The NEST takes inspiration from both near home and far beyond the city limits.
Backyards represent a space for creative play, an experimental stage, or a snug hideaway. Alvars are unique habitats found in the Great Lakes environs near Toronto. Low soil depths, frequent floods and droughts in the alvars produce rare plant and animal communities that thrive under these conditions.
Inspired by the resiliency and life these distinct landscapes bring together, the NEST offers Torontonians a new backyard. It’s a place where the diverse people of this city and its visitors feel a sense of ownership and pride – a space for active play, engagement, and reflection. The park offers respite from the urban environment – a haven for many people and creatures to share and interact.
Designed to be seasonally and programmatically dynamic, the NEST will engage visitors through several features like the Wall Crawl, the Alvar Mist, the Hammock Grove, the Backyard BBQ and the Play Nest amongst others. The community pavilion will act as a hearth, allowing families to stay warm as kids play outside during winter months. During warmer weather, the retractable glass wall will create a seamless indoor‐outdoor transition.
We share this place with many others. Soaring birdhouses offer homes for diverse bird habitat, including Purple Martins, Nuthatches and other aerial creatures. The rooftop Bark Park gives our canine friends and dog owners a place to explore. The NEST welcomes all to enjoy Toronto’s new backyard and invites you to make it your own!
The collaborative team of Snøhetta and PMA will lead the design for the NEST. Snøhetta, an internationally-renowned practice, maintains a trans-disciplinary approach to design, integrating landscape, architectural, and interior design in all its projects. PMA is an award-winning Toronto-based design studio specializing in landscape architecture and planning with extensive experience in small to large-scale, public and private sector projects. Snøhetta and PMA will work in partnership with a skilled team of local consultants including SNC-Lavalin (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical Engineers); Blackwell (Structural); Marcel Dion Lighting Design (Lighting); Amy Turner Landscape (Arborist, Landscape Architect); Brad Golden + Co (Public Art Consultant).