Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

National Urban Design Awards — 2012 Recipient

Canada's Sugar Beach
Award Category: 
National Urban Design Awards
Civic Design Projects

Claude Cormier + Associés and Waterfront Toronto, with The Planning Partnership

Canada's Sugar Beach is a whimsical park resulting from the transformation of a surface parking lot into Toronto's second urban beach along the water's edge. Sugar Beach is three parks in one - an urban beach, a plaza next to a studio performance stage, and a tree-lined promenade - united by a singular reference to the sugar refinery across the slip. The composition of spaces, details, and views aims to foster an experience of the surrounding phenomenon between the verticality of the city skyline and the horizontality of Lake Ontario, as well as a trace mood of the area’s industrial past.

Jury Comment(s): 

“This project is exemplary for its ability to successfully create an enjoyable and fun addition to Torontonians’ appreciation of their waterfront. By introducing a kitsch-inspired sandy beach with pink umbrellas and plenty of seating options, this exuberant civic space is strategically sited, programmatically linked to the boardwalk along the waterfront, and supported by the backdrop of the existing Redpath Sugar facility, the Corus building and the soon-to-be completed George Brown campus building. Clearly, this project has been instantly embraced by the general public who arrive here on foot, bike or transit. The beach component is certainly used as it was intended, while its surrounding urban landscape will continue to attract both the young and old--encouraging them to use the boardwalk along the waterfront and otherwise reconnect with Lake Ontario’s edge. An integral part to the larger redevelopment of the eastern portion of Toronto’s waterfront, this project is evolving into a unique and inclusive social space for the city.”

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photo: Claude Cormier + Associés

photo: Nicola Betts

photo: Claude Cormier + Associés

photo: Marc Hallé

photo: Nicola Betts