Bloor Street Transformation

Location
Toronto

Client
Bloor Street B.I.A.

Date
2008

Overview

­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.

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Expertise

We have a long history of planning and designing the public realm of cities, including streets, building facades, public places, the space between buildings and open spaces. Our team has pioneered significant aspects of the “complete streets” concept, demonstrated through landmark projects like the St. George Street Revitalization, the Bloor Street Transformation and the Six Point Interchange Reconstruction.
Our team conducts research and creates strategy for government and non-government clients on a wide range of economic development issues. This includes strengthening, broadening and diversifying the economic base of regions, cities and towns and accelerating development through improvements to land use, urban design, planning policy and governance.