Cloud Gardens in Toronto
Cloud Gardens or "Bay Adelaide Gardens and the Cloud Forest Conservatory" is a small park in downtown Toronto. It is on Richmond Street just east of Bay Street on half an acre (2,000 m²) of land.
The site was given to the city in the 1980s as part of a deal that allowed the Bay Adelaide Centre to be higher than official plan limits. The developers thus gave a small portion of the lot to the city and spent $5 million to build a park.
The park is one of the more elaborate in Toronto. It was designed by a partnership of Baird, Sampson Neuert Architects, the MBTW Group/Watchorn Architects, and two artists, Margaret Priest and Tony Sherman. It won George Baird a Governor General's Architecture Award.
The western part of the park includes a network of pathways and is edged by cluster of trees around a semicircular lawn. The eastern portion is more elaborate with a series of walkways climbing past a waterfall. Rising above this area is a monument to Toronto's construction workers designed by Margaret Priest and constructed by the Building Trades Union. It comprises squares that each illustrate one of the building trades. Thus one shows a network of steel rebars, another, a cluster of wiring.
The namesake feature of the Gardens is a small greenhouse set to the cool and moist conditions of certain mountain ecologies. A walkway runs from the lower-level entrance to an upper-level exit by the waterfall. Occasionally, parkour teams of Toronto will train here.
- The Bay Queen Street
- Bay Adelaide Centre