Alan Oldfield (AO): The purpose of a sound barrier is to block the path of sound between a source and a receiver, creating a “shadow zone.” Even if the barrier material is solid, some sound energy will diffract around the top (and sides) of the barrier and will get to the receiver. The amount of sound reduction at the receiver location depends on the difference in sound path length with the barrier in place. To be effective, the sound transmitted directly through the barrier needs to be insignificant, so the construction must have a continuous solid surface without gaps or large penetrations and must meet a minimum sound transmission loss requirement. NS: In Ontario, what are the performance requirements for a sound barrier system? How much sound reduction does the system or barrier have to provide?
AO: The sound reduction achieved by a sound barrier depends on its location and extents (height and length), as well as the material properties of the system. The sound reduction required is typically established based on noise level limits or noise impact objectives set out in applicable guidelines. For example, the MTO has published an Environmental Guide for Noise, and the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) has developed protocols with Metrolinx and the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) for assessing rail noise. In general, noise mitigation is investigated where a change in noise level of 5 decibels or more is predicted. The objective for mitigation is to minimize significant noise impacts and should therefore achieve a minimum of 5-decibel attenuation. Mitigation may include berms, alternative pavement surfaces or alignments, as well as sound barriers. The introduction of mitigation is also subject to technical, economic, and administrative feasibility. The physical characteristics of the barrier material may be different depending on the application, but the standard used by the MTO is a minimum surface density of
NS: What would you say is the most successful noise barrier system you have worked on? What made it so? AO: As acoustic consultants, we try to avoid or reduce disturbance from noise within feasible means. People don’t usually acknowledge it when they are not being disturbed so I couldn’t tell you what my most successful project has been! NS: Are you aware of any emerging technologies or practices for noise mitigation that should be considered for use in Ontario? AO: One technology that could be explored is integrating solar panels with barriers to provide a means of power for local lighting or for electronic signage features. This is more of an integrated design consideration than a noise mitigation solution.
20 kg/m or Sound Transmission Class (STC) of 32 to ensure sufficient transmission loss. 2
NS: Can you point us to any international examples of noise barriers that you feel are exceptionally interesting from a landscape or experiential point of view?
Aside from development of transportation networks, sound barriers are used in Ontario as part of mitigation strategies to protect sensitive developments and to control noise from industry and commerce. In these applications, the performance requirements for mitigation are typically established in order to meet noise limits set in the MOECC Environmental Noise Guideline, NPC-300.
AO: A great example is a landscape architecture project that AECOM did for Westfield London in Shepherds Bush, U.K. AECOM designed a living wall to create a backdrop for an extensive outdoor dining terrace. The plants and their growing media form a pleasing visual and acoustic barrier for nearby residents. The design also incorporates seating and a water feature, which adds a relaxing soundscape for shoppers. The combination of landscape and soundscape design works really well to create a tranquil environment in an otherwise busy area.
NS: What role does vegetation play in noise mitigation? Can vegetation provide the required mitigation? AO: We often get asked, “Why can’t we just plant a few trees in front of a noise source to deal with it?” Like any barrier, vegetative barriers can only be effective if they provide a solid surface without gaps and sufficient transmission loss. This could be achieved by incorporating a solid structure or a deep, retained soil bank. Dense vegetation can provide sound absorption, which may provide an added benefit. When used in conjunction with a solid barrier element, vegetative barriers may play a part in noise mitigation strategies, particularly in urban design. But when it comes to transportation corridors, they may not be best-suited for a number of reasons: larger footprint than conventional barriers makes application in tight transportation corridors less viable; irrigation infrastructure adds technical complexity and costs; and maintenance issues are a particular concern.
