Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 26

BERCZY PARK: A DOG-SPIRITED CANIS LOCUS

dog sculptures of differing species and
in differing positions. Six large dogs
from Afghan Hound to Golden Retriever
gush water jets high up into the tiers
of the fountain, in chorus with a ring of
bobbing Pugs doing the same from the
pool, their snouts just above the level of
the water. The two perched tiers of the
fountain host other small to mediumsized dogs, all aiming their jets to the
pièce de résistance of their dog desires
- a cast bone perched at the apex of
the fountain. Splashing jets fill the tiers
from below, which in turn are drained
through a frieze of cast Pug faces
flanked by a staggered array of oversized
silver dog-collar studs. Even the basin
connotes the mood of an oversized dog
bowl. But the love of dogs is not the
principal raison d'être for the fountain. It
is also a response to those people who
don't love dogs, such as when they poop
in the public realm. And to those who
would complain about children running
amok around people seeking a tranquil
oasis. And to others who worry that
our preoccupation with brand-building
through film shoots and similar events
in the park will limit the community's
use of the space. These overlaps of
interests are symptomatic of a critical
issue that has emerged in booming
Toronto. Sufficient public space for even
the simplest of community needs (places
for dogs to poop, kids to play, sunny
spots to eat lunch, et cetera...) is in short

supply. Berczy Park is now overwhelmed
by community needs that were never
anticipated when the park was built 35
years ago.
HOSTING ANYTHING AND EvERYTHING
Although the Old Town and St. Lawrence
neighbourhoods are the oldest districts
in the city, much of their urban fabric
was razed in the 1950s and '60s to supply
fields of parking at the ends of the newly
built freeways linking downtown to the
suburbs. Berczy Park was built in 1980
as a foresighted shift in the city's urban
design logic. Not surprisingly at about
the same time, residential development
began as a trickle, expanding into what
has become a veritable flood. In the
beginning, Berczy Park served mostly as
a place for office workers to eat lunch
and a backdrop for visitors to shoot their
Toronto postcards. Since 1980, however,
the pulse of lunchtime office workers,
weekend tourists and evening theatre
crowds has rapidly quickened to include
young children on their mid-morning
and mid-afternoon outings, and dog
owners taking their pooches out for an
early morning walk and an early evening
poop. These discrete pulses of activity
were once evenly layered across the
hours of the day without much mutual
interference. However, Toronto has
recently started to demonstrate the
messy qualities of a truly big city, the
Manhattan of Jane Jacobs, where streets

and open spaces must now host anything
and everything all at the same time.
Despite decades of sprawling girth,
the concurrent synthesis of incompatible
programs, each having equal entitlement
and perseverance, is a relatively new big
city phenomenon for Toronto. With 400
children and over 1500 daily dog visits
within a two-block radius of Berczy Park
alone, this little park now has to rise up
to the demands of its new contextual
complexity, generating animated debate
amongst stakeholders about who and
what the park is for.
The local business community benefits
from the neighbourhood's Old Town brand,
and has been a strong guardian of the
remaining fragments of the city's historic
picturesque identity. Buskers and historical
re-enactments are organized to reinforce
the area's character, attracting more
visitors and potential customers to the
area's restaurants, shops and pubs.
URBAN FAMILIES
The recent residential building boom
has introduced another critical mass of
stakeholders with a set of priorities quite
different from those of the business

PHOTOS 1 FOUNTAIN STUDIO MOCK-UP 2 FLOYD
3 WEST HIGHLAND TERRIER 4 BERCZY
PARK BIRD'S EYE VIEW 5 BY RON MUECK
6 CNIB DOG 7 ELIE 8 BY ANDY WARHOL
RENDERINGS 1 + 4 CLAUDE CORMIER + ASSOCIATES

...dogs invoke an irrational lightness
capable of relaxing furrowed brow...

1
26 LANDSCAPES PAYSAGES

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Landscapes - Spring 2015

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Landscapes - Spring 2015

To Being With | Pour Commencer
The New Small | Le Microcosme Réinventé
Paula Meijerink, Guest Editor | Rédactrice invitée
EN_LP+ | Small Matters: Backgrounder
FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Writers | Collaboratuers
Je Vois Montreal
Upfront | Prologue
Forêt urbaine
Urban Braille
Find Your Pebble
Folly Forest
Parklet Experiment
Klynstra Scholarship
Prix 2014 Schwabenbauer
The Common Sense Curb Cut
Essay | Essai
Doggy Style
Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Tiny Taxonomy
Lying Down in Public
Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
A Non-Urban Approach X3
New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Opinion
Critique
The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover1
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover2
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 4
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 5
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 6
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 7
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - FR_LP+ | Prodigieuse Petitesse
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 9
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Writers | Collaboratuers
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Je Vois Montreal
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Common Sense Curb Cut
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 13
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 14
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 15
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 16
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 17
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 18
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 19
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Essay | Essai
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 21
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 22
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 23
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Doggy Style
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 25
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 26
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 27
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 28
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 29
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Projects in Place: The LA Flash Mob
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 31
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Tiny Taxonomy
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 33
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 34
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 35
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 36
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 37
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 38
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Lying Down in Public
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 40
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 41
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Kelowna asks, "What if,,"
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 43
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 44
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 45
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - A Non-Urban Approach X3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 47
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 48
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 49
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - New Directions | Nouvelles Avenues
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 51
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 52
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 53
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Opinion
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 55
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 56
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 57
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - Critique
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 59
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 60
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 61
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 62
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 63
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 64
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - 65
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - The Last Word | Le Mot de la Fin
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover3
Landscapes - Spring 2015 - cover4
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