City of London

London, Ontario

Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture
Parterre Landscape Design Associates

The well-established park in ‘Old North’ begged name recognition and a visible urban presence as the park’s predominantly sunken basin below street level goes unnoticed to passers-by. As well, a lost and forgotten plaque was to be resurrected to honour the park’s storied past and rich historical evolution. Minimal resources dictated simple yet effective measures. A native river stone cairn with the rehabilitated plaque anchors a modest paved civic plaza at a prominent corner overlooking the park. The cairn’s deliberate cobble stone veneer recalls the park’s gravel pit heritage and echoes the existing cobble retaining walls found along the park’s southern edge and nearby Cromwell Street. Its appropriately human scaled proportions quietly yet obviously mark the park and an urban edge. Paved walkways following existing desire lines defined by the hill’s naturalized crest weave between mature trees along the promontory. Two sleigh-like benches reflecting on the park’s sacred tobogganing pastime take advantage of the shade and vista overlook.