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Birch Cliff Quarry Lands in Scarborough, ON

A case study on Child-Friendly Participatory Design in the redevelopment of urban spaces. 

Children visiting the Quarry Lands development site
Top image caption: Credit: Blantyre Public School

An exciting transformation is happening on an abandoned quarry in Toronto’s east end. The Birch Cliff Quarry Lands, a well-loved community green space, is being redeveloped into a mix of public parks and housing. Evergreen is bringing forward the voices of children to the park consultation process in partnership with Diamond Kilmer Developments, the City of Toronto and the students at Blantyre Public School.

A map of the proposed plan for the school grounds

Working closely with design and child-friendly engagement specialists from Trophic Design and Recreate Place, students from Grade 1 – 8 participated in a series of workshops and collaborative brainstorming sessions. The specialists spent time reflecting on the students' perspectives and priorities for the park, and also gathered information from the wider community. This input informed the specialists' ideas for a child-friendly park, focusing on nature and accessibility for all park users.

Their recommendations and concepts can be seen in the video below.

Evergreen led curriculum-connected workshops for Blantyre teachers. These fun and interactive capacity-building experiences served to deepen relationships within the community, provided meaningful input into the design of the park, and helped raise awareness about the benefits of engaging children in city planning processes.

To learn how we build better community planning processes by integrating child and youth voices contact Heidi Campbell at hcampbell@evergreen.ca.

Want to learn more about child-friendly participatory design? Explore these stories:

Design and child-friendly engagement specialists supporting the Quarry Lands project:

Trophic Design is an aboriginally owned and operated landscape architectural practice with the overarching goal is to work with communities, clients, and consultants to create meaningful and authentic places that sustain life.

Recreate Place provides strategic planning, facilitation, design services, and activation support for communities engaging with children and youth to create more resilient and connected neighbourhoods.