The Spadina Quay Wetlands suffered from a typical urban wetland restoration problem: the open-water marsh terrestrial and aquatic plant communities appeared weedy and unkempt, with the border between wetland and street appearing decidedly un-urban. As a site that is highly diverse, productive and active, the challenge was to create an edge that could mediate between the sidewalk and the wetland by providing seating and other urban amenities, while also foregrounding the wetland’s structure as a legitimate form of urban park. The solution is an edging system comprised of a kit of parts that may be used in tandem on a series of restoration projects – for which Spadina Quay would be the pilot initiative.
The kit includes raised wood timbers on weathering steel legs that mark the urban edge of the site and perforated wood posts. In addition to supplying extensive seating close to the vegetation, the timber benches provide a definitive yet subtle border perimeter. The new path leads to a stone look-out embedded in the wetland. The post-holes offer a playful means of focusing one’s attention on the wetlands – typically overlooked planting and birdlife.