City of Toronto
High Park, Toronto, Ontario
Janet Rosenberg & Studio (Landscape Architect)
Mike Holmes (Builder and Contractor)
Blackwell Bowick Engineers (Structural Engineer)
Photography Credit: Photos & Renderings by JRS
Burned by arson in the spring of 2012, the dedicated High Park community rallied to see their beloved castle re-built in the spirit of the original Jamie Bell Adventure Playground castle nestled in High Park. Janet Rosenberg & Studio teamed up with contractor Mike Holmes and his crew to design and build a new castle for an episode of the Mike Holmes ‘Make it Right’ television show. The Studio, working closely with the City of Toronto and the Holmes crew, participated in an engaging public process, to ensure that the community’s voice was heard. This process made clear important issues including improving safety, drainage, visibility, and accessibility. Children contributed ideas for the new castle design through a creative coloring and design charette exercise.
The Studio donated design services and project coordination time for this wonderful project, which was a true collaboration and community effort. Local businesses donated construction materials and labor, and great numbers of community members came to volunteer and help with the construction process. In keeping with the children’s artwork that adorns other parts of the park, local children were invited to paint wooden shields, which have been mounted around the newly completed castle. This project was incredibly rewarding and inspiring.
All children need places to explore and play; to be dirty, silly, loud, creative, and adventurous.