Stratford Market Square Urban Design Competition Open House

The Stratford Market Square Design Competition is hosting a public open house to view submissions to the competition. The public will be able to review all design submissions and provide input to the competition jury at a public open house prior to the final judging of the competition on September 20, 2006 from 10:00am to 4:00pm and on September 21 from 4:00pm to 8:00pm at Stratford City Hall Auditorium in Ontario.

The winning design will be announced at a press conference on September 27, 2006 at 3:00pm, also at Stratford City Hall Auditorium. The winning submission will receive a cash prize of $3,000 and will be recommended to Stratford City Council for implementation. An honourable mention will receive a cash prize of $1,000.

To date, international students, professional designers, architects and planners have submitted over 40 urban design proposals for the Market Square site. The objectives of the design competition are to stimulate imaginative architectural and urban design proposals that respond to the Stratford Market Square’s context, constraints and opportunities; to achieve design excellence and to improve the downtown core of the City of Stratford.

George Baird, Dean of the Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto is the chairperson of the competition jury. Professor Baird is a partner in the Toronto-based architecture and urban design firm Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc. Professor Baird leads a jury consisting of design and planning professionals, and local community members:

Dan Leeming, Principle, The Urban Planning Partnership, Adjunct Professor, University of Guelph School of Landscape Architecture
Eleanor Kane, Co-owner, The Old Prune Restaurant, former chair Gallery Stratford Board, former member, Stratford Festival Board of Directors
Tom Orr, Broker, Orr Insurance. Past Chair of the Stratford Historical Society, Stratford Perth Historical Archives and Past Chair, Stratford Festival Board of Directors
Karen Hammond, Lecturer & Admissions Officer, University of Waterloo School of Planning.

Stratford’s Market Square is an historically significant and physically intact, legible, urban space that is presently under-utilized. Located adjacent to City Hall, it has a distinctive form, a trilateral space, produced by three historic trade routes and the intersection of three 18th- and 19th-century survey grids. Market Square is a prominent part of Stratford’s downtown heritage conservation district.

Renewed interest in the future of Market Square arose due to a Transit Study that recommended the location of a permanent transit terminal in the Square. Because to the far-reaching impact such a decision would have on the downtown core, Stratford’s City Centre Committee initiated a community engagement process.

Public feedback gained through a series of visioning sessions and an open house event indicated a clear consensus that the current usage of the Square is not appropriate, and alternative visions need to be considered. The Market Square Advisory Committee, a committee of Stratford City Council, was formed to host a design competition to solicit concepts from design professionals.

For more information about the Stratford Market Square Design Competition, please visit