In Toronto, the north is both who and where we are in the world. We are the geographical, cultural, and economic gateway to the top of the continent. DOWN NORTH is a programmed urban forest park that is about our resilient approach to seasonal adaption, our connection to the land, and a celebration of stories about how we have lived and how we will live up here, down north in Toronto.

The design takes its inspiration from the land found just up from the water’s edge, the hinterland, where the Great Lakes forests have provided shelter and livelihood for centuries of human habitation. DOWN NORTH has all-season toboggan chutes, a forest walk, a firepit and a lookout tower. It has snow fireworks, mist makers, and lighting that make the urban forest a magical place to be all year. It is a wildlife habitat, a carbon sink, a water filter, and a cooling refuge from the summer heat and sun.

DOWN NORTH brings ‘up north’ downtown.

The Team
The DOWN NORTH team is lead by Canadians Liz Wreford (OALA, MALA, AALA, SALA, CSLA) and Peter Sampson (OAA, MAA, FRAIC) of PUBLIC CITY, a trans-disciplinary design practice with studios in Toronto and Winnipeg. PUBLIC CITY is leading an international team that includes: MAGNUSSON KLEMENCIC ASSOCIATES (civil and sustainable systems engineers based in Seattle and Chicago); CURIO ART CO (a public art consultant with offices in New York and Toronto); and BLACKWELL STRUCTURAL ENGINEERS of Toronto. Joining them are MCW (electrical and mechanical engineers), TERRAPROBE (geotechnical consultants) and VERMEULENS (cost consultants) all of whom are located in Toronto.