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two waterfront parks win national urban design awards

Canada’s Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common, signature parks in Waterfront Toronto’s new East Bayfront neighbourhood, have been awarded 2012 National Urban Design Awards. Canada’s Sugar Beach was honoured in the Civic Design Projects category and Sherbourne Common received the ‘Sustainable Award’ in the same category.

The National Urban Design Awards promote public and private awareness of urban design. Sponsored by the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada (RAIC), Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA), the awards also recognize individuals, organizations, firms and projects that have contributed to the sustainability and quality of life in Canadian cities.

Known for its distinctive pink beach umbrellas, Canada’s Sugar Beach is a popular destination for both locals and visitors to the waterfront. Designed by Claude Cormier + Associès, the whimsical urban park, which includes a promenade, plaza and beach, gives people unique views of Lake Ontario and a working sugar refinery.

“Clearly, this project has been instantly embraced by the general public who arrive here on foot, bike or transit,” said the National Urban Design Awards jury in its comments about the Canada’s Sugar Beach. “An integral part to the larger redevelopment of the eastern portion of Toronto’s waterfront, this project is evolving into a unique and inclusive social space for the city.”

Located in the heart of East Bayfront, Sherbourne Common, designed by Phillips Farevaag  Smallenberg, brings a feeling of ?life at the lake? to the new neighbourhood. In addition to being a beautiful public space, the 1.5 hectare park is also the first park in Canada to integrate a neighbourhood-wide stormwater treatment facility into its design.

?Sherbourne Common demonstrates seamless integration of civic design disciplines under the umbrella of placemaking and simultaneously heralds a revival of the long lost art of civic infrastructure,? said the jury in its comments. “The project makes smart use of civic infrastructure funding for public enjoyment, providing a very astute solution in time of fiscal scarcity.”

In addition to the National Urban Design Awards, Canada’s Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common are the recipients of several prestigious local and international design awards. Earlier this year, Canada’s Sugar Beach won Azure Magazine’s 2012 AZ People?s Choice Award and it has also received a Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence. In 2011, Sherbourne Common received the Gold Award for Landscape Architecture from the Design Exchange and its zinc-clad pavilion received an honourable mention at the 2011 Toronto Urban Design Awards.

Canada’s Sugar Beach and Sherbourne Common are connected by the water’s edge promenade, designed by award-winning landscape architects, West 8 + DTAH.  Design excellence is part of Waterfront Toronto’s vision of transforming the city’s waterfront into beautiful and sustainable new communities. To help achieve and uphold its standards for design excellence, Waterfront Toronto hosts international design competitions, works with some of world’s top architects and landscape designers and incorporates urban design as an important component in its environmental assessment process.

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two waterfront parks win national urban design awards
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