In Mississauga: a perfect park pavilion

Designed by Toronto-based CS&P Architects, the Pavilion at Community Common Park is located at the crossing of the primary walkways that traverse and border the green lawns of the park. As a central focus to the park, the pavilion functions both as a public washroom facility for the park’s users as well as an outdoor café-like setting for casual activity and social encounters. This is the final piece of the Mississauga Civic Square project, completed earlier this year. 

The design is intended to fulfill this dual purpose, as the central park focus, by creating an iconic, open and welcoming form, reversing the typical solid, bunker like qualities often associated with public washrooms, by employing glass as the primary building material.

The Pavilion features a variety of translucent, fritted, coloured, and semi-transparent clear glass exterior walls that facilitate visual openness and transparency of the less private functions of the washrooms such as those occurring in the hand wash and general circulation areas. This openness fosters an awareness of casual surveillance, thereby increasing the sense of personal safety for Pavilion visitors. The fritted glass, while creating a sense of privacy, also provides a patterned message of welcome, in all of the languages used by Mississauga’s citizens.

Taking cues from the pyramidal shaped grassed mounds of the park, the large projecting roof of the Pavilion is formed as an inverted pyramid that doubles as both a protective overhanging canopy and as a collector of rainwater which can be used to water the gardens.

The roof and its pergola portions provide areas of cover and shade for people seated at the café tables, taking in the activities of the park and surroundings. The slender columns canted at various angles to support the roof, add to the playful, delicate composition and uniqueness of the Pavilion, seen as a counterpoint to the solid, rectilinear geometry of the buildings which comprise the city fabric surrounding this neighbourhood park.


The structure features reflective white roofing, in conjunction with an integrated roof trellis, to lower surface temperatures and reduce the heat island effect within this city centre precinct.

Construction waste management has been maximized by using excavated material to build up the pyramidal forms within the lawn. Site disturbance was reduced with a minimal building footprint, providing for a fully accessible facility located at a key intersection of pedestrian connections, enhancing the urban infrastructure. The building also provides amenities such as public water, a seating terrace and bicycle storage.

Generous roof overhangs, in combination with continuous perimeter clerestory glazing, take advantage of passive solar energy for heating and shade for cooling. The generous glazing eliminates the need for artificial lighting during the daytime, while occupancy sensors provide lighting control during the evening.

Fossil fuel consumption is reduced through the use of electronic faucets and fixtures, in-floor radiant heating, high efficiency lighting and an Energy Recovery Ventilator, which recovers waste heat.

The interior finishes use durable materials, local concrete and partial raw materials for glazing and aluminum components. Green cleaning methods are used for maintenance and this is a smoke free facility.