12 Feb 2017

Joel Weeks – Toronto, ON

This unique park development in downtown Toronto involved the decommissioning, demolition and removal of Carroll Street, which divided the two parcels of land dedicated for the park. Once we completed the street and site demolitions, we merged the two parcels into one and formed the footprint for the park development. The one hectare site was rough graded and prepared to receive the site servicing. Storm lines, water lines and drain lines were installed throughout the site to service the new splashpad and manage the site drainage. Electrical servicing was also distributed throughout the site to power the 10 new walkway light poles and luminaires. All electrical and mechanical servicing was tied into the existing site mechanical bunker. The park treatments included various subtle berms scattered throughout the site, numerous raised planting beds that were retained by architecturally finished and sandblasted cast in place concrete walls, some of the walls also acting as seatwalls. A full coverage irrigation system was installed throughout the park for all sodded areas and planting beds. A playground system was installed as well as a new children’s splashpad with above ground features and floor jets. Architecturally finished concrete walkways and plazas were cast in place. Planting for the project consisted of 68 specimen trees and over 5,000 shrubs, perennials and grasses. Various site furnishings were installed and landscape features such as log timbers,  crushed granite, and upright logs acting as seats or steps were incorporated into the play areas of the park. Final surface treatments consisted of mulch, sand and sod.

Awards: CSLA Regional Merit Award, shared with the design firm, Janet Rosenberg & Studio

Architect/Designer: JAnet Rosenberg & Studio

12 Feb 2017

Ashbridges – Toronto, ON


The Ashbridges Bay Skatepark is a progressive approach to cast-in-place concrete skateboard park design. The street-style skateboard park is approximately 21,500 square feet and makes use of 1,200 cubic meters of concrete to create a park suitable for all levels and abilities. Drawing on the creative architecture of skateboarding meccas worldwide, the park’s design incorporates a number of completely original sculptural elements which exploit the versatility of concrete to create a cohesive linear urban skate plaza that recreates the true street skating experience.


The use of concrete in the park’s construction afforded designers the opportunity to incorporate a high level of details for a reasonable cost. The versatility of concrete was of great value in forming the sculpturally complex and diverse hybrid shapes which populate the park. Further, the distinctive mix of straight lines and two and three-dimensional curves on skating features like the lilypad, would be difficult to imagine in any other material, as would the rising and falling bank to ledge; the curves of the noodle and the rainbow hubba; and the sharp angle of the east entry’s planted V. Concrete’s capacity for cantilevering, fusing, and bridging come together in a very distinctive concrete element: the wedge-towedge over the plant gap. Concrete’s ability to take on colour further adds to the skate park’s character. Like city freeways, acid etched green linearities accentuate the plaza’s directional nature. The cantilevered window wall frames an orange/blue sky over green rolling hills; the plaza’s wide green concrete swaths and thin blue steel lines echo the natural palette that is glimpsed through this window.


Innovation in this plaza also takes place below the park’s surface. Concrete can weather with exposure to the elements, so the selected mixes and additives (all donated) were carefully selected to prolong useful life of the park. The incorporation of Hard Cem integral hardener provided superior hardness and improved durability of the finished concrete product. The hardener was added to the concrete mix during batch operations, eliminating many quality control issues and achieving labour savings at the site. The end result is a glassy, lasting concrete finish. The preservation of the surface increases skater safety, because the low friction of the finished product allows a falling skater to slide harmlessly on the smooth surface. In addition to providing increased hardness for abrasion resistance, HardCem provides a number of other advantages to the project including full-depth concrete hardening, long-term economic value, superior uniform quality control, lower application costs and better occupational safety during construction. With its progressive relationship to the natural landscape, innovative international forms, and unique “never before done” elements, Ashbridges Bay Skatepark will carry a whole generation of Toronto street skaters, and national and international visitors, into a creative, active, and imaginative future.

General Dimensions

  • 21,500 square feet
  • 1,200 cubic meters of concrete
  • 16,000 cubic meters of fill

Project Type

  • a progressive approach to cast-in-place concrete skateboard park design
  • Toronto’s first urban skate plaza, based on real-life street structures
  • suitable for all levels and abilities, incorporating a number of completely original sculptural elements which celebrate the infinite versatility of concrete


  • Site excavation, grading, drainage installation and connections to storm lines
  • Dosposal of existing contaminated fill
  • 90 driven piles to support all concrete elements
  • Up fill with aggregate to form bowl foundations
  • Installation of reinforcing and concrete for bowl walls
  • Concrete Walkways and Skateways
  • Concrete Stair and Grind Walls
  • Wood rail fencing


  • LANDinc.
  • Spectrum Skatepark Creations Ltd.


12 Feb 2017

London Central Library

The reading garden is a semi-public open space designed to provide a controlled-access outdoor extension for library users. Two architecturally articulated street edges between existing buildings define and announce the infill garden and give way to an intricate matrix of internal programmed spaces with strong contrasting spatial qualities and experiences. The varying interior spaces include flexible open and enclosed areas for formal events and passive activities, lush gardens, walkways, a secured children’s garden and water features..


