PLANT’s Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden in Toronto has received a Downtown Achievement Award from the International Downtown Association. Based in Washington, DC, IDA is North America’s premier industry organization for Business Improvement Areas (BIAs) and other property-owning or business-owning groups who partner with municipalities to revitalize and sustain downtowns and neighbourhood business districts. In 2018 IDA received a record-breaking number of submissions for its awards program and bestowed Pinnacle Awards, Excellence Awards, and Certificates of Merit across six categories. The winning organizations represent cities in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and South Africa. The Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden received an IDA Excellence Award in the Public Space Category.
Working with the Roncesvalles Village BIA and the City of Toronto, PLANT transformed a paved, triangular urban ‘remnant’ – formed by the acute intersection of Dundas Street West and Roncesvalles Avenue – into a gateway parkette and community gathering space that is part of the 1812 Binational Heritage Peace Garden Trail.
The peace garden’s design, which integrates curved benches with local plantings, makes engaging and accommodating use of the compact site. An artist from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and a non-Indigenous artist from the Roncesvalles area worked with young people from their communities to create designs reflective of local heritage stories. Incorporated into the paving, these graphics commemorate both the Indigenous history of the area and more than two centuries of unbroken peace and friendship between Canada and the United States.