MONTREAL — Claude Cormier, founding principal of Claude Cormier & Associes Landscape Architecture and Urban Design, passed away Sept. 15 at the age of 63.
The landscape architect is the creative force behind some of Montreal and Toronto’s most loved public squares and urban parks such as Place d’Youville and Dorchester Square, the Pink Balls and their 18 Shades of Gay, Clock Tower Beach, the Ring at Place Ville-Marie, HtO Urban Beach, Sugar Beach, Berczy Park, Love Park, indicates a post on the company’s website.
Cormier died from complications from Li-Fraumeni Syndrome, a rare genetic condition that predisposes carriers to multiple cancers.
“A great lover of the city, of culture, and of art, Claude truly blazed a new trail in landscape architecture with poetic, inspiring, and uplifting work that challenged the modernist orthodoxy of public space, all the while remaining practical and appreciated in a popular context,” states the firm’s website. “He invited people to laugh, to come together, to see things differently.”
Cormier’s career began in the early 1990s with landscape art installations. Over the years, Cormier has been invited worldwide to present dozens of lectures featuring the firm’s work and design approach.
In order to give back to the community, Cormier bestowed a major gift to the University of Toronto in 2020: the Claude Cormier Award in Landscape Architecture to support creative excellence and bolster landscape architecture recognition.
A major retrospective entitled Serious Fun: The Landscapes of Claude Cormier by Marc Treib and Susan Herrington, was published in 2021, highlighting the importance and uniqueness of his work.
The recent renaming of his firm of 15 professionals to CCxA marked the passing of the torch to his long-standing collaborators: Sophie Beaudoin, Marc Hallé, Guillaume Paradis and Yannick Roberge.