In 2018, the Town of Newmarket – population 90,000+, just north of Toronto – purchased the Mulock Property, the extant core of a former 250-acre estate. Although Sir William Mulock (1843 – 1944) figured prominently in politics, higher education, and many other fields, the Town envisioned Mulock Park as living, multi-purpose community space, as opposed to a historical reconstruction. Community consultation with more than 3,000 area residents revealed strong support for transforming the site into an inclusive, Central Park-style hub for outdoor recreation and cultural activities: a place commemorating millennia of local Indigenous and post-settler history and present-day Newmarket’s diversity, while embodying future-forward sustainable design strategies. As a new cultural centre and an ecologically renewed environment for experiencing and learning about nature, situated in the heart of rapidly growing southwest Newmarket, the 16-acre Mulock Park will be key to strong and active community building and a healthy future.

PLANT led the masterplan for the site’s redevelopment, along with its 19th-century manor house and outbuildings, and then led Mulock Park’s design and implementation. (The adaptive reuse of the house as an Art Gallery of Ontario satellite and for food-services purposes is a separate but concurrent project.)

The Conservatory in summer
The Conservatory in fall
Conservatory south elevation
View of the Conservatory, Art Studio and Diversity Garden

The architecture and landscape of the now-in-construction park are inseparably intertwined: its new structures and the transformed, repurposed outbuildings are modest in scale but thoughtfully configured to introduce cultural and landscape themes along paths throughout the site. A new entry bridge spanning a constructed wetland transforms the marshy, formerly underused southwest corner at Yonge Street and Mulock Drive into new public space. Other destinations include a riverine water feature celebrating the site’s moraine geological formations; a 350-metre woodland skating loop; a four-season skate pond/splash-pad plaza with a new pavilion; the estate’s garage and stables, repurposed for public use as a conservatory and artist residency; community diversity gardens and orchard; a restored and reinterpreted formal historic garden; and a natural playground with the regenerative life cycle of a forest’s trees as its theme. Visitors can explore re-naturalized, restored woods, picnic on expansive lawns, and tour nine permanent artworks commissioned for specific site locations, plus temporary artworks generated from the artist residency.

Wet plaza, skating and entry to the Skate Trail
Skate amphitheatre at Mulock House
Skate Trail through the regenerated woods

Mulock Park integrates sustainable new architecture and adaptive reuse with the renewal/re-naturalization of a former estate’s manicured landscapes. A geothermal system, a photovoltaic array shading the parking area, and building envelope design contribute to energy modelling results indicating 54% lower total energy use, 64% lower peak electric demand, and 76% lower greenhouse gas CO2e emission than the minimums required to meet Ontario Building Code SB-10. Low-maintenance, long-lifecycle materials – cedar, concrete block, stone/gravel – predominate.

Low-impact development strategies include prioritizing re-naturalization, green roofs, stormwater retention, and groundwater purification via the new park’s enhanced wetland. All new planting is native, with an emphasis on climate-change-resilient species that promote biodiversity.

The Green with Heritage Garden and Conservatory beyond

Facilities and all trails through the varied topography of this former historic estate will be fully accessible. Careful path placement following existing routes minimizes tree removals and preserves the extensive forest’s root health. Pivotal to Newmarket’s Urban Centres secondary plan, this park anchors an urban growth area designated under Ontario’s Places to Grow policy.

