Queens Park in London, Ontario, Adds Green Terrace with Six New Trees

DeepRoot Silva Cells provide new plantings with enough soil volume for healthy tree growth for years to come


Situated along Dundas Street in the Old East Village neighborhood of London, Ontario, Queens Park underwent an upgrade in the summer of 2016. An expansive terrace was created between the Confederate Building and the park itself — complete with paved walking areas, planting strips, and visitor seating. The design team at Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture also incorporated green infrastructure into their promenade plans: six new trees were planted in the DeepRoot Silva Cell system, ensuring proper soil volume for healthy, mature root growth while also utilizing stormwater runoff to water the trees and reduce the amount of water entering the sewer system.

Installation Summary

Number of Silva Cells: 54 (2x)

Amount of Soil Volume Per Tree: 15 m3

Number of Trees: 6

Type of Project: Municipal/Government, Stormwater, Park

Project Designer: Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture

Project Contractor: Frank Van Bussel and Sons

Installation Date of Silva Cells: 2016

Map courtesy of Western Fair District London website.

The Project

Queens Park is one piece of a bustling puzzle of activity and events in the Old East Village neighborhood of London, Ontario. The Western Fair District in which the park sits encompasses a raceway, sports centre, restaurants, and the heritage Confederate Building: constructed in 1928 and home to farmers’ and artisans’ market gatherings every weekend.

A joint venture between the City of London, Western Fair District, and the Old East Village Business Association, a renovation of the park area was undertaken in 2016 with the purpose of offering a more engaging community space and providing connectivity to the various buildings and event hubs. The first element in this project was the creation of an inviting, walkable terrace adjacent to the Confederate Building and connecting to Queens Park along Dundas Avenue.

The design team at Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture envisioned a green space complete with ornamental grasses, blocks of shrubs, and planting strips complete with six new trees providing shade to visitors, workers, and pedestrians. To guarantee the trees were planted in adequate soil volume for mature, full-canopy growth, and to assist in stormwater treatment within the paved plaza area, project planners adopted the DeepRoot Silva Cell system.

DeepRoot Silva Cell Success

All six trees have their planter soil volume supplemented with a total of 54 (2x) Silva Cells, accessing 15 cubic meters in soil volume per tree. Given the spacing of the trees, with paved walkways and bench seating between them, it was somewhat challenging to lay out the Silva Cells underground — but once the arrangement puzzle was solved, with the help of project manager Michael James, the Silva Cell system connected the planters for a continuous soil volume and a healthy environment for flourishing, mature root growth.

Michael James also assisted Arthur Lierman and the design team by suggesting an additional stormwater benefit to the Silva Cell installation. Instead of using automatic irrigation, stormwater runoff from the terrace could be used not only to water the trees but also to reduce the amount of rainwater entering the local stormwater system. James worked with Arthur Lierman to slope the plaza areas from north to south so that they all drained into the adjacent planters to maximize runoff capture.

The plaza area is now a popular outdoor space for locals, complete with a growing tree canopy that offers shady respite to walkers and seated visitors alike, while also connecting Queen’s Park to the weekend markets hosted at the heritage Confederate Building.

Additional Resources

Check out the following case studies on other Ontario projects in Oakville and Etobicoke in Toronto.


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