Westfield Shopping Centre, Shepherd’s Bush, U.K. AECOM, photography by David Lloyd
An interview with Helle Nebelong 01/
Contrasts in scale and use of natural materials are important in playgrounds. Helle Nebelong Plan view of the Nature Playground in Valbyparken in Copenhagen Helle Nebelong
Helle Nebelong is an internationally recognized designer, speaker, and author, and a key pioneer of the natural playground movement. She is an advocate for free play, using local and natural materials, and is well known for creating accessible play spaces that ignite the curiosity in children and adults alike. Currently, Nebelong is running her own practice, Sansehaver [the Danish word for sensory garden]; she has worked for more than ten years for the City of Copenhagen. President of the Danish Playground Association, she is on the leadership team of the Nature Action Collaborative for Children, representing Europe in the design and planning field. Ruthanne Henry, OALA, interviewed Helle at the All Hands in the Dirt forum on design and programming for children’s outdoor spaces held in Toronto and organized by Evergreen. Ruthanne Henry (RH): At the All Hands in the Dirt forum, you talked about your sources of inspiration, particularly the post-war years and the “junk playgrounds” within Europe that offered so many loose parts for play. As well, you discussed the important influence of Jan Gehl and the human scale of his work in cities. Lastly, you discussed how your designs are inspired by the environmental perception research of Rachel and Stephen Kaplan. Could you talk a little more about Attention Respiration Therapy and how that informs your work? Helle Nebelong (HN): Attention Respiration Therapy proves that it is essential for people to be connected with nature, and that daily access to nature is important for children as well as adults. We know that for mental health problems and stress, time in therapeutic gardens and rest in green settings can be healing. RH: Does this involve working the soil, and planting?
HN: Not in the beginning. At the start, healing is more passive; people sit in a chair with their eyes closed and listen to nature, or open their eyes to look at the green. Viewing nature is good for mental health. This helps recovery, and patients can calm down and there are no demands for them to do this or that. Later, as the healing progresses, they can more actively engage with others and do some planting if they want to. RH: Can you tell me about your background, working for the municipality and then on your own? Are there differences in approach? HN: When I was working for the City of Copenhagen, I took a master’s in public management, and then soon after I left the public service to go into private practice. There is a lot more freedom in working for myself. While in public service, I worked very closely with decision-makers and that was a very useful learning experience, to know how decisions are being made.
RH: Can you tell me more about the shift in designs for playgrounds in Denmark, in the public push for more natural spaces? Was it slow steps or a radical shift? HN: There were extreme play-safety discussions in the 1980s in Denmark. Lots of old playgrounds were taken away because they were dangerous, and some were not replaced because there was no money. There were more of those boring playgrounds, and people could see that their children did not want to play in them for a long time. They preferred to play outside the playground where the exciting things took place. So people asked for more nature in their playgrounds. RH: That’s when you designed the Nature Playground in Valbyparken, around 2000? HN: There was a big change in the late 1990s because people were tired of big, fixed playground equipment. The Danish people
Professional Section Practice
are not scared of nature or getting hurt and so on, as it is understood to be a natural part of childhood and play. Unfortunately the trend is for architects and landscape architects to design and specify artificial materials such as rubber surfacing. I think it is because the architects like to play with the materials and topography. They are not thinking that much about the children’s play experience and their heartfelt longing for and attraction to nature. I think it is a shame because if anyone should put nature in play spaces, it should be landscape architects. RH: How do you work with communities for their input on the design of spaces? HN: Every job is unique, and how people are involved with each project is different. Murergaarden—a daycare centre and afterschool club—is an example in which all the managers were put into groups for designing play spaces, and these design concepts were not driven by economics or safety, but rather had a focus on pedagogical thinking. So we ended up with six different proposals for the perfect playground. It was my job to take all the input and to work with a group, made up of representatives from all the groups, and this comprised what we have in Murergaarden today. They wanted natural materials and different kinds of surfaces,
everything that would contribute to a rich sensory experience, so it was a fantastic process. I have not had a process like that before or after. RH: I liked the example [presented at the All Hands in the Dirt forum] in which you had children design the playground for themselves, and you had to remind the professional designers not to modify the design to suit their own preferences. HN: The constructors as well. The children designed it like this [Helle draws an organic line], not geometrically correct, and the people constructing it asked if we could change the geometry. I told them, “No, no, we have to leave it like this, to be true to the children’s design.” RH: I was interested to see that the most visited playground in Copenhagen is the Nature Playground in Valbyparken (with 125 users per hour). This site needs replacement now that it is 14 years old. It is very different from our approach in Canada, where the life-cycle replacement cost and material durability provide strong direction for the selection of materials in design. In Copenhagen, maintenance is obviously not as much of a driving force. Can you tell me more about how this playground is being planned for reconstruction?