Riverine fountain
Patio at the Mulock Historic House/AGO
Site Plan

  1. A Conversation of Views
  2. Admiral Road Garden
  3. Airdrie Road Garden
  4. Airdrie Road Residence
  5. Albany Avenue Residence
  6. Alcina Garden
  7. Alexandra Park
  8. Aporia Records
  9. Asphalt Poetry
  10. – Poem
  11. Baby Point Gardens
  12. Beach Garden
  13. Beach Village BIA Master Plan
  14. Beaty Residence
  15. Bennington Heights Garden
  16. Berkeley Street Residence
  17. Bin-Scarth Garden
  18. Blink and you miss it.
  19. – Poem
  20. Block 22 Landscape
  21. Bloor St. Apartment
  22. Blue Note
  23. Booth Avenue Residence
  24. Boustrophedon Garden
  25. Braemore Gardens Residence
  26. Browning Avenue Residence
  27. Brunswick Avenue Residence
  28. Camp Arowhon Offices
  29. Canadian Firefighters Memorial
  30. Channelled Buried Moved Lost
  31. Chocolate Loft
  32. City Instrument
  33. Clarendon Garden
  34. Conversation Piece
  35. Cortleigh Boulevard Garden
  36. Creemore Farm
  37. Danforth Mosaic BIA Master Plan
  38. Dickson Park Garden
  39. Dilworth Residence
  40. Don Landing Revitalization
  41. Dublin Grounds of Remembrance
  42. Duncanwoods Townhouses
  43. Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
  44. Dupont-by-the-Castle BIA
  45. East Point Bird Sanctuary
  46. Eglinton Ave Forecourt
  47. Eglinton Park Master Plan
  48. Elizabeth Fry Society
  49. Ellsworth Residence
  50. Face to Face | Tête à Tête
  51. First Avenue Garden
  52. First Avenue Residence
  53. Flyover Canada
  54. Foote’s Pond Wood
  55. Forest Hill Village Streetscape
  56. Gaze, Glimpse, Glance
  57. Global Affairs Monument
  58. Goldring Landscape, University of Toronto
  59. Gormley Garden
  60. Governor's Bridge Lookout
  61. Greener P
  62. Greer Road Garden
  63. Greer Road Residence
  64. Guelph Bridge
  65. Head in the Clouds
  66. Helena Ave Residence 4
  67. Junction Craft Brewery
  68. Kelpies Competition
  69. Kew Gardens Streetscape
  70. King's Landing Apartment
  71. Kipling & Islington Developments
  72. Lakeport Beach Neighbourhood
  73. Le jardin du repos
  74. Lenticular Curtain
  75. Leslie Slip Lookout Park
  76. Liberty Village Parkettes
  77. Liza’s Garden
  78. Lynwood Garden
  79. Macroscape
  80. Markham Garden One
  81. Markham Street Residence Two
  82. Midtown Yonge Streetscape
  83. Mount Dennis Parkettes
  84. Mulock Park
  85. Nathan Phillips Square
  86. – Streetscape
  87. – Peace Garden
  88. – Podium Roof Garden
  89. Noel Garden
  90. Octane Medical Campus
  91. Orchard View Garden
  92. Osgoode Atkinson Green Competition
  93. Owl Cottage
  94. Paperstone Scissors
  95. Pendrith Residence
  96. Peripheral Sitings
  97. Pottery Road Crossing
  98. rare
  99. Ravine Forecourt
  100. Ribbon of the Lower Don
  101. Riverside BIA Master Plan
  102. Roxborough Garden One
  103. Roxborough Garden Two
  104. Schulich School of Business
  105. Sheridan College
  106. – Trafalgar Campus Master Plan
  107. Spadina Quay Wetland
  108. St. Anne's Road Garden
  109. St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts
  110. Stratford Market Square Competition
  111. Stratford Patterson Theatre Competition
  112. Superkids Dental
  113. Superlegible
  114. Sweet Farm
  115. Sweet Farm Pond House
  116. Swift Medical Offices
  117. The Meadows Reconsidered
  118. The Red Sash
  119. Thick & Thin
  120. Thistletown II Townhouses
  121. Tipping Point
  122. TMU Centre for Urban Innovation
  123. TMU Science Building
  124. Tranby Garden
  125. Tree House Residence
  126. UBC Okanagan – The Commons
  127. UHN Tunnels
  128. University of Toronto Mississauga Welcome Centre
  129. Venice Biennale 2012
  130. Vermont Square Park
  131. Vernon Avenue Garden
  132. Walk the Walk
  133. Walmer Road Residence
  134. Welland Canal Fallen Workers Memorial
  135. Wellesley Cottages Garden
  136. Wells Street Residence
  137. Westminster Residence
  138. Weston Village BIA Masterplan
  139. With Words as Their Actions
  140. Woodlawn Avenue Residence
  141. Woven Stories
  142. Wynford Drive Residences
  143. York Park
  144. Yorkwoods Townhouses