Lafarge Products Give Mount Pleasant Village an Artistic Flourish
Nicknamed the Flower Town of Canada, Brampton, Ontario, earned the title in the1860s from a greenhouse industry that blossomed into a global export business after the Grand Trunk Railroad built a station there in 1856.
Nestled in the northwest corner of Brampton, the neighborhood of Mount Pleasant also prospered from expanded transportation when a GO Transit station built there in 2006 added train lines and bus routes to Toronto and Hamilton in Southern Ontario.
One result is Mount Pleasant Village, a residential, retail, transit, and civic development within Mount Pleasant designed to encourage residents to walk, ride bikes, and use trains. "This is a complex project and has many aspects and a rather large number of contributors," says Alex Taranu, manager of urban design for Brampton. "There is the square, landscape, and public art. There is also the cultural amenity complex, the general built form of the area, transit-oriented development, heritage aspects, and of course the broader planning and urban design aspects."
At the core of Phase 1 of the project is a civic center, village square, and mobility hub, as well as an elementary school, public library, recreation center, athletic field, playgrounds, park areas, and a reflecting pond/ice rink. Residential neighborhoods tucked around the civic square and mobility hub offer condos, townhomes, and lots for sale.
Lafarge North America supplied concrete for the walkway that circles the pond. "The products used are a customized blend of ArteviaTM Colour black granite stone, black granite sand, and a customized black walkway colour," says Georgina Fargiorgio, sales representative for the Lafarge Ready Mix Division. "The path has an exposed finish to capture the reflective properties of the combination of these products." ArteviaTM Colour is concrete saturated throughout with colour so designs and patterns will not fade.
"The walkway was finished with a saw-cut pattern to create a boardwalk effect," adds Fargiorgio. "The pond also contains ArteviaTM Premium Brownstone, which is a neutral earth tone that blends with the rest of the landscape."
Lafarge provided concrete used in the construction of the library, school, and for multicoloured village square surfaces that were textured with Artevia PrintTM, a process that imprints concrete using molds that create stone, slate, slab, or brick patterns.
"My customer, UCC Group, placed and finished the concrete," says Fargiorgio. "They did a tremendous job." UCC Group is a provider of integrated, specialty site-work construction services with regional offices in Toronto, Vancouver, and Orlando.
A focal point of the project is a reconstructed 1902 Canadian Pacific Railroad (CPR) station, rescued by Brampton Historical Society members who dismantled the structure by hand. The station has been expanded as a cultural facility with community meeting rooms. The building is directly tied to Brampton's Flower Town heritage as the export point for millions of flowers from local greenhouses, and serves as poignant reminder of the departure and return of soldiers in both world wars.
In the complex, public art themes by Ron Baird celebrate Mount Pleasant as a transit-oriented community. A full-size Ghost Train sculpture portrays a steam engine of the type that chugged through Brampton in the 1800s, and three large sculptural panels memorialize the railroad as a significant historic element in the early development of Brampton.
The transit mobility hub features station stops and passenger amenities, Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), and transit enhancements at intersections, bus layovers, sheltered passenger areas, a clock tower, and bike storage areas.
"The residential developer is Mattamy Homes while the transit amenities and square have been developed by the city, with the cultural amenities and school complex developed jointly by the city and the Peel District School Board," says Taranu. "From the city's perspective, the square, mobility hub, and cultural amenities are completed. From the developer's perspective the first phase is being completed and was sold out in June. We are expecting a planning application for the second phase soon."
That second phase will offer expanded pedestrian access to transit services; an increase of green space from 7 percent to 17 percent; additional retail and commercial establishments; schools and places to worship; and gateways, trails, paths, and parks connecting the community with existing and future neighborhoods.