Janet Rosenberg + Associates design the tO in Toronto
HtO was designed with the intent of connecting Toronto to the water. It reclaims the waterfront as an inviting public space that is flexible, unique, and functional. Since its opening in June of 2007, HtO quickly became Toronto’s icon, specifically by identifying Toronto from the water’s edge through its multiple yellow umbrellas. The name, HtO, is a play on the formula for water, H2O, where the water and the city are brought together.
As visitors enter HtO they walk uphill through green dunes planted with willow trees and silver maples, then they descend down towards an expanse of sand peppered with tall yellow umbrellas, reaching a wooden boardwalk at the water’s edge. Whatever lace you’re at in the park, whether walking through the sand pit or sitting under a tree, there is an incredible sense that you have the left the city behind. All you see and hear before you is the water, which is animated with sail boats on hot summer days and overcome with calmness in the evening. When you look back, Toronto’s grand skyline emerges and you remember that you haven’t left the city at all.