Sugar Beach has been selected as one of two finalists in Azure Magazine’s 2012 AZ and People’s Choice Awards for landscape architecture.
The beach, part of the Waterfront Toronto revitalization, is vying for the title along with China’s Shanghai Chenshan Botanical Garden.
Named for its location near the old Redpath Sugar Factory, the park space was built on the site of an old surface parking lot in what was once a highly-industrial area along the Toronto waterfront. It marked the second urban beach in Toronto along the shore of Lake Ontario.
The two-acre park, designed by Claude Cormier + Associes, was opened in August, 2010. Its features include a plaza for public events and gatherings, a large candy-striped granite rock outcropping and three grass mounds providing views of the plaza space, a promenade lined with maple trees that offers a shaded path leading right to the lake, and spaces between the outcroppings for smaller events and performances.
The promenade is comprised of granite and concrete cobblestones placed in a maple leaf mosaic pattern, lending the space a definite Canadian flair.
There are a total of 57 mature trees on the site, along with 150 chairs and 36 colourful umbrellas, making it more inviting than the site has been in years.
The highlight of the site, of course, is the large urban beach, which draws local residents and visitors alike. Since it opened, Sugar Beach has become a part of Toronto’s urban landscape and a popular spot for those looking to enjoy a beach setting or even just as a site where Torontonians can relax, read and people-watch.
The new park adds an air of whimsy to what was once a drab, industrial region in the city’s downtown. The Waterfront Toronto revitalization aims to reclaim the area and turn much of the waterfront along Lake Ontario into public destinations to encourage play and social events in what a long-ignored prime site along the city’s lakefront.
Sugar Beach was selected as a finalist in the AZ Awards by an international jury of accomplished industry professionals. It was selected from a pool of over 620 entries from 30 countries and was one of 60 total finalists in 14 categories.
The winner of the People’s Choice competition will be announced at the AZ Awards gala, which will take place in Toronto on June 7.