Rosehill Reservoir Upgrades – Heritage Impact Assessment, Pavilion and Landscape

Rosehill Reservoir Upgrades – Heritage Impact Assessment, Pavilion and Landscape

As a sub-consultant to Associated Engineering, BSA provided a Heritage Impact Assessment for the Rosehill Reservoir site, one of Toronto’s first parks and later reservoir. This work informed subsequent landscape and architectural consultant services, including a sensitive landscape design and public pavilion along with heritage design directions for the existing Valve House and Access House.

Designed in close consultation with the local residents, the park features new cycling and pedestrian paths, a linear network of perimeter trees, a public washroom building, and shaded seating areas.

Heritage Impact Assessment

Brown and Storey Architects prepared a Heritage Impact Assessment Study for the Rosehill Reservoir site as part of Associated Engineering’s rehabilitation and retrofit work. The Rosehill Reservoir site has a rich history as a primary open air reservoir in the city of Toronto and later designed as a modernist park space and plaza on top of a covered structure.

Rosehill Reservoir. Source: City of Toronto Archives

The key when assessing the heritage aspect of the site is in reconciling all these historical iterations and coming up with a plan to both re-invent and preserve the prominent aspects of the site. The study was well received by the city and various heritage groups interested in the site and its recommendations were considered during construction. View the full report here.

Washroom Pavilion

Although the original washroom building from the 1960’s was not able to be preserved during the City’s rehabilitation work of the Rosehill Reservoir, the new washroom building pays homage to the original building with its upturned roof eaves. The washroom building also includes a water bottle refill station, expanded storage areas, and covered seating areas.

Perimeter Landscape

A variety of primarily native plants have been selected to provide a wide range of forage opportunities for pollinator species, inclusive of insectivores, frugivores and granivores. The new plantings enrich the ecosystem, provide a variety of spatial experiences throughout the seasons, and support wayfinding and circulation within the large urban park.

Centennial Monument and Water Feature

The rehabilitation work on the Rosehill Reservoir required the temporary removal of the Centennial Monument water feature. Brown and Storey’s Heritage Impact Assessment identified contextual priorities for reinstatement of the monument as follows:

  • continued association with the Rosehill Reservoir;
  • a formal, hard surfaced plaza that communicates the public value of the conserved elements;
  • a mounting that, through elevation and position, preserves the designed views of the sculpture from below and from the interior of the parabolic arch

Trellises, Benches, and Screens