Cloud Garden Park
This small urban
park is surprisingly complex, containing several theme areas, which are
explained on the plaques along the central path. Comments from these are
quoted below. Val Rynnimeri, Associate Professor of Architecture, University
of Waterloo, tells us that Cloud Gardens park was designed by a partnership
of Baird, Sampson Neuert Architects, the MBTW group and the two artists,
Margaret Priest and Tony Sherman. "The park conception is a rich
metaphorical stew, combining visions of the Credit Valley and its steep
water-cut banks and small hydro dams, and Piranesi vedute of a ruined
Rome. The park's wild lushness is meant to be a polar contrast to the
built density of the business district. Nobody as an individual designed
the park itself. It was a true collaborative venture with each participant
contributing both parts and input into the whole."
1 Monument to
This is the big wall with inset construction materials panels, which begins
at midpoint in the park and continues south to Temperance Street. Each
panel done by a trade. Intended to commemorate the individual trades and
workers who built Toronto, the Monument was designed by artist Margaret
Priest and fabricated by the unions involved. Working within the framework
of a red oxide steel grid, Margaret Priest describes the Monument as a
gallery or a kind of quilt sampler which serves to make visible the contribution
of construction workers to the life of the city.
to Construction Workers (spring)
2 Terraces with
Bridges and Ramps
Reaching a height of three storeys, a series of interconnected stairs
and ramps on the east side of the park offer the opportunity to travel
vertically through the site. Horizontal courses of limestone rock, laid throughout
the masonry walls give the impression that erosion has taken place and sedimentary
layers have been exposed. The limestone rock is from a quarry near Guelph.
Park from high ramp
3, Waterfall and Reflecting Pools
Masking the sounds of the surrounding city is a five storey waterfall,
over which pour 1800 gallons of water a minute. The water then cascades to a
lower waterfall and series of pools designed to operate year-round. From the
lower pools, water travels via a separate system, to a narrow channel running
south through the park where it ends in a
copper dam at the street edge and disappears below ground. The waterfall
and forest were designed by Professor Val Rynnimeri, who was the lead
designer for the MBTW Group at the time.
Sited to command a fine view of the park and the surrounding city, the
belvedere is an
elegant observation platform crafted from sections of steel and grating.
5 Cloud Forest
Situated over a parking garage entrance, the Conservatory is a recreation
of a tropical cloud forest. This type of forest occurs naturally at high elevations
in tropical mountainous regions. Filled with tree ferns, palms and other exotics,
this lush tropical environment provides colour and interest year round.
The sloped floor, ramped walkways, and catwalk inside the Conservatory,
extend the opportunities for viewing and reinforce the sense that everything
leads upwards in the park.
6. Urban Woodland
A four season woodland garden comprised of native oak, maple, ash and hemlock trees
form a distinctive canopy for a variety of understorey shrubs including spirea, dogwood
and euonymous. Carpeting the woodland floor are hostas, Baltic ivies, wintercreepers,
periwinkle, Japanese spurge and other perennials which bloom in succession throughout
the seasons and come back year after year.
BACK arrow to return to where you were
or click for Points of Interest Index or Lost
Rivers Index Page.