St. Patrick’s Park

Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Year: 1998

Client: St. Patrick’s Basilica & City of Montreal

Awards: 1998: Orange Prize – Urban Design Award from Save Montreal

1998: Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) President’s Award for Community Service

WAA’s challenge was to transform a parking lot, located at the bottom of a hill behind St. Patrick’s Basilica, into a public green space. The goal was to re-establish the physical relationship of the church façade to its urban environment and to create an urban garden respectful of the site’s history. The park’s design captures the genus loci of the site by integrating pathways that connect the lower road to the entrance of the church. Part of the park recreates a portion of the original garden located onsite designed by Frederick Todd, Canada’s first resident landscape architect, in the 1930s. Another part of the park features the exposed foundations of a hostel for Irish immigrants that once stood on the site. With careful excavation it was possible to remove the soil covering the walls. They are now used as benches and tables for urbanites who come to enjoy the greenery of St. Patrick’s Park in the heart of the city.