Toronto King Street Experiment


Via: Canadian Architect

The City of Toronto is proud to announce the winners of the Everyone is King: Design Build Competition and the installation of the public spaces and patios along the King Street Transit Pilot.

Almost 30 activations will be installed along King Street between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets to add to the vibrancy of the street. The rollout of these installations has begun and most will be completed by the end of May, weather permitting. Most of the installations will remain for the duration of the transit pilot.

“This is another sign that King Street is open for business and ready for summer,” said Mayor John Tory. “I encourage all Toronto residents and visitors to come down to King Street to see these public spaces, enjoy the patios and support local businesses.”

Earlier this year, the City held a design build competition called Everyone is King to seek out design ideas for the public spaces. The winners of that competition are listed below.

Seen below, the first winning project to be installed was a parklet called Face to Face/Tête à Tête. This installation was designed by PLANT Architect Inc. in collaboration with Oriole Landscaping Ltd. It is located on the north side of King Street East between Victoria and Toronto Streets. Face to Face/Tête à Tête is the first of two destination parklets to be installed.

Credit: PLANT Architect Inc.

A parklet is a durable, accessible seating area or green space placed adjacent to a sidewalk in the curb lane. Two parklets will be installed.

The second parklet, called King Street Causeway, was designed and built by IBI Group in collaboration with PCL Construction. It will be installed today, weather permitting, in the west end of the King Street Transit Pilot area in the Entertainment District.

King Street Causeway. Credit: IBI Group

A number of public space activations will also roll out this month. Everyone is (a) Kid has been installed adjacent to David Pecaut Square, and Watch Your Step!, Woggle Jungle and King’s Buried Treasure will soon welcome visitors to King Street.