Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Botanical Garden may soon be transformed into an internationally-acclaimed attraction.
The City of Toronto has been working on a major development plan with the Toronto Botanical Garden to design and create a globally recognized botanical garden in the city. “Reimagining the Gardens” is an initiative led by the City of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division, and public consultations for the project began last year.
“Since September 2016, we’ve been working with many different people, groups and experts to explore and address ways to preserve, enhance and celebrate Edwards Gardens and the Toronto Botanical Garden,” stated a project update. “Your contributions have provided us with valuable insights and ideas that have blossomed into a vision and draft concept that will lead the development and management of the Gardens in the future.”
The Botanical Garden is a Toronto public park that features a variety of former estate gardens. It’s also a volunteer-driven charity that focuses on horticulture and gardening, and hosts learning activities as well as garden tours. The garden spans four acres within Toronto’s Don Valley Ravine, adjacent to Edwards Gardens near Leslie and Lawrence Avenue East.
Besides improving operational functionalities and expanding its programming, the project’s guiding principles also includes celebrating a “unique sense of place” along with “contributing to a resilient ecosystem to enhance ecological services.”
The massive project includes indoor and outdoor planning, from better connections along the ravine, to sustainable parking, and a treehouse.
Different areas around the Garden would be connected through a multi-use trail, bridges, and there would be several gardens for teaching areas. The treehouse would sit close to the centre of the property, and would serve as an outlook post.
Several precedent images were shared at the public presentation, which included concepts for the proposed bridge and boardwalk.
The Treehouse Overlook concept is probably one of the highlights of the project, and will offer an indoor elevated space.
For those interested, the City survey is still available online for public input.
The project is currently in its final design and development phase, and will be entering its final concept design and management plan phase by the summer.