Tommy Thompson Entrance Pavilion opens to the public

Just in time for bird migration season, DTAH unveils a new entranceway to the park on Toronto's Leslie Street Spit.

Designed by DTAH, the new Tommy Thompson Park Entranceway and Pavilion project establishes a serviced park entrance at the popular Leslie Street Spit in Toronto. The design includes an improved parking lot, shuttle bus turnaround, and the development of a new public pavilion and outdoor interpretive area.

Photo courtesy of DTAH

The site builds upon previous designs by Montgomery Sisam in 2013, who designed a Staff Booth, Environmental Shelter, and Bird Research Station. It respects the existing Master Planning of the site, as well as the way that existing architectural interventions commissioned by the Toronto Region Conservation Authority have been implemented.

Photo courtesy of DTAH

Designed by DTAH, the new entrance facilities seek to demonstrate best practices in low-impact development by establishing a parking lot knit into its natural setting, structured with landscaped berms and bioswales to support stormwater management, habitat expansion and visual screening strategies.

“This is home base now,” says architect Megan Torza of Toronto-based architecture, landscape architecture and urban design firm DTAH. “The folks that are walking can come through what we call a ‘tabletop’: an elevated roadbed just beyond the pavilion. That tabletop can also be transformed into an event space for the bird migration festival, the butterfly festival, and the other programs run by the city and the TRCA.”

Photo courtesy of DTAH

Stretching five kilometers into lake Ontario and encompassing 250 hectares, Tommy Thompson Park’s new pavilion was created to be vandal-proof, low maintenance, and equally useful for a large group of schoolchildren or a small group of birdwatchers.

DTAH – project lead, architecture and landscape architecture
FaetLab – structural engineering
Thomas A. Fekete Limited – mechanical and electrical engineering
SCS Consulting – civil engineering and stormwater management
LEA Consulting Limited – traffic and transportation consulting
SMART Watering Systems – irrigation consultants