The City of Toronto and Roncesvalles Village BIA commissioned PLANT to transform a “leftover” triangular parcel of land into a landmark gateway to Roncesvalles Village at Dundas Street West. Part of the 1812 Binational Peace Garden Trail Network, this new parkette enhances the streetscape for pedestrians, links the site physically and aesthetically to its surroundings, provides commemorative space, and creates an inviting green refuge for pausing and peoplewatching in a lively urban neighbourhood.
This simple and naturalistic garden functions equally well as a community gathering place and as a spot for contemplation or conversation. The design integrates curved benches with planters containing a range of urban native plants and historical species found in nearby High Park. Incorporated into the paving are graphics by local and First Nations artists that share stories from the War of 1812 era and commemorate the more than 200 years of friendship and peace between Canada and the United States that have followed the resolution of that conflict. The engraved paving constitutes the Peace Path – the first joint arts project between a Toronto neighbourhood group and members of the Indigenous First Nation who hold treaty rights within Toronto. A community artist from the Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation (MCFN) and a non-Indigenous artist from the Roncesvalles area worked with young people in each community to create images reflective of heritage stories provided by a historian from each community.