Working in close collaboration with Downtown Yonge Business Improvement Association (DYBIA) and Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science (DAS) students, Upper Canada is pleased to announce the unveiling of the Downtown Yonge parklet on Elm Street. Located on the south side of Elm between Yonge and Bay Streets, the parklet officially opened on June 16 with a ribbon cutting ceremony.
The parklet and greenery project is a temporary structure that extends the sidewalk to include benches, outdoor furniture, landscaping and other outdoor amenities. The added space allows local businesses to operate a larger footprint while also providing visitors a place to sit, rest, and enjoy the surroundings.
The Ryerson DAS team, made up of seven students under the supervision of Professor Vincent Hui, developed an innovative and striking modular design which can be reconfigured in a variety of ways, allowing for both flexibility and accessibility. It is hoped that the design, which marries a unique visual appeal with increased functionality will be used to inspire future parklet projects.
“The Downtown Yonge BIA has had a parklet program over the last two years, and in our third year we wanted to raise the bar on design within the public realm. It has been a real pleasure to work with Ryerson’s DAS students on the design and implementation of the parklet,” said Mark Garner, Executive Director, Downtown Yonge BIA. “We also thank Upper Canada Forest Products for its partnership and product donation to make the parklet a beautiful addition to the area.”
Accoya wood was chosen as the primary material for the project, and was provided by Upper Canada Forest Products. Accoya wood is the world’s leading high-performance wood, used in some of the most extreme climates and applications, including a submerged pedestrian bridge in the Netherlands, coastal siding in Scotland, decking in Mumbai, exterior commercial light poles in the U.S., and in windows around the world.
“Accoya wood is often used for public installations throughout Europe, but this is the first public installation in the greater Toronto area,” said Pat French, Senior Specifications Representative, Upper Canada Forest Products. “Accoya wood is a sustainably-sourced and non-toxic wood product and we couldn’t be more thrilled that it is being used for this particular parklet.”
Accoya wood is manufactured using Accsys Technologies’ proprietary acetylation process to create the nontoxic high performance wood product. The modification process chemically alters the wood’s free hydroxyls into stable acetyl groups. Acetyl groups are naturally present in all wood species, which means that nothing toxic is added. The altered cell structure of the wood makes it an unrecognizable food source for insects and prevents fungal decay. It boasts a 50-year above ground and 25-year below ground warranty and swelling and shrinkage are reduced by 75 percent or more.
The parklet will be enjoyed all summer long, and before being removed during the winter months to accommodate snow clearing. Follow #parkletTO for more news and updates about this exciting and novel new project.