Landscape architecture design showcased at Toronto exhibition
Architectural designs of the new Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct were showcased at the Toronto of the Future exhibition on June 1 to 5 at the MetroCentre/Metro Hall Toronto. The event highlighted development, urban infrastructure and transportation ideas and how they will shape and define the next 50 years in the evolution of Metro Toronto.
The Landscape Concept for the Vaughan Healthcare Centre Precinct, a new mixed-use urban community at Major Mackenzie and Highway 400, promotes healthy living and wellness that will support the design of the future Vaughan Hospital. Inspired by Vaughan’s rural landscape character, the landscape approach is to promote a connection with nature, while establishing a sustainable and green framework for future urban development.
Ecological principles, combined with horticultural processes, are incorporated into all aspects of the landscape design. The Precinct features landscapes that are designed to support biodiversity and conservation as well as creating memorable and sensory urban experiences for people. With an emphasis on native Ontario species, plant communities, such as the streetscape meadow matrix, will change over time through a continual process of self-seeding, spontaneous growth, and regeneration. Generous tree planting will contribute to a high quality and healthy urban environment, and provide a buffer for the residential neighbourhood to the north. Ample greenspace within the Precinct will infiltrate water and help to provide light, air and greenery for mental and physical health.
The public realm is designed to provide comfortable urban microclimates for people to walk, cycle, and enjoy the outdoors. The Landscape Concept will integrate with future development to provide views and places for strolling, sitting and meeting – including peaceful courtyards, gathering spaces and streetscapes with pedestrian and cycling amenities. The focal point of the Precinct’s public realm is a restored stream and new storm water management pond that includes a walking trail and viewing Promenade. The Promenade is designed as a community destination and gathering place, with such features as oversized benches oriented towards the sweeping southern exposure and fantastical views of Wonderland’s towering roller-coasters.
Restoring the Spirit
Like a healing garden, the Landscape Concept embraces a broader holistic approach to building landscapes for health and wellness by connecting people with nature. Unlike conventional landscapes that promote a static and highly manicured vision, the expression of the planting is to engage the dynamic qualities of urban nature for the Healthcare Precinct. Water is symbolically celebrated for its healing and meditative qualities and integrated into the design of the landscape systems. Sensory design re-invigorates public landscapes with visual intensity and seasonality of urban nature, including the subtleties of fragrance, sounds, sunlight, and texture. The dynamic qualities of the landscape can respond to changing needs and opportunities as the community develops in the future.
Visit Vaughan’s website for more details.
Visit the City of Vaughan’s website at vaughan.ca.