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The Foundry in The Globe and Mail 2018

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The Foundery in the Globe and Mail

From throwaway land to tiny civic square—How a nondescript building on a major street was transformed to include a neighbourhood green space.

Dave LeBlanc—For almost two years, Toronto has been abuzz with talk of Rail Deck Park. Floating over the railway lands from the Rogers Centre to Bathurst Street, this engineering marvel has an estimated price tag of $1.7-billion. And, mired in studies and controversy over land rights, that price will surely swell.

While I’m all for this grand urban space — especially if money were available to buy a Cloud Gate equivalent sculpture — I fantasize about what would happen if 10,000 private landowners split that money to create tiny, neighbourhood green space.

An example exists just north of Bathurst and Dundas Streets, thanks to architect-sculptors Adam and Katja Thom, who co-founded Agathom. “As a Dane,” says Ms. Thom, her accent softened by decades in North America, “the most important part of our built environment is what we occupy every day, and this is bringing joy and a sense of community to a space that did not have that. … It is exactly what the city needs.”