New memorial park sees Toronto dreaming of a kinder future
A Fort York park, built in memorial of Canadian journalist and social activist June Callwood, uses her words from an interview preceding her death — ‘I believe in kindness’ — physically mapped onto the site. Its undulations create an abstract geometric pattern of openings and clearings within the dense groves of the ‘Super-Real Forest’ – an urbanised, ideal forest that incorporates the synthetic, manufactured qualities of the built environment in order to create a greener, more beautiful, and more ecologically balanced living space.
The edge of this voice wave pattern creates a path that runs north to south through six clearings in the Forest, connecting Lakeshore to Fort York with black granite planks touching the edges at several points to provide east-west community access into the park, and seeking to create intimate, memorable and playful outdoor spaces in
the city. The clearings each have their own unique features – shallow puddles that collect rainfall, extruded organic benches, a stainless steel maze, a pink field, linear strip gardens, and pools which, when warmed by ground-source heat become a mist garden.
The Super-Real Forest inhabits the site with plantings of native Canadian trees, a sampling of the specimens that would have inhabited the Lake Ontario shoreline at the time the city was settled. Intrinsic to the Super-Real Forest is the idea of ecological
responsibility, its design inextricably bound to the underlying environmental imperative. Its open spaces are priceless amenities of good city living, the context for the kind of play that results in a healthy population. Investment in a forest is a commitment to long-term thinking. It is hoped that the park will endure as relevant and
timeless for centuries to come.