Professional Section Practice
HN: Maintenance is very often the driving force in Copenhagen, as well. But, luckily, diversity in playground design is as much of a driving force. It will take a lot of funding to rebuild the Nature Playground in Valbyparken, and the City of Copenhagen does not have all the funding that is needed, so there is a need for privatepublic partnership planning for the reconstruction. There are funds in Denmark for play spaces and a strong interest in children being connected with nature play, so I think it will not be hard to get the money. We are focusing on public health, and everyone knows it is healthier to be out in green spaces than sitting in a living room in front of a screen. We are talking about climate change and sustainability, and you have to open children’s senses to nature and how to protect it, so they will love it and take care of it and not just go on using all the resources as our generations has done. RH: Can you tell us more about your experience designing with universal design principles and how you approach this? HN: I have done a lot of gardens for seniors’ homes. When they make it accessible for wheelchairs and take away the steps, they disable those who can still walk the stairs, because they are taking away that skill. We need both steps and ramps. Designers should not take the challenge out of spaces.
Plan view of garden of senses
Wind tower in Nature Playground, Valbyparken, Copenhagen
RH: Can you talk about how you approach integrating loose materials such as rounded stones and sand that are rich sensory experiences but are not considered accessible materials?
HN: You have to find a balance. When employed by the City of Copenhagen, I worked with the Board for the Disabled and prepared a strategy for how to improve spaces for everyone in Copenhagen. During the process there was a shift in focus. In the beginning the disabled advocates were so focused on the specific needs of the disabled, and advocating that there should be no designed experiences that did not accommodate them. The conversation developed into a more holistic approach, looking at people as a sum of skills and capabilities without a focus on any one group’s special needs. From this approach the strategy promotes making everything as accessible as possible, without taking away beautiful experiences for playing in sand and so on. This conversation considers everyone’s rights. This work was done in 2005 and has since been implemented. RH: What childhood play experiences do you most remember and how have they informed your approach? HN: I spent some of my childhood formative years on the Faroese coastline. It’s a very wild and natural coast with rock and exposure to the elements and no playgrounds. Spending so much time out in nature has definitely influenced me in how I approach designing for children. BIO/ Ruthanne Henry, OALA, is a member of the Ground Editorial Board.
Notes: A Miscellany of News and Events nature The Ontario Master Naturalist Program (OMNP) is a new community program established by Lakehead University Orillia in partnership with Ontario Nature. The first of its kind in Canada, the OMNP provides naturalists and those interested in nature and environmental stewardship the opportunity to become certified as a Master Naturalist. The OMNP will provide formal training and guidance to naturalists in order to broaden their knowledge base and fast-track their level of expertise. The program was established to recognize a superior level of knowledge and commitment among naturalists through a designation of Master Naturalist. The OMNP involves a six-module course of study, along with a 30-hour volunteer commitment. Each of the six modules consists of a half-day session that combines class instruction and field observation. In addition to completing the modules, participants must also complete 30 hours of volunteer service for a not-for-profit organization involved in local environmental or naturalist work. Training takes place in May and June. To find out more about the program, visit www.ontarionature.org.
awards This year’s winner of the OALA/Ground Award at GrowOp 2015: The Culture of Landscape, an exhibition held in Toronto in April, is landscape architect and artist Ben Watt-Meyer, OALA. His piece, A New Archaeology for the Leslie Street Spit, explored the richly resonant history of the Spit, Toronto’s largest constructed breakwater, literally built from the demolition rubble of the city’s lost architectural heritage. His piece also celebrated the transformation of lake-fill into a landscape, a place of rare nature in the city. Not only did Watt-Meyer win the OALA/Ground Award, but he was also chosen for the Jury Award. Watt-Meyer is co-founder of the interdisciplinary collective Urbanworm Design, and he works at Public Work Office for Urban Design and Landscape Architecture.
A New Archaeology for the Leslie Street Spit Ben Watt-Meyer Roger du Toit Courtesy of the OALA
Expressway east of the Don River, and shaping Wascana Centre in Regina. His 30-year commitment to the urban form of Canada’s National Capital stands as a testament to his dedication, tenacity, and his love of work. If desired, charitable donations in memory of Roger can be directed to the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto.
in memoriam Roger du Toit The OALA is saddened to announce the passing of Roger du Toit, a Full Member since 1985, who passed away May 31, 2015, at the age of 75. A founding partner of DTAH, Roger died peacefully and surrounded by his family, as a result of a bike accident. Roger’s professional life spanned three continents and more than 50 years. Educated as an architect and urban designer first in South Africa and later at the University of Toronto, Roger began his working life at the offices of H.G. Huckle & Partners in London, England. In 1966 he joined John Andrews Architects in Toronto, where he played a pivotal role in the design of Toronto’s CN Tower and Canberra’s Municipal Offices at Belconnen, along with leading the firm’s urban design and master planning divisions. Establishing his own architecture and urban design practice in the early 1970s, and later achieving designation as a certified landscape architect, Roger dedicated his career to the integration of these three disciplines of design. Evident in all of his work is the ambition to create environments that meet the needs of economy and utility, while being socially responsive and a joy to inhabit. Continuing his work in partnership with Robert Allsopp and John Hillier (establishing du Toit Allsopp Hillier in 1985), and more recently within the expanded partnership known as DTAH, Roger’s leadership in the realms of community and campus master planning, urban intensification, and innovative transportation planning is second to none. Among other achievements, Roger played a key role in visioning Toronto’s vibrant Distillery District, enabling the removal of the Gardiner
new members The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new full members to the Association: Vanessa Aykroyd*
Shadi Edarehchi Gilani* Marina Signer Sheri Edwards
Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members without the use of professional seal.
in memoriam William M. Sleeth The OALA is saddened to announce the passing of William Sleeth on April 1, 2015, in Guelph at the age of 59, with his beloved wife Claudia Escandon by his side. William joined the OALA in 1985, and was a Full Member for 30 years. Born on June 22nd, 1955, in Hamilton Ontario, William spent his childhood and early teen years in Stoney Creek. He earned a Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture from the University of Guelph in 1980 and developed his professional career at the City of Kitchener, where he was responsible for stewardship of many parks, trails, and natural areas. William was a recipient of the 2015 OALA Public Practice Award, presented at the OALA Awards Ceremony on March 27, 2015, in Guelph [see page 21]. William was active in his community and gave generously of his time and energy. He was a founding member of the Guelph Men’s Help Line and support group. As a man who held a deep-rooted love for his community, he worked tirelessly to ensure that future developments in the downtown neighborhood retain green spaces along the river for people to enjoy and bridges to connect the community. William was an honest, humble, creative, unassuming, loving, and grateful man, and an agent of change. He was an inspiration to those who knew him and will be deeply missed.
books An exhaustive work of historical scholarship, Mark Laird’s recently published book, A Natural History of English Gardening, 1650-1800, reveals the complex visual cultures of early modern gardening. Ranging from climate studies to the study of a butterfly’s life cycle, he examines the scientific quest for order in nature as an offshoot of ordering the garden and field. Laird probes the nature of gardening and husbandry, the role of amateurs in scientific disciplines, and the contribution of women as gardener-naturalists. The book, illustrated by a wealth of visual and literary materials, is available at bookstores and online, and is published by Yale University Press.
William Sleeth Courtesy of the OALA
A modern take on European styling, in an alluring cobble-style paver with the added benefit of permeability. Enviro Passagio’s subtly blended colours combine gracefully with unparalleled texture, setting a new standard in texture and detailing.
SAFARI & COLLEGE RED
1.800.709.OAKS (6257) | OAKSpavers.com
FORO The Foro Table and Chair series presents a clean, contemporary style developed to stand alone or combine with other Maglin furnishings within interior and exterior spaces. Foro is constructed of cast aluminum and steel to deliver durability to stand the test of time.
1 800 716 5506 | maglin.com
The Ultimate Play Provider. Our full-service consulting and construction firm has a dedicated, in-house staff ready to help you plan your next great playground— concept through installation. Our attention to design, safety and cutting-edge products assures the very best in multi-generational play throughout our region.
New Unity™ Collection To learn more about our innovative product lines and services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
25th Anniversary Thank You OALA! Fortco is pleased to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of our Company. As a leader in the Rubber Safety Surface industry, our focus on quality and long-term product performance has been our proudest achievement. Our working relationship with OALA firms and members has been a key component of our company's product advancement, innovation and, ultimately, our success. Fortco looks forward to an exciting future in continuing to provide OALA firms and members with our wide range of Rubber Surfacing products. Look for the 2015 launch of our newest product Ñ 100% recycled Bonded Rubber Mulch (Poured-in-Place).
Playgrounds and Water Parks www.fortco.ca
Pool Decks and Patios www.rubberdeck.ca
D.I.Y. Rubber www.therubberdepot.com
Golf Courses www.golfpath.ca
QUALITY SITE FURNISHNGS FOR YOUR NEEDS
1.855.330.1133 (USA & Canada) www.canaaninc.ca email@example.com
YOUR SOURCE FOR HIGH QUALITY CLAY PAVING BRICKS
• “Genuine Clay Brick Pavers”- Hard fired, tested, proven to endure and enhance any landscape design. • Available in over 100 colour ranges, 30 sizes, and thicknesses from 25 mm to 75mm • Permeable Clay Brick Pavers - For rainwater conservation and stormwater management. ue & Catalog Samplesle on Request Availab
9-5115 Harvester Rd., Burlington, ON L7L 0A3 Burlington: 905-637-6997 • Toronto: 416-252-5811 • Ottawa: 613-739-5850 • Toll-Free: 800-567-5800
Developing Common Ground ™ • Landscaping • Streetscaping • Environmental Restoration • Earthworks • Terraseeding • Wholesale Nursery ContaCt us for a Competitive estimate. 905.887.1599 geoscapecontracting.com
COIVIC SPECIMEN TREES 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
LARGE FLOWERING SHRUBS
LARGE CALIPER SHADE TREES
NATIVE & INTRODUCED
E: INFO@COIVIC.COM W: WWW.COIVIC.COM
T: 905 878 9101 F: 905 878 9471
5465 EIGHTH LINE HORNBY, ONTARIO
text by Lorraine Johnson
Jane Kramer photographs shadows—specifically the shadows cast by rare plants of the Great Lakes Bioregion: “I think shadows are a good metaphor for endangered plants as they can be here one moment and gone the next,” she says. In a series of images that have been exhibited in Japan and will be shown at the Lansing Art Gallery in Michigan in January, 2016, Kramer takes the metaphoric associations even further: her photographs are printed on paper made from invasive non-native species such as garlic mustard and reed canary grass. (“I tried using common buckthorn, but it was painstakingly slow and didn’t make great paper. And dame’s rocket just wouldn’t break down.”) 01/
Shadows of rare plants in danger of disappearing, imprinted on plants that are all too abundant…there’s a sad irony at work in this beauty. BIO/ Lorraine Johnson is the Editor of Ground.
I N N OVAT I V E T R E E GR AT E S
MODERN FENCE SYSTEMS
RECYCLED OUTD OO R F U R N I T U R E
Park Street brings together top tier manufacturers to offer the best in environmentally responsible, high quality, design-focused solutions for the Canadian Landscape Architecture, Interior Design and Architecture communities.
F EATURED BRAN D S
INTECTURAL | IRONSMITH | LOLL DESIGNS | OLD TOWN FIBERGLASS | OMEGA II FENCE SYSTEMS | PLYBOO | VICTOR STANLEY, INC.
YOUR ONE VISION. OUR
UNILOCK. PERMEABLE PAVERS SINCE 1992. CREATE. Begin with your inspired vision. COLLABORATE. Trusted, experienced and on the cutting edge of paving stone technology, the Unilock team has the expertise and customer service to fully develop your creative paving designs. CUSTOMIZE. Unilock will create a unique custom look for your next project. Optimizing color, finish, texture and size, our team will work closely with you from start to finish to make your designs a reality.
PROJECT: St. Ignatius Community Plaza, Loyola University. Chicago, Illinois. DESIGN: SmithGroup JJR PRODUCT: Eco-Priora™ in an EnduraColor™ finish. Permeable installation.
UNILOCK.COM Contact your Unilock Representative for samples, product information and to arrange a Lunch & Learn for your team.