Our Design for the new 229 Richmond Street West Park

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We are delighted to share our shortlisted design for a new park at 229 Richmond Street West, designed in collaboration with DTAH and Trophic Design!

Imagine a lush verdant garden in the heart of the city. Imagine it is nestled within a large, sculpted landform – an open palm sculpted in stone. The hand symbolizes the animism of the earth. In cradling the garden, it guides us to care for nature.

It is called Nookomis for this sense of caring guidance. In some Anishnaabe origin stories Nookomis fell from the moon to the earth and gave birth to the mother of the Anishnaabe people. Also associated with the moon, Nookomis is connected to all life on earth, and her gentle hand has long guided the Anishnaabe people in the cycles of life including planting, harvesting, hunting, gathering and ceremony.

Nookomis literally translates as “my grandmother.” The teachings of our grandparents occupy a privileged place in society.

Nookomis Garden is a physical manifestation of the gifts we are offered by the natural world – the stone of the earth, the waters, the soil and the plants that nourish us. Cradled within the hand, these features come together into a lush, dense forest planting. The surrounding mounds carry plantings found within the oak woodland native to these lands.

Nookomis Garden is meant as a meditation on “how to live the good life.” It is a place connected to its surroundings and accommodating of larger crowds, while offering opportunities for quiet contemplation in nature. It is a place for gathering, sharing stories, and honouring the gifts offered by the natural world.