Advanced Typography book cover

We have of late been enjoying a deep dive into Advanced Typography , recently published by our long-time friend and collaborator Richard Hunt. More than just a technical guide, the book explores the history and cultural evolution of type, it’s effect on the presentation of ideas, and the ways in which it is transforming as new technologies change the way we interact with information. Full of delightful examples – and occasionally pointed commentary – we were also pleased that some of the work we’ve done with Richard features as well.

The projects Richard has worked on with us include: East Point Bird Sanctuary, The Canadian Firefighters Memorial, With Words as their Actions.

Another month, another lovely article on PLANT’s First Avenue Residence! In March 2021 our renovation of a tall, narrow townhome in what was originally a 19th-century dairy was featured as a Designlines Online “Show us where you live,” and on April 2, 2021, this project received a full-page feature in The Globe and Mail’s Real Estate section. If you’re a Globe subscriber, you can read Ximena Gonzalez’s “A renovation focused on wood and light” here.

Nearly a decade after Graham McLeod and Tim O’Fallon hired PLANT to design their garden, they asked us to renovate the interior of their residence – a lofty but narrow three-storey slice of a Toronto heritage building that was originally a dairy. Azure senior associate editor Evan Pavka has just posted a wonderful “Show us where you live” article on this project on Azure’s website. PLANT also did a refresh on the landscape when we completed the interior renovation on Tim and Graham’s place – please see First Avenue Garden on our own website for an update on that part of the project.

We are proud to say that PLANT has been certified as a Women Business Enterprise. WBE Canada (Women Business Enterprises Canada Council) is a Canadian nonprofit organization that certifies Canadian B2B businesses that are at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by women and connects them to corporate and government supply chains. As a WBE, we can now provide proof to many corporate and government organizations with Supplier Diversity procurement policies in place that we meet their Diverse Supplier criteria. We are excited to be included in Canada’s largest database of Canadian women-owned businesses and we look forward to providing exceptional architecture and landscape architecture services to organizations seeking to do business with Diverse Suppliers.

Congratulations to Zeynep Benk, the newest PLANT person to be certified a full member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA). Zeynep earned her Master of Science in Landscape Architecture from Istanbul Technical University in 2011 and joined PLANT’s team in 2016. A creative designer with a strong technical background, she has been a vital team member on recent PLANT projects including the landscapes for Ryerson University’s Centre for Urban Innovation and the University of British Columbia Okanagan’s Centre for Teaching and Learning. Her current projects include Guelph Pedestrian Bridge, the Governor’s Bridge Lookout at Toronto’s Don Valley Brick Works Park, and the expansion and redesign of Alexandra Park for the City of Waterloo.

The Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial in St. Catharines has won a Niagara Biennial Award. This new awards program recognizes and celebrates design excellence throughout Ontario’s Niagara Region. PLANT was the landscape architect and construction services manager on this memorial project, which was designed by Dereck Revington Studio to commemorate the 137 workers who lost their lives during the current Welland Canal’s 1913 - 1932 construction. “Fallen Workers Memorial weaves a landscape within a memorial,” the jurors observed. “The monolithic forms create a strong presence and speak to the engineering marvel that the workers constructed.”

We are excited to share the news that PLANT’s Face to Face / Tête à Tête curb-lane parklet for the City of Toronto is a Finalist in the international 2020 Architizer A+ Awards. As a Finalist, our project is one of five worldwide to be eligible for a Popular Choice Award in its category. This means that as of today and until July 31, 2020, you have an opportunity to vote for it online – and we do hope you will! To vote, please follow this link and search for Face to Face or PLANT Architect Inc. (That’s faster than scrolling through all the award categories.)

Created for the King Street Transit Pilot, our six-feet-wide ‘concentrated community conversation zone’ received a nod from the jurors in the Architecture + Urban Transformation category, which recognizes projects that create new public spaces and build “new ways for the world’s citizens to live more densely within existing urban fabric.”

Face to Face / Tête à Tête was completed on a $25,000 budget, with PLANT staff sharing in some of the fabrication duties with the amazingly resourceful team at Oriole Landscaping. This project has transformed a couple of curb-lane parking spots on King Street just east of Yonge into a place where pedestrians can pause and connect. (A success in its own right, the King Street Transit Pilot demonstrated that a more-streetcars-fewer-cars approach on central King would ease downtown traffic congestion, and this route is now known as the King Street Transit Priority Corridor.) For more on Face to Face / Tête à Tête, please see our website and PLANT’s Architizer page.

PLANT Architect and the consultation and engagement specialists at PROCESS have moved a big step closer to developing a vision and concept master plan for the Mulock property in Newmarket, ON. Formerly the estate of Canadian lawyer/politician/farmer/philanthropist Sir William Mulock, the 11.6-acre estate is set to become a hub where community, recreation and culture intersect. On May 25, 2020, our team’s Phase 1 report was approved by the Town of Newmarket Council, and we are now moving forward with the development of the master plan. The Town has posted a very cool YouTube video summarizing the engagement input collected from more than 3,000 Newmarket residents, and has posted our team’s Council Presentation and PROCESS’s Engagement Summary Report on its website.

We are delighted to share the news that PLANT’s St. Anne’s Garden is Houzz’s “Patio of the Week”! Here’s where you’ll find a great article by Becky Harris on this project. She explains how we transformed a nearly non-existent backyard on a steep slope into a colourful courtyard enjoyed by the three generations of one family who share this home.

And while we have your attention, we would also like to mention that PLANT Landscape Designer Karen May will be the featured speaker at 9:15 am on Friday, February 21, 2020 at Reference, an annual symposium for landscape architects, designers, gardeners, and trades, held in Toronto at Ryerson University’s George Vari Engineering and Computing Building. The one-day symposium centres on learning to use ecosystem references in cities bearing the brunt of climate change, and Karen’s presentation is on Ecological Land Classification. Here’s where to find information about the event and how to register for it online.