Landscape Architecture Firm SWA Group to Plan Toronto’s Last Large Undeveloped Site
SWA Group’s Laguna Beach studio has been selected to plan the last large, undeveloped site in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Owners Woodbine Entertainment Group, along with development consultant Live Work Learn Play, have commissioned a transformation of the 683-acre site into a vibrant, urban mixed-use neighborhood with the extant Woodbine Racetrack at its center. Currently the land is bordered by a highway, two major roads, and a light rail line. In addition to re-conceptualizing the horse-racing venue for an optimal urban experience, SWA designers and planners will draft guidelines for a vision that welcomes in the surrounding neighborhoods, which include a burgeoning immigrant population, and entertainment and recreation alternatives. Proposed walking and biking trails, as well as retail and restaurant offerings, will complement an extensive amount of housing, drawing daytime visitors from the city as well as overnight guests from farther afield.
There’s also a goal to expand an onsite agriculture experiment that grows feed for the resident thoroughbred race horses. Integrated into the master plan will be the existing stable and grandstand as well as a new casino. The nearby Pearson International Airport, together with an upcoming north-south light rail line,will make reaching the site very convenient.
SWA’s overall vision, guidelines for land use, public space design, future infrastructure and transit investment concepts and development planning will unfold over the next six months, with the site overhaul to take place within the next decade. SWA’s team includes BCV Architects and Nelson\Nygaard Consulting Associates.
Established in 1957, SWA Group is an international landscape architecture, planning, and urban design firm. SWA has studios in Dallas, Houston, Laguna Beach, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Sausalito, Shanghai, and the United Arab Emirates. Since its inception, SWA has worked in over 60 countries, and its design-driven projects have garnered more than 800 awards. www.swagroup.com