A collaborative community project that transformed a disinvested space into a vibrant natural playground that became a catalyst in the community.
Before this project began, McCleary Playground was a site that was a popular late night hangout for nefarious activities. Upon partnering with ING Bank and the Mayor of Toronto, the Bienenstock team began working with the community to generate ideas and envision the transformation. The design centred around the creative reuse an ancient Siberian Elm that was in its final years of decline – the main trunk was turned upside down and the borders between each area were built from the limbs and the remaining trunk was carved into furniture for the community. During installation, the project partners coordinated over 500 volunteers to install the project. The end result was a beloved community space that not only became frequently used by the community and visitors, but it also increased property value of adjacent homes by 20.6% over the next 5 years.
7500 square feet
75 McGee St, Toronto, ON M4M 2L1