  • Canadian Society of Landscape Architects Award, Regional Mert
  • City of London Urban Design Award of Excellence


  • Vafiades Landscape Architect Inc.
  • Parterre Landscape Design Associates
  • Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture

27 Jan 2017

Crosby – Richmond Hill

Crosby Park is Richmond Hill’s first fully accessible Park redesigned to so everyone can enjoy outdoor recreation. The Park has a Water Play area with a number of features including: a frog pond with water-squirting frogs, spraying cattails, turtles, tadpoles and lily pads; ground geysers and misters; a curved wave dock and a wall of water jets; and a rain wall.

The Playground area is entirely accessible without steps and is one of the largest inclusive playground structures in Ontario. It includes: gently sloping ramps and railings; a rubberized play surface; rubberized and non-rubberized swing courts; accessible swing seats; an elevated sandbox; numerous slides, including a double-width slide that can accommodate a child and caregiver; a tree house; drum tables to play music on; and areas for parents and caregivers to sit.

Crosby Park has many other unique areas including: a Sensory Garden with a variety of annuals, herbs, perennials and grasses; accessible board game tables; Way finding signage; Extra-wide, gently sloping trails; Colourful birdhouses and various artwork displays; areas for birdwatching; and a new entranceway and drop-off area to improve access to Centennial Pool.

26 Jan 2017

Richmond Green – Richmond Hill

Richmond Green, also known as the Richmond Green Sports Centre and Park is a regional level park located on 102 acres of land on the northwest corner of Leslie and Elgin Mills Road, Richmond Hill, Ontario. Popularized for it’s beautiful and state-of-the-art construction and landscaped scenery, couples and families enjoy the many features and attractions crafted by Pine Valley.

This park’s amenities include a circular asphalt “ring road” that encircles the park property and acts as a parking lot and roadway, a junior soccer pitch, a junior softball diamond with chain link backstop, an artificial ice outdoor skating trail resembling a woodlot meandering trail, a fieldhouse constructed out of Douglas fir, masonry, natural stone and cultured stone. The fieldhouse serves to provide the public with restrooms and locker rooms and is equipped with a large mechanical room to house the ice making equipment and condenser unit. The park contains a splashpad with a rubberized safety surface, a children’s garden where children can explore a variety of plants while they look for inspirational messages sandblasted into the concrete walkways throughout the garden.

The amenities continue with a large cedar trellis highlighted as one of the focal points of the park. Custom fabricated using Western Red cedar, it is supported by over 70 decorative concrete footings. Surrounding the trellis are numerous gardens, all configured to run parallel with the layout of the trellis. There is a gazebo also constructed from Western Red cedar which overlooks the large East pond. Park patrons can take in the expansive landscaped scenery while crossing the boardwalk which is constructed from a galvanized metal framework anchored to 40 caissons that are imbedded into the pond floor. The boardwalk is completed with wood decking and metal and aviation cable railings.

Two of the most prominent features of the park are the natural stone waterfall and the cast in place concrete bridge that provide a scenic backdrop for couples and newlyweds. The waterfall is approximately 3 storeys high and has 12 cascades and was constructed by installing 10,000 tonnes of armourstone overtop a formed and poured-in-place concrete sub structure. The mechanical systems and pumps used to cascade the water are housed in the bridge’s mechanical room. The waterfall is illuminated with submergent lighting for a spectacular nighttime visual. The 30 meter long cast in place bridge takes visitors from the park entrance towards the waterfall and other park features. Implemented into the bridge are metal railings with a cedar handrail, coloured concrete walkway and the bridge faces are clad in cultured stone.

Park servicing included a complete watermain, storm and sanitary serving installation. A complete electrical package was implemented consisting of walkway lighting, parking lot lighting and feature lighting for the waterfall, gazebo, fountains, and trellis. Navigating the park is made easy by the several walkways throughout the property. All walkways were constructed using coloured concrete with a banding pattern. The central spine walkway, known as the “Village Walk Pathway” was constructed using unit paving installed in a quilting pattern known as “tessellating hands” which is all enclosed by concrete banding. This walkway divides the wood trellis into harmonic halves and right at the center of the walkway and trellis intersection, is the Richmond Rose. This feature was constructed using unit paving which was precision cut and assembled to replicate the park’s logo.

The main park entrance is signified by a large cast-in-place concrete wall. The wall is illuminated so one can see the lettering that spells out the park name at night. There are numerous lighting columns throughout the park that act as walkway lights resemble obelisks, only shorter and with a light fixture on top! The project was concluded with the revitalization of the west pond, which required that the original pond be drained and the waterflow temporarily diverted away from the work area. The pond basin and sidewalls were excavated and re-contoured to allow for more efficiency and to become less taxing on the Town’s storm system.

Pine Valley takes great pride in delivering exceptional workmanship and quality that is still evident today.