The one kilometre stretch of Bloor Street between Church Street and Avenue Road is the city’s premier shopping district. Over the past several years, the district has witnessed the restoration and expansion of several cherished cultural institutions, and the development of several five-star hotel and luxury condominium projects.
The firm, together with architectsAlliance, was commissioned to provide a much-needed upgrade to the quality of public space in the Bloor-Yorkville precinct, in keeping with its cultural and economic stature. Improvements include widened granite sidewalks, public art, new lighting and street furnishings, two new pedestrian ‘scramble’ intersections, and continuous planting areas with mature trees, shrubs and flowers in raised beds.
The project featured the largest installation of “soil-cells” in Toronto. The “soil-cell” system ensures that trees are provided with a continuous, un-compacted growing medium under the sidewalk, while maintaining the structural integrity of the surface for fire truck loading.
Construction began in 2008 and was completed in 2011. The project has created a ‘red carpet’ for the cultural cornerstones of the Bloor–Yorkville neighbourhood: the newly refurbished ROM, the restored Royal Conservatory of Music, and the expanded Gardiner Museum. Since completion, the segment of Bloor Street has experienced a near 0% retail vacancy rate and a significant increase in retail sales.