Downsview Park, Toronto, Ontario
Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment Limited (MLSE)
Park & Recreation Design
With the vision of providing an opportunity for the most talented, committed and dedicated soccer players in Canada to receive advanced coaching instruction, in early 2011 MLSE announced their plans for the construction of TFC Academy. Influenced by the model of European soccer clubs such as AFC Ajax and their training grounds known as “The Future”, MLSE was determined to develop a world class facility. The MBTW Group was successfully selected as the Sport Field Design Consultant and Landscape Architect to develop a dynamic Master Plan that supported their goals and programming needs.
Located at Downsview Park, the Master Plan for TFC Academy was based on a campus approach. The academy building is at the heart of the facility acting as a central hub for all academy activities. An “Arrival Lawn”, complete with player drop-off and a dedicated pedestrian circulation path from the parking area, frames the east side of the building. To the west, the “Academy Green” offers an open lawn area for flexible programming including passive recreation, outdoor classrooms and special event programming. A tree lined “Academy Walk” runs along the south side of the building providing easy and direct access to the new major field facilities.
The major fields (four in total) are designed for program flexibility and extended use. Fields #1 and #2 are natural turf fields that incorporate the same state of the art underground drainage system used at BMO Field. These fields and their surrounds are designed perfectly flat so that they can be combined into one large training surface. Field #3 is a natural turf field with standard sub-drainage. This field is enclosed on three sides by extensive, undulating earth mounds to offer a training area with relief from local winds. Field #4 is a synthetic turf field system utilized extensively in Europe. The turf infill is an organic mixture of cork and coconut fibers that is 100% recyclable. This field is designed to incorporate an air-supported dome structure to allow for year-round use.