Landscape architect Daniel O’Brien brings beauty to properties

The concept of a living, breathing building block design is not a new one. It was born in the 1800s with the famous works of Frederick Olmstead, who highlighted the beauty landscape design can make at such infamous estates as The Biltmore in North Carolina, Beechcroft in Roches Point and Central Park in New York City – not to mention his involvement in the establishment of a reservation at Niagara Falls.

Following in that tradition, Daniel O’Brien of Orillia’s PLANbyDESIGN architecture firm, is a registered landscape architect, co-founder and principal at the firm. With an extensive portfolio comprising public parks, trail and waterfronts, O’Brien is responsible for some of Ontario’s more iconic landscapes, ranging from public waterfronts to private estates.

A graduate of Fanshaw College’s Landscape Design program, O’Brien began his career as a teenager with a local landscaper, before moving on to a garden centre. After graduation he worked in Ottawa then Oshawa before venturing into his own business, opening the Port Perry-based Daniel J. O’Brien and Associates.

With this firm O’Brien undertook one of his most recognizable projects – the revitalization of Peterborough’s Palmer Park. O’Brien describes the specifications requested by the City of Peterborough as “challenging” as the park needed to reflect overlapping aspects of the City’s history with a blend of modern and rustic elements – which ultimately won the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects’ annual award.

O’Brien is, in fact, the recipient of two design awards, earning both Regional and National Honours – the highest recognition a landscape architecture project can receive in Canada. His knowledge of landscape design and construction techniques is unparalleled in the industry and his passion for blending the beauty one can create on their property is evident in the success of both PLANbyDESIGN and Daniel J. O’Brien and Associates.

Beechcroft, which is laid out in the English landscape style, still stands today. The grounds were design by Olmsted and the garden is believed to have been created about 1870 during the home’s occupancy by A.G.P Dodge of New York City.

Beechcroft, is a privately owned estate in Roche’s Point – a community on the eastern shore of Lake Simcoe.

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