When I was a kid, I was extremely shy. Joining a summer camp, trying to
make friends with 50 other kids was extremely intimidating to me. But the
summers spent at the Ontario Science Centre from when I was 7-9 were incredibly
joyous. The interactive exhibitions of bright lights, buttons, glass tanks and more,
allowed me to forget about my debilitating fear of making new friends. I could connect
with other kids over the feelings of discovery and wonder that the Science Centre helped incite.
What is beyond the science centre was something more mysterious. The building
itself is embedded into a portion of the Don Valley Ravines. But it was something
I did not understand as a kid. The few times we had lunch at the lookout, at the back of the building,
all we saw were the trees that lined the southeastern edge of ET Seaton Park.
My proposal for ET Seaton park, 48 hectares of hard to access and underused public grounds,
takes inspiration from my childhood. How do you compete with such a powerful presence as the
Ontario Science Center? The centre gives a beautiful view of the ravines from its windows and lookout,
but no way to enter it. What I am proposing will allow this park in the ravines to keep its shy elements:
its timid animals and its quiet reverie from the city.
With a new subway stop opening up just north of the Science Centre, this site will need
to serve a growing number of visitors. My design proposal introduces new infrastructure
and programming that can be replicable on sites along the ravine. These pathways will be
infrastructurally sound, and elevated so they are gentle touch-down points to the ground.
And they are all connected through properly designed entrance points.
New opportunities for recreation are introduced but my interventions will also protect
animals that use the parks as their habitat. A reforestation of the park will increase
wildlife habitat, act as a form of slope stabilization and help slow down storm-water runoff.
The new elevated pathway can even twist around the new trees that will be introduced on-site.
In this new vision for the park, you can also stumble on “shy moments”. You can wander upon
something that seems nonchalant at first, but it becomes something special. Moments where the
pathway turns into rocks you need to climb, that lead to branches you need to cross, in order to
find a clearing that reveals a White-Tailed Deer or singing Goldfinches.
A kid’s experience at the science centre is unforgettable. You can forget so many things
from your childhood, but with a proposal like mine, you will always remember that time you
spent at the Science Centre, both indoors and outdoors.