181_Sarah Ives: McGill Architecture

Sarah Ives


From McGill Architecture (@mcgill_architecture)
Studio instructors: Prof Martin Bressani and Fabrizio Gallanti

The debris of Toronto’s past lies hidden within the artificial wilderness of The Leslie Street Spit. Since its inception in 1959, The Spit has served as a convenient dumping ground for demolished buildings, among them some of the city’s most treasured architectural artifacts. Over the years, this landfill has transformed into a natural landscape with luxuriant vegetation, wildlife, and even beaches. These two dimensions are kept separate by its cycle of use: during the day, sand and rocks are dumped as landfill, during evenings and weekends, the visitors and citizens of Toronto use it as a public park. As the site is more and more appreciated as a unique place far away from the bustle of the city, the discarded construction materials that have made this area unique are progressively banned from the site. I propose to reverse this tendency: rather than redirecting waste elsewhere, the project uses the artificial topography created by mounds of bricks, foam, concrete, woods, stone, and plastics towards artistic and didactic aims, making waste management a positive element within Toronto’s public realm. I wish to demonstrate that the seemingly undesirable can be transfigured into something beautifully provocative.