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Canadian landscape architect Claude Cormier, designer of public spaces, dies at 63

Claude Cormier, a celebrated Canadian landscape architect who helped design some of Montreal and Toronto’s best-known public spaces, has died at 63.

His firm, Claude Cormier + Associés, said Cormier died Friday in Montreal following complications from Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that predisposes carriers to multiple cancers.

His firm describes Cormier as the creative force behind some of Canada’s most joyous and critically acclaimed public spaces, including Toronto’s

Berczy Park dog fountain, and the canopy of multicoloured plastic balls that hung for years above Montreal’s Village district.

His work ranged from high-traffic plazas such as Montreal’s Place d’Youville and Dorchester Square, to the brightly coloured umbrellas of Montreal’s Clock Tower Beach and Toronto’s Sugar Beach.

His final big projects were a 30-metre suspended steel hoop in downtown Montreal dubbed ‘The Ring,” and Toronto’s heart-shaped Love Park — both of which are described as love letters to Cormier’s favourite cities.

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Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said on X, formerly known as Twitter, that news of Cormier’s passing came as a shock and is an immense loss.

“Claude was a visionary, a builder and a great Montrealer,” she wrote in French. “His architectural work is a legacy that will remain in our memories forever.”

The obituary says he is survived by his mother, sister, brother, nieces and nephew, as well as many colleagues and friends.

— With files from Global News’ Annabelle Olivier

&copy 2023 The Canadian Press

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