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Downsview Park

https://www.sld.com/our-work/case-study/downsview-park/

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PROJECT

Downsview Park

CLIENT

Parc Downsview Park

LAUNCH DATE

April, 2010

Downsview Park underwent an urban revitalization through the development and design of a creative signage and wayfinding program.

Background

Formerly a Canadian Forces Base in north Toronto, Downsview Park is undergoing an urban revitalization.

Downsview Park sits on one of the most significant elevations of land in the heart of the Greater Toronto Area. The site was designated by the Government of Canada in 1994 to be developed as “a unique urban recreational greenspace for the enjoyment of future generations.”

At 2.4 square kilometres, it has the potential to be the world’s largest urban park. Shikatani Lacroix was selected to help make this vision a reality.

Challenge

Downsview Park’s 232 hectares was a challenge to navigate with its industrial-scaled roads and buildings. Shikatani Lacroix developed a wayfinding plan to understand the vehicular and pedestrian traffic flow. Directional signage was then executed in monumental proportions to fit the massive expanse of the area.

Create an overall sense of belonging

"This was the time for change and improvement, to provide more reassurance for visitors" – Sheryl Keller Ziesmann, design director of wayfinding at Shikatani Lacroix

Our Process

Define

Shikatani Lacroix was directed to bring the old, historic elements together with the urban renewal of the park, explains Sheryl Keller Ziesmann, design director of wayfinding at Shikatani Lacroix, in an interview with Sign Media Canada.

“The general concept was to stay true to the park’s spirit of fun, helping create the overall sense of belonging,” says Ziesmann. “We made material choices aesthetically, combining bright, blue painted surfaces with raw steel that will age alongside the historic buildings.”

Design

To strike the right balance between the past and the present, contemporary and durable materials were combined with distressed finishes, such as COR-TEN weathering steel that is designed to age. The wayfinding program links each area of the park together under one cohesive visual identity, while complementing the existing historical structures that remain in the park.

Deliver

The wayfinding signage further established Downsview’s brand while complementing and contrasting the industrial architecture of the park – allowing visitors to easily find their destination.

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