Spacing magazine launches thinkToronto competition

Spacing magazine invites people 35 years old or younger with creative ideas on how to improve Toronto’s public space to take part in thinkToronto, an urban design ideas competition that will help celebrate the magazine’s 5th anniversary in December 2008. Architects, urban planners, landscape architects, designers, artists of all disciplines, students, and the urban curious are all encouraged to submit their plans to tweak, improve, or redesign streetscape elements and specific areas of Toronto.

thinkToronto seeks ideas from the next generation of city builders who want to challenge how we view Toronto’s public realm. The competition gives participants a platform to explore and experiment with Toronto’s urban landscape and generate a dialogue among Torontonians about creative and sustainable solutions in our shared common spaces. Submitting your ideas to thinkToronto allows your work to be seen by thousands of Spacing readers. The magazine attracts up to 40,000 readers per issue.

All entries must be located in Toronto’s public realm. This includes existing or potential public spaces or sites, including parks, public squares, streets, traffic circles, plazas, ravines, waterfront, bus loops, boulevards, sidewalks, laneways, and greenways. Spacing is not interested in public places on private property like shopping malls, stores, libraries, or bars.

Whenever possible, consider how to make your submission unique to Toronto. There are three types of categories, and visual examples for each category are provided on the website.

Streetscape Elements
Redesign or propose new pieces of infrastructure or street furniture that dot the roads and sidewalks of Toronto.

Specific Area Design
Address a problem or challenge that is located in a specific area or neighbourhood of Toronto.

General Entry
Submissions can be of anything that is located in Toronto’s public realm. Some examples could be a new cultural building, plans to redesign an intersection, a new way to irrigate street trees, a new form of mass transit, or a new park.

If you are unsure if your idea fits into the competition, just e-mail or call Spacing at 416.644.1017.

The following people are confirmed members of the thinkToronto jury: Christopher Hume, Toronto Star urban affairs columnist; Margie Zeidler, principal of Urbanspace Property Group; Michael McClelland, principal of ERA Architects; Pamela Robinson, assistant professor of Urban Planning, Ryerson University; and Amanda Mitchell, editor of re:place magazine. A variety of city builders will be added to the jury list throughout the spring and summer of 2008.

The submission deadline is Friday, August 29, 2008. Entrants must be residents of Canada, and 35 years or younger. Individuals or groups of up to three people can submit an entry, and there is no limit to the number of entries a participant can submit. There is no fee to enter, and a winner from each category will be awarded with cash prizes that Spacing is seeking from sponsors. A gallery exhibit will follow the competition.

For more information, please visit