Lake Effect: Architects Respond to our Access to Water

This exhibition at the Architecture at Harbourfront Gallery in Toronto features the work of North Design Office, Public Work, Victoria Taylor Landscape Architect, and a visual arts installation by Labspace Studio.

Patrick Macaulay, curator of the exhibition and Director of Visual Arts at Harbourfront Centre, has this to say:

We have a unique opportunity in 21st-century Toronto to truly define our urban connection to the natural beauty and benefit of the waterfront of Lake Ontario. The lake has always played a major role in Toronto; it determined how the city was established and how it developed.

 With the departure of large-scale lake-adjacent industries, all that remains are the empty husks of infrastructures—ghosts of Toronto’s past. The debate is ongoing about how best to revitalize our waterfront. Of the many imperative matters at stake is the issue of public access to the water’s edge.

Lake Effect explores the issue of access to Lake Ontario, while considering the larger debate about all rights of access to coastal waters, lakes and waterways throughout our country. With the growing number of large-scale developments being built at a staggering rate along the waterfront, there needs to be a long-range vision and commitment to public access to shorelines. It is becoming more difficult to experience and savour this cherished destination. Developers and the City have an obligation to approach conciliation between urban development and dedicated public right of access if everyone is to enjoy the Lake Effect.

The exhibition runs from June 21 to September 14, 2014. For more information, please visit

As part of the Lake Effect architecture exhibition, from 8:00pm to 10:00pm on opening night – Friday, June 20, 2014 – a Canoe Picnic Party at Harbourfront (235 Queens Quay) promises fun and frolic for free! Join Labspace Studio in the spirit of community and canoe culture as they celebrate the connection to the waterfront over a slightly absurd canoe picnic party in the Natrel Pond. Canoes and picnic provided, but arrive early, as canoes are limited. For more information on the Canoe Picnic Party, please visit

Additionally, Harbourfront Centre unveils a multitude of other summer exhibitions on opening night, Friday, June 20, 2014. These include: A Bridge Not Far: China; Locale; Under Advisement; Make Me Ever Ready; INSTIGATOR(S); NO FLAT CITY: Toronto’s Incomparable Terrain; and Ontario Square: Landing Under Water. For more information on these exhibitions, please visit