Imagining Hope: Integrating Shelter and Services in Toronto’s Moss Park
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The winter of 2018 was particularly harsh and its ramifications were evident in the vulnerable homeless populations around Toronto. There is a shortage of accommodations in shelters especially in freezing temperatures and there is also a challenge of integrating people at risk and those from various backgrounds in society. One approach to meeting this challenge has been written by Ivan Illich in his book, Tools for Conviviality, where he defines “conviviality” as activities and tools that help individuals. With the goal of helping the community and applying conviviality as a principle to actors in both natural and social realms of Moss Park in Toronto, the proposal involves redesigning the park and buildings as a series of different health care, extended learning, employment support, emergency shelter, and recreation facilities that integrate the exterior landscape as treatment, teaching, and recreation areas. In other words, the proposal links services with access to park space. This landscape is not only an important space for the homeless community but also the rest of the neighbourhood. The thesis proposes that the federal government relocates the current armoury, as it is an obsolete building while acknowledging and maintaining the armoury’s contribution to the community as an emergency shelter over the past two decades. This key contribution is translated into an inter-governmental and multi-service complex through the use of shared facilities, flexible spaces, topographic manipulations, and indoor-outdoor connections. Since the neighbourhood is an underserved area, the new design develops not just a new facility, but also one of interrelated services, which are multi-functional and completely integrated into the park because combining the different services destigmatizes them and allows them to be more a part of the public realm. This thesis proposes a new design for Moss Park through examining how “park buildings”, interconnected buildings and parks, can foster empowering relationships that create a supportive public realm.
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Xiao Wen Xu (2018). Imagining Hope: Integrating Shelter and Services in Toronto’s Moss Park. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/13290