August 23, 2010

Canada's Sugar Beach

August 20, 2010

Here is look at the open, but somewhat unfinished, Sugar Beach in Toronto. Canada's Sugar Beach is a two-acre park located at the bottom of Lower Jarvis St. at Queens Quay E. and is the next step in the revitalization of the waterfront. It is a combination of interlocking brick paving, giant granite boulders and beach sand.

Canada's Sugar Beach

It isn't really a beach, but more like a giant sandbox on a pier.

The pink umbrellas are not really umbrellas either. They are more like sculptural pieces that remain rigid and open. One of them had its collar open and I could see electrical wires coming out. I don't know if this was for lighting or wifi.

The view to the south is of the Toronto Island. To the east the view is of the headquarters of Corus Entertainment, a dark square building screened by willows. To the west you see the Redpath Sugar warehouses.

The day I was there, I couldn't really enjoy the space because of all the construction noise from both the Corus building and the park. This will change when construction is completed. Unfortunately with development scheduled along the northern edge of the park it may be several years before things in that area will settle down.

I've heard a lot of grumbling about Canada's Sugar Beach, but I really like it. This is a place about fantasy. It is there, so that someone who is trapped in the city or in a situation can go and escape their worries, even if it's just for an hour. You can walk through Toronto to sit down in Miami.

Canada's Sugar Beach

With that in mind, the benches, starting at the beach and heading east, are really beautifully designed. Someone put a lot of thought into them. They seem like a launching pad for the imagination.

Benches east of Sugar Beach

The one thing that I would add to Sugar Beach is about 5 to 7 large clumps of Pampas grass along the western edge. The idea would not be to block the view of the Redpath warehouses but to soften it. Beach grasses blend in really well in this type of landscaping. They would also give the sunbather a sense of enclosure and privacy. Right now it would be easy to feel over exposed, especially to the dockworkers on the other side.

Redpath Sugar warehouses

I highly recommend you go see it, (on a Sunday!)

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If you are hosting a garden related event in the GTA and would like it covered in or would like to place an e-poster about it on our Events Calendar, just contact me. I am always delighted to promote anything gardening in Toronto.

Mark Disero

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