When the City of Toronto decided to build a street-style skateboard park in Ashbridges Bay to serve the growing number of skateboard and BMX enthusiasts, Pine Valley Enterprises Ltd. brought in leading skateboard park designers Spectrum Skatepark Creations Ltd. and Architect LANDinc to create a uniquely original urban skate plaza that would provide a true street skating experience for beginners and seasoned pros alike.
Street plaza parks, a favourite choice for skateboarders, are designed to mimic and improve upon the raw urban skating experience; to simulate naturally existing in the streets, such as rails, ledges, stairs, banks and benches. The proposed 21,500 square foot park design for Ashbridges Bay was ambitious. It featured completely original, sculpturally complex and diverse hybrid shapes which populate the park, along with a distinctive mix of straight lines and two and three-dimensional curves on skating features such as the lilypad. The unique “never before done” elements needed to exploit the full spectrum of versatility concrete could offer. The designer, known for using harder, thicker concrete and more rebar than other skatepark builders, also needed to assure cost effectiveness and long-term durability. Finally, to minimize road rash or road burn inline skaters occasionally suffer regardless of skill level, the concrete surface needed to be a smooth as possible.
Ready mix company St. Marys CBM brought in 1,200 cubic meters of concrete to fulfill the cast-in-place skateboard park design specifications, and Kryton’s Hard-Cem® integral hardener was added to the concrete mix during batch operations.
The integral hardener provided immediate savings in labour, eliminated quality control issues and health risks associated with the traditional dry-shake methods of hardening concrete surfaces. Because it is integral, Hard-Cem® was compatible with horizontal, vertical or inclined concrete structures in the design. The cement additive provided the finished concrete product with a superior hardness, improved durability and increased abrasion resistance ensuring future generations of skateboard enthusiasts will continue to enjoy this unique park. The glassy, lasting concrete finish increases skater safety, because the low friction of the finished product allows a falling skater to slide harmlessly on the smooth surface.
Ashbridges Bay Skatepark’ progressive design and innovate solutions for better, more durable concrete will carry a whole generation of Toronto street skaters, and national and international visitors, into a creative, active, and imaginative future.
Kryton’s Hard-Cem® provides many advantages including full-depth concrete hardening, long-term economic value, superior uniform quality control, lower application costs and better occupational safety during construction. It outperforms and overcomes deficiencies of labor-intensive surface applied hardeners and is used to enhance durability of both air-entrained and non-air-entrained concretes. Since it is integral, Hard-Cem is compatible with horizontal, vertical or inclined concrete and shotcrete surfaces.
Owner: City of Toronto, Parks, Forestry & Recreation
Designer: Spectrum Skatepark Creations Ltd.
Engineer: Blackwell Bowick Partnership Ltd.
General Contractor: Pine Valley Enterprises Inc.
Ready Mix: St Marys CBM