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The Ring - CCxA

Notes: A miscellany of news and events

letter to the editor
Once again Ground Quarterly has published an excellent and informative publication, looking forward and embracing the newest and most important work in Landscape Architecture. Ground 48 is a valuable contribution to the profession and to the world at large.

I was very pleased to read the article “Growing Grit”. Throughout most of my life, I have advocated the use of sands & gravels in many plantings. My interest in this began as a young child in northern England, continued through my college years in Scotland and the summers as an Interpretive Naturalist at Point Pelee National Park. I promoted this unusual gardening method throughout my career as a design/build Landscape Architect, and will continue to do so.

Sand and gravel based gardens offer excellent opportunities to respond in a meaningful way to the climate disaster and mass species loss that we presently face. They need very little water and provide perfect habitat for threatened flora and fauna. This method is also the basis of green roofs and crevice gardens. I have built a number of these gardens over the years, but my favourites are the Vertical Crevice Garden at Toronto’s Gardiner Ceramic Museum and the the sunken boulder and gravel garden at Hedgerow Farm. Images of these and other “grit gardens” are on our website hedgerow.ca.

Text by Neil Turnbull, OALA, CSLA

rail path forward
The beginning of the year saw a massive public consultation event about the City of Toronto’s plans to expand the West Toronto Railpath from Dundas Street West at Sterling Road, to Abell Street at Sudbury, adjacent to the Kitchener GO Rail Corridor.

According to the City, 263 people filled the Museum of Contemporary Art, Feb. 26, to view a presentation about the planned expansion, and public feedback was open to March 12.

Currently, the Railpath is a mix-used trail, and beloved by those walking or cycling through Toronto’s Junction neighbourhood. To extend the path, and connect the north and south of the City, will mean a huge leap in active transportation options, as well as provide added linear park space.

Construction is meant to begin next year.

Rail Path today and tomorrow. IMAGE/ Courtesy of the City of Toronto
Rail Path today and tomorrow. IMAGE/ Courtesy of the City of Toronto
Rail Path today and tomorrow. IMAGE/ Courtesy of the City of Toronto

corona virus
The global COVID-19 pandemic is on everyone’s minds, as various levels of government do their best to advise people about how to protect themselves, and minimize the spread of the disease.

It’s a constantly developing issue. OALA staff is taking precautions: working from home, and moving meetings to a virtual platform. Nevertheless, the Association is still operating and available to support members. Don’t hesitate to reach out.

For all updates on the OALA’s response to COVID-19, please see our website.

Streetscape solidarity. IMAGE/ Shawn Micallef

The eighth annual Grow Op exhibition of environmental, landscape design, and contemporary art was hosted last March at the Gladstone Hotel in Toronto. Each year, the OALA presents the Ground Award to one of the participants. This year’s winner was artist and interior designer Carolina Delgado-Duruflé’s Unfamiliar Weather. The piece asks “whether facing unfamiliar weather in a time of climate emergency can bring us to empathize more with one another.”

The winning entry. IMAGE/ Gabby Frank
The artist with board member Phaedra Miacantis. IMAGE/ Courtesy of Carolina Delgado-Duruflé


Unfortunately, due to the global pandemic, the 2020 OALA Annual General Meeting & Conference in London, Ontario has been cancelled. Full refunds have been provided to anyone who submitted payment.

Stay tuned to OALA updates for opportunities to participate in online education sessions. Council is currently looking options for a virtual AGM.

new members
The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects is proud to recognize and welcome the following new members to the Association:

Kamila Grigo *
Cameron Maybee *
Julia Taucer *

Asterisk (*) denotes Full Members without the use of professional seal.

Defaulted and Resigned Full Members for 2019

Four former members defaulted in 2019:
Linda Constable
Jacov Yaki Miodovnik
William Patek
Jonathon Reeves

Fifteen Full Members resigned in 2019:
Walter Bone
Arthur Bourdeau
William Coxhead
Britta Hild
Gregory Hill
Raphael Justewicz
Shannon Lee
Yihong Liao
Erin McCown Foster
Julie Mulligan
Erik Mustonen
Justin Neufeld
James Sampa
Leila Todd
Uwe Wittkugel