One of Toronto's most gorgeous parks is getting a fancy new visitor centre
A trip to the majestic Rouge National Urban Park will soon be a bit more hospitable thanks to a proposed new visitor centre at the entrance to the sprawling natural attraction.
After the location of the centre was announced in 2019 and a trio of design concepts went public in 2021, Parks Canada has finally applied with the City of Toronto to create a new "leading-edge net-zero carbon building" to welcome and educate visitors entering the park.
The new park amenity is planned near the site of the current Parks Canada Welcome Centre, an attractive but quaint tent-like structure made of wood and canvas, providing a somewhat unceremonious welcome to such a grand natural asset.
Plans specify that the existing welcome structure would not be demolished, but instead relocated.
It would be replaced with the proposed new welcome centre's sleek design from legendary Canadian firm Moriyama & Teshima Architects working with Two Row Architect, an Indigenous-owned and operated firm from the Six Nations reserve in southern Ontario.
The welcome centre is planned as much more than just the typical reception area, and though it will include standard offerings like washrooms and a gift shop, it is also set to house a multi-purpose event space, an Indigenous-inspired learning space, a café, and a mix of storage and office space for Parks Canada staff.
Parks Canada expects construction to begin in 2023, with a grand opening tentatively scheduled for Summer 2025.
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