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Nathan Philips Square, Toronto, 2019[open in full screen]  

 
 

this year we are celebrating 54 years since the opening of the square in 1965. over time, this complex became one of the most prominent architectural achievement in the world. it is in the same rank with the sidney opera, twa terminal in new york, guggenheim museum in bilbao, habitat 67 complex in montreal or pompidou center in paris.

today nathan phillips is main ceremonial square in the city, and one of a very few places where toronto is most democratic , most urban and
most itself. the square attracts an estimated 1.5 million visitors yearly. with an area of 4.85 hectares it is canada’s largest city square.

on june 17, 2019 it attracted estimated 2 million people in one day [???] in the occassion of the final stop of the parade for toronto raptors becoming the NBA champions. [last photo bellow right]

  the square has a reflecting pool under so called freedom arches, that during long winter months is converted to extremely popular skating rink , a peace garden, a permanent stage and several sculptures, including oscar nemon’s statue of winston churchill and three-way piece no. 2 (the archer) by henry moore. for this june events pool was covered to accomodate aditional number of people.

a design competition was launched in 2006, soliciting proposals from forty-eight local and international firms for a revitalization of the square, and, on march 8, 2007, it was announced that the team led by plant architect inc. and shore tilbe irwin + partners had won the competition.

the project was expected to be completed by 2012 then 2014, but even today it is still in progress. still it is the best square in toronto by far.

  the design is based on the idea that nathan phillips square has always acted as an agora, with the design defining the concept of the open space of theatre and a square surrounded by a forested perimeter/park.

green roof was part of the original plan, but for years it was neglected and closed for public [for security reasons??!!]. now it is revitalized and open for our enjoyment, very unusual but attractive usage of public space.

during the 2015 pan am games colorful toronto sign was posted on the square and in a very short time become extremely popular so city council [located by the way right here on the square] decided to keep it permanently.

visit to the square from 2005 is recorded here.

next east york civic centre park, toronto

 
           
  Dundas Square, Toronto, map  
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Last time updated on August 28, 2019 12:14