The Netherlands

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture b.v.

Nico Koomanskade 1021
3072 LM Rotterdam
The Netherlands

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

Belgium

West 8 Brussels urban design & landscape architecture bvba

Waaienberg 123
1745 Opwijk
Belgium

+31 (0) 10 485 5801

North America

West 8 urban design & landscape architecture p.c.

2133 Arch Street, Suite 101
Philadelphia, PA 19103
United States of America

+1 347 371 2252

West 8 wins competition for new park in Toronto

Toronto, Canada

On December 18th, 2023, The City of Toronto selected West 8 as the winners of the competition to design a park at 229 Richmond Street W in the heart of the city’s downtown entertainment district. The winning design concept, Wàwàtesí, which translates to “Firefly” in Anishinaabemowin, was conceived by West 8 in collaboration with hcma Architecture and Design, Native Art Department International, MinoKamik Collective, ARUP, KG&A, ERA Architects, and A.W. Hooker.

The Wàwàtesí design concept integrates culture, public art, landscape, light and space for performance. This thoughtful approach provides an engaging 24/7 urban park for visitors, residents and those who work in the area to enjoy.

The winning design emerged from a two-stage design competition, evaluated by a distinguished panel of experts in landscape architecture, Indigenous placekeeping, architecture, urban design, art and climate resilience. Praising the design, the Jury noted in their report that the West 8 team “challenge[d] conventions around public space and public art” with a “clear and poetic narrative” and created “a thoughtful approach to providing a green oasis, with particular attention to the location of trees, the planting palette, and the intent to provide shade tolerant planting in the microclimate under the under the Balcony”. The Jury’s final decision was also informed by public input and comments from a City of Toronto Steering Committee and Community Advisory Group. Over the next two years, including community engagement, the Wàwàtesí concept will be transformed and elaborated further into a more detailed site design. The construction of the City-owned 2,600 square metre park is anticipated to commence in 2025.

The site of the future park is located on the traditional territory of many Nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee, and the Wendat peoples that is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Métis peoples. We acknowledge that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit.

For more information, visit the City’s website: LINK

Please click here to read the full press release in English.