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Waterfront: Jarvis Slip Public Space Design Competition


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Jun 30, 2007
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if any of you missed it on the pdf...

Jarvis Slip Public Space Innovative Design Competition
Exhibition Launch and Public Presentation

Waterfront Toronto has launched an innovative design competition to enhance the public space at the foot of Lower Jarvis Street. The goal of this competition is to create a signature urban public space at the water’s edge that will anchor the new East Bayfront community.

Three renowned landscape architecture firms have been selected to participate in this competition:

Janet Rosenberg & Associates

Claude Cormier architectes paysagistes inc.

West 8 + DTAH
Design submissions will be unveiled at a public presentation on January 21, 2008 at Metro Hall, main floor Rotunda. The submissions will remain on display until January 25, 2008.

Public Presentation
January 21, 2008
7:00-9:00 p.m.
Metro Hall (Rotunda)
55 John Street, Toronto

January 21-25, 2008
Metro Hall (Rotunda)
55 John Street, Toronto

For more information, please visit our website at

Please join Waterfront Toronto and the design teams at this exciting event!
The proposals from the three firms are now up, from Waterfrontoronto:

Janet Rosenberg Associates:


Display Panels

Claude Cormier architectes paysagistes inc.:


Display Panels

West 8 + DTAH:


Display Panels

West 8 + DTAH for me.

Wow.. West 8 looks excellent!

Those creepy arm things really add something...

Cormier Landscape architects seem to be ripping off the Yorkville Park granite slab.. In a few locations...
Those hydraulic timber arm thingies will certainly attract the stoner demographic to the waterfront. Imagine watching those things move around whilst toasted.
The more I look at those timber insect legs, the more I'm thinking how many traumatized kids we will have on the waterfront.

Sure I find those things REALLY amazing, quirky and refreshing, but put yourself in the mindset of a kid. Those things would surely scare the life out of you.

However, those legs are what give West8 a truly superior plan.
I agree, I like the West 8 design the most. It delivers a plan for the most memorable and meaningful public space.

I wonder if the odour of the sugar refinery is noticeable there. I remember standing by the slip when a relative who worked on a ship was in town unloading raw sugar from Brazil. The smell wasn't as offensive as, for example, a slaughterhouse, but it wasn't exactly pleasant either.
Wow. West 8 promises something different and intersting. I like.

I wonder if Tim Burton is on the design team - those arms reminded me of his early-mid 90s films for some reason. They'll be a bit creepy, but hopefully not too traumatic.
i echo in agreement about west-8. it's really refreshing to see something new designed to make a space unique. i was hoping for something better from JRA however.

their design didn't have a unique approach to the location of this park. rather ordinary, and in some ways useless yellow chairs. the waterwall that changed color according to the temperature was ok, but nothing great. overall quite disappointing considering some other designs JRA has done. i'm also seeing a move to more "childish" landscaping by their firm.

Claude Cormier was very unoriginal. why do HtO all over again? we already have the sort of sandy beach park with the colorful yellow umbrellas. how about something new?

those hydraulic arms/trees by west8 are excellent. they engage with the space and provide a focal point while not taking away all the attention from other spaces. the triangle pattern is something we don't see often and is very interesting combined with the 12 seperate hills. these create awesome spaces to sit on the bench or lay down on the grass.

i think this will be a highly successful space.
I would be happy with both the West One + DTAH and the Claude Cormier options. The Janet Rosenburg option seems too cold and barren (despite the Dara and Sponge Bob??). The Sugar Beach option seems the most colourful and intimate and with the number of trees proposed probably the most sheltering. The West One + DTAH is more original with the robotic arm but seems more institutional feeling more like the grounds of a museum of course that might have been the idea with the institutional building on the north side of the square (a childrens museum perhaps?).
Those arms are pretty scary looking indeed but I think they could become a Toronto icon. Hydraulics though? Somehow I think these things will have more downtime than uptime.

The thing about the Jarvis slip that really makes you think is that this should have been proposed for the foot of Yonge, just one slip to the West. It's too bad that the city couldn't negotiate to swap the lands with the condo developer.
Whoa... Cormier completely rips off Janet Rosenberg Associates.
Looking at the Cormier panels, I thought I was seeing Rosenberg's Jarvis slip proposal as an extension of their urban beach concept.

I do like all three but I think that West 8 wins again. They do need to lighten up those creepy hydraulic branches somehow though.
Upon quick glance I actually like the openness of Janet Rosenberg's design, but it is a bit cold and that glass/water piece in the middle of the open space seems impractical and dangerous. My overall pic would be West 8. If they get selected the incorporation of it's Centeral Waterfront Design would make for a more consistent revitalized waterfront