National Urban Design Awards - 2022 Recipient - Civic Design | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

National Urban Design Awards - 2022 Recipient - Civic Design

University of Toronto Scarborough Valley Land Accessible Trail
Award Category: 
Civic Design Projects

Lead: Schollen & Company Inc. | Brown & Company Engineering |North-South Environmental Ltd. | Moon-Matz Ltd. | Geoterre Limited
Completion Date: January 2020

This precedent-setting project exceeds the requirements of provincial accessibility legislation, providing an important link between the University Campus and the Highland Creek Valley corridor, a highly biodiverse Environmentally Significant Area. The trail enables all people the ability to access nature, and be immersed in it, in an equitable manner. The media has described the trail as “breathtaking” and a “new landmark” within the City of Toronto. The surrounding natural setting of the ravine is considered a “living laboratory” by the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC) and supports natural sciences-based curricula. The trail establishes an environmental and accessibility legacy for the UTSC and greater community.

Project Credits:

Project Lead - Schollen & Company Inc. 
Structural Engineer - Entuitive / Brown & Co. Engineering Ltd.
Environmental Consultant - North - South Environmental Inc.
Geotechnical Engineer - GeoTerre Ltd.
Electrical Engineer - Moon-Matz Ltd.

Jury Comment(s): 

“This project is recognized for its attention to detail, inclusiveness (accessibility), and ecological sensitivity. The design exhibits significant restraint, allowing nature to take centre stage. The design articulation, from macro to micro, is consistent and flows very well. The colours, textures and materiality contribute to the project's overall success.”

“This project portrays a good understanding of the existing topography. The trail design is synonymous with its context and provides an accessible recreational link between the university and the valley land. Gathering spaces are neatly incorporated within the trail. The paving materials and seating complement the existing vegetation.”

“A light touch and an appropriate level of authorship are the characteristics that make this project exemplary.  From its planning to provide accessibility to its capacity to immerse the visitor within the forest landscape, the design deftly navigates the site’s challenging slope, generously provides site-specific amenities that connect the viewer to the natural landscape, all the while ensuring formal deference to the context.”

Jury members 

Click for full version: 
Bioengineered slope stabilization

PHOTO - Tom Arban


PHOTO - Tom Arban

Elevated boardwalks

PHOTO - Tom Arban

Support for elevated structure

PHOTO - Tom Arban

Amphitheater seatwalls and walkway

PHOTO - Tom Arban 

Lighting in handrail

PHOTO - Tom Arban