Urban Ideas Competition to reconnect Toronto’s waterfront

ULI Toronto, a District Council of the Washington DC-based Urban Land Institute (ULI), is seeking entries for an ideas competition to reconnect Toronto’s Waterfront. Members of the public, architects, designers, planners, artists, students, and members of the development community are invited to submit visionary ideas or design proposals to reconnect the City of Toronto with its waterfront. ULI Toronto encourages bold ideas and practical solutions that address this longstanding conundrum for the City, and it is looking for local, regional and international participation.

A jury panel of well-known senior professionals with expertise in community building and land development will adjudicate and discuss submissions at an ideas competition awards event this spring. Jury panel names will be announced prior to the closing of registrations.

As a city, Toronto has become separated from its central waterfront. Over the years, numerous studies have been undertaken, and plans prepared, to “reclaim” Toronto’s waterfront. There have been plans to demolish the Gardiner Expressway, extend the PATH system to provide all-weather pedestrian access, extend the street grid, and to delineate view corridors to the harbour. In addition, extensive redevelopment of the waterfront has taken place, including Harbourfront and several residential and commercial projects. However, none of these appear to address the continuing issue of “reconnecting” the city and waterfront. Entrants are invited to the urban ideas competition to consider issues, such as community accessibility, multi-modal transit and infrastructure, natural environment, sustainability, walkability, intensification, the functionality of public and private spaces, land uses, public entertainment, cultural uses, open spaces and linkages, all-season uses, tourism, funding/feasibility, public art/private art, and public safety, among other important matters.

Entry is open to any potential participant, and not limited to design professionals.  Submissions by multi-disciplinary teams are encouraged. Anyone can participate, as long as the team lead is a ULI member. This is an open, international ideas competition with a purpose to gather ideas to stimulate discussion and to get the community at large to start thinking about the future of Toronto and its relationship to its waterfront. ULI Toronto is accepting ideas and proposals from abroad. There is no commitment to build the ideas. Entrants’ ideas will be showcased in a public location in downtown Toronto.

Registration and event details are found at http://toronto.uli.org/urban-ideas-competition.