Schollen & Company Inc. is delighted to announce that the UTSC Valley Land Trail project has been published in the Landscape Architecture Foundation’s award-winning Landscape Performance Series ! This unique online database now includes over 160 exemplary landscape projects with quantified environmental, social, and economic benefits.
The impact of UTSC Valley Land Trail was assessed and documented through LAF’s innovative Case Study Investigation (CSI) program, a unique research collaboration involving faculty researchers, designers, and students.
The Highland Creek valley is a defining feature of the University of Toronto Scarborough Campus (UTSC), affording opportunities for passive recreation and an experience of nature for students, faculty and the wider community, and serving as a “living laboratory” for teaching and research. Schollen & Company Inc. was retained by UTSC to design and oversee the implementation of a fully-accessible trail to provide people of all ages and abilities with the opportunity to access the Highland Creek valley from the core of the campus. The 600m long serpentine trail was designed with cantilevered boardwalks that “float” above the forest floor, resulting in an experience of the tree canopy that is fully accessible to all. The trail and boardwalk segments descend from the UTSC into the natural ravine environment, providing a critical connection between the campus and a vast expanse of parkland and the Highland Creek trail system.
The project included habitat enhancements to benefit the diversity of species that are native to the area. The design of the trail included technically innovative solutions, including three boardwalks that are elevated to match the height of the canopy of the existing mature trees and to address the geological and physiological characteristics of the ravine system.
The project resulted in the creation of a state-of-the-art, fully-accessible trail connection between the campus and valley that the media has described as “breathtaking”, and a “new landmark” within the City of Toronto.