What’s Out There TORONTO

Founded by Charles Birnbaum, The Cultural Landscape Foundation (TCLF), is a Washington, DC-based non-profit organization that provides people with the tools to see, understand and value cultural landscapes and the designers, planners and landscape architects that help to create these places. Through its website, database, lectures, outreach programs and publishing, TCLF broadens the support and understanding for cultural landscapes throughout the US and now in Canada to assist Toronto in developing a strategy for protection of the cultural landscapes in Toronto.

TCLF’s What’s Out There (WOT) guides and the associated online database serve as a reference to cultural landscapes for the public, academics and professionals. The guides provokes interest, informs strewardship decisions, and enriches the collective understanding of our designed landscape history. In print and online, the WOT guides are a series of publications that serve as unique place-based model to the cultural landscapes of selected cities in North America.

UNESCO defines cultural landscapes as, combined works of nature and humankind that express a long and intimate relationship between peoples and their natural environment (UNESCO website). Cultural Landscapes provide a sense of place and identity; they map our relationship with the land over time; and they are part of our national heritage and each of our lives. They are sites associated with a significant event, activity, person or group of people.They range in size from thousands of acres of rural land to historic homesteads. They can be grand estates, farmlands, public gardens and parks, college campuses, cemeteries, scenic highways, and industrial sites. They are works of art, narratives of cultures, and expressions of regional identity (TCLF website).

Cultural landscapes are important because they are a legacy for everyone. They reveal aspects of our country’s origins and development as well as our evolving relationships with the natural world. It is important to protect cultural landscapes because neglect and inappropriate development put our irreplaceable landscape legacy increasingly at risk. (TCLF website). Ways in which cities develop today are sometimes governed by short-sighted decisions that threaten the survival and continuity of our shared heritage. Therefore, it is everyone’s responsibility to safeguard cultural landscapes to preserve histories of the past, present and future.

The final report from the graduate students can be viewed here: What’s Out There Toronto Guide.

The final report from the undergraduate students can be viewed here: What’s Out There Toronto Guide.


Graduate Students: Jake Garland, Katie Hickey, Melinda Holland, Nathan Jenkins, Julien Kuehnhold, Adam Sweanor, Anne Winter

Undergraduate Students: Samson Ahensan, Daniela DeGasperis, Aida Habibelahi, Daniel Marchesan, Arin Mardirossian, Ramiya Rajalingam, Arianna Rueda-Lascano, Curtis Shum, Deidre Tomlinson, Alessandro Valente, Katryna Vergis-Mayo