Blog February 6, 2013
Remembering Michael Hough
Those of us who love cities and nature lost a great friend in Michael Hough—a renowned landscape architect and one of Canada’s best.
Michael passed away on January 25, 2013, in his 84th year.
Described by his family as a “maverick landscape architect, environmentalist, author, teacher, artist and musician,” Michael was a friend and mentor to many. His work inspired many of those involved in landscape restoration in Toronto and throughout Canada. Michael founded the Department of Landscape Architecture at U of T in 1965, and was a long-time inspiration to the many students he taught as professor of Environmental Studies at York University.
Michael’s most noteworthy commissions as a landscape architect included Ontario Place, Scarborough College, the University College Quad and Earth Sciences Courtyards at U of T, as well as numerous pioneering applications of ecologically based landscape design. A winner of the City of Toronto Arts Award for Architecture and Design, Michael believed that cities need nature and he wrote about this in his books, including City Form and Natural Process.
Michael cared passionately about the Don Valley Brick Works site, and visited the area frequently, as it was a short walk from his Toronto home. He was the lead author of the Don Valley Brick Works master plan, completed in 1990, and he was also involved in a number of follow-up studies, including some for Evergreen Brick Works. The amazing Don Valley Brick Works Park, which includes the Weston Family Quarry Garden, is one of many enduring projects that will forever reflect his passion and expertise.
Michael was also the lead author of Bringing Back the Don, the 1991 plan for the Lower Don, which won many awards and has since been implemented to a large degree by citizens, the City and TRCA.
A number of Evergreen staff benefited greatly under Michael’s guidance—in the early 1990s he influenced Evergreen’s early mission and vision in ways that are still relevant today.
To describe Michael, former Toronto Mayor David Crombie perhaps put it best: “He loves cities, he loves nature, he insists on a link between the two, and he’ll tell you, every day if you ask him, that the regeneration of one is the salvation of the other.”
We will miss Michael but his work will live on.