Berczy Park

A central amenity of the Saint Lawrence Market neighborhood, this approximately one-acre park occupies most of a triangular block framed by three streets. Appropriated by the City in 1966, it was dedicated for use as a park in 1973. Named in honor of William Berczy, the co-founder of York (now Toronto), the park opened in 1982 with a centralized plaza and circular fountain. It was redesigned by Claude Cormier + Associés in 2017. 

Diagonal, asymmetrical paths access the site from the north, framing geometric lawns graded with modest berms that screen adjacent streets from view. The paths lead to a triangular plaza, extending the length of Front Street. Characterized by red and grey granite pavers arranged in a repeating pattern, the plaza features a central, Victorian-style fountain that playfully invites the many dogs and their owners who frequent the site. Designed with public input, the sixteen-foot diameter water feature is ringed with a shallow water trough and is embellished with 27 life-size cast-iron dog sculptures, and one cat. The canine sculptures each gaze towards the top of the fountain crowned by a golden bone, and spout water, inviting children to interact and play. The figures are complemented by a sculpture, Jacob’s Ladder (2018) by Luis Jacob, along the park’s western portion. Numerous species of deciduous trees, including oak, katsura, tulip poplar and Japanese pagoda tree, are interspersed throughout the site. 

The park’s eastern edge is defined by the Gooderham and Worts Flatiron Building (1892) painted with a trompe l’oeil mural (1980) by artist Derek Besant. Below the mural in the site’s northeastern corner is a modestly elevated perennial garden traversed by concrete and crushed stone paths. 

The project received the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects’ National Award for Small-Scale Public Landscapes in 2018.

Location and Nearby Landscapes

Nearby Landscapes