2015 Premier's Awards of Excellence in Design

Landscape Architecture    


Award of Excellence

Crosby Hanna & Associates

River Landing Riverfront Phase Two, Saskatoon SK

The Phase Two Riverfront is the upstream/westward extension of the Phase One Riverfront completed in 2010. This premiere riverfront property was a long neglected, hostile, contaminated and underdeveloped linkage from Victoria Park. The completion of the South Downtown Concept Plan in 2004, and the consolidation of backshore lands under City of Saskatoon control, facilitated the preparation of a long term master plan in 2005. River Landing Riverfront required multiple construction contracts, and involved complex design, approval and implementation processes.

The site has been transformed into a pleasant urban riverfront which is vital, animated, safe and comfortable; a site which engages community pride and excites visitors; a site which integrates the urban fabric with the river valley.

Project Goals
• to create a connection along the river, and between backshore lands and the river, by enhancing access to the riverbank and establishing a focal point for riverbank activities
• To resolve complex technical, environmental and jurisdictional approvals including remediation of brownfield site conditions
• to provide a unique identity which firmly establishes a sense of place

Project Challenges
• establishing a stable riverbank without negative hydrotechnical or aquatic habitat impact
• provision of a variety of functional areas and focal points with broad appeal, including stabilizing the former Pumphouse for future commercial tenancy
• devising practical construction methods in response to random, contaminated fill conditions
• rationalizing design grades to balance pedestrian circulation patterns, emergency access to critical urban infrastructure and landscape setting
• complex planting and irrigation program to strengthen site characteristics with acceptable management implications
• provision of a subtle and effective lighting
• material selection for durability and appropriate character

Award of Excellence

Stantec Consulting Ltd / Gordon Forsyth & Associates

South East Park, Saskatoon SK

South East Park (Donna Birkmaier Park and Hyde Park) is a beautiful open space serving the recreational needs of the surrounding neighbourhoods, as well as providing interpretive opportunities related to the natural wetlands.

Design Objectives
An overall Landscape Master Plan was prepared to guide landscape development of the parks and open spaces surrounding the ponds. We also prepared detailed design drawings, and provided construction supervision and contract administration services.

A previous storm water management plan (by others) provided the framework for the storm water components, including five retention ponds and natural/man-made wetlands. The Landscape Master Plan was developed in consultation with the public, land developers and other stakeholders, including the school boards, Ducks Unlimited Canada and the Saskatoon Wildlife Federation.

The majority of the landscape is naturalized, using predominantly native species. Existing natural bluffs are preserved. Recreational facilities include an extensive 10 km pathway system, nature education/interpretive facilities, sports fields, play area, BMX area, off-leash dog run, and a toboggan hill.

Constraints and Challenges
Construction was phased over five years starting in 2008 at the cost of $5.6 million. One of the challenges was to secure enough money for construction. Funding for the project came from adjacent land development.

The landscape construction was coordinated with the construction of the storm water ponds. Today the pathway and recreational facilities are popular with area residents, and the ponds and wetlands are teeming with waterfowl.

Honourable Mention

Meewasin Valley Authority

Meewasin Northeast Swale Master Plan, Saskatoon SK