Designers aim to transform Toronto intersections with art installations


TORONTO – The Bentway, in partnership with the City of Toronto, Waterfront BIA and Toronto Downtown West BIA, is hosting a design competition dubbed Waterfront ReConnect that aims to create immersive installations at two key intersections along the Gardiner.

In August 2021, The Bentway called on professional Canadian artists and designers to develop creative interventions that reinvent the experience of two key intersections under Gardiner for pedestrians and cyclists: York Street and Simcoe Street.

Six design teams from across the country were selected to enter the competition.

A winning proposal for each intersection will be selected by a jury and built in 2022. These demonstration projects will serve as pilot projects, testing experimental and innovative approaches, a statement said, adding that they will remain in place until the Gardiner highway be rehabilitated in this area between 2025-2028.

The descriptions of the facilities are as follows:

York Street Intersection

  • Future Forest by without fashion + zeidler: Drawing inspiration from the changing relationship with the natural environment in cities, Future Forest envisions what it would mean to re-designate the Gardiner Highway as a productive, constructive and environmental investment for the city as a whole through planting and maintaining Gardiner’s own native forest. .
  • Waking the Shore by LeuWebb Projects + DIALOG + Mulvey & Banani Lighting: Reflecting the city’s unique relationship with Lake Ontario, the place’s deep histories, and the broader journey to a more sustainable, humane and ecologically just future, Walking the Shore features sculptural forms of rising waves, kinetic wind chimes and solar lights under the Gardiner.
  • Boom Town by 5468796 Architecture Inc .: Inspired by the ongoing transformation of the Gardiner Freeway and the ubiquitous presence of equipment deployed to inspect and maintain the overhead structure, Boom Town is a theatrical reinvention of the waterfront walkway that brings a group of playful characters to life and enlivens the space with personality.

Intersection of Simcoe Street

  • Pixel Story by O2 Planning & Design Inc. + Mulvey & Banani Lighting + ENTUITIVE: Referencing the multitude of vantage points and scales at which to view the highway, Pixel Story incorporates orientation for various distances, speeds, and modalities through visual cues that showcase the waterfront attractions and experiences of both. sides of the Gardiner, prompting visitors to move forward or pause to observe.
  • Patina of Life by Daily Tous Les Jours + SvN Architects + Town planners + Lateral: Patina of Life is a work of art that reintegrates nature as part of the daily experience of the city and offers a series of interactive routes, each made up of a framework of vital modules that combine to surround pedestrians.
  • Fragments of a House by SOCA + Tiffany Shaw-Collinge + SHEEEP: Oscillating between the private and public spaces of domestic life, Fragments of a Home presents a catalog of architectural memes and follies that invite open associations of comfort to passers-by, while extending an understanding of “home” beyond the individual to expand our collective relationship around security, connection with a changing environment.

To learn more about the proposals, visit

To register and watch the presentations, visit

To complete the online survey, visit


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