What was once Ontario’s favourite playground — with millions of visitors every year and entertainers like Ella Fitzgerald — Ontario Place had declined, becoming a virtual parking lot in desperate need of reinvention. But, following an innovative design by LANDinc, Aldershot Landscape set to work to transform the 7.5 acre site (with 600 metres of shoreline on Lake Ontario) into a charming waterfront park.
There are no playgrounds or sports fields. But there is a rock wall with caves and mini-cliffs for climbers, toddler age and up. As well, a new focus on native greenery helps put the emphasis back on nature. With a massive-scale effort, Aldershot planted more than 1,200 trees and 15,000 plants and shrubs in just 12 months. As well, they created a granite outcrop that brought in 1,700 tons Muskoka granite and 52,000 cubic metres of soil. (The ground had to be raised 1.5 meters to make replanting possible.) A multiuse path offers a lakefront promenade that is ideal for cyclists, roller-bladers and baby-strollers. And a network of trails provides additional options for runners and walkers.
Aldershot Landscape built the park in an exceptionally short timeframe, especially considering the challenge of getting timely delivery of materials and the demands of Ontario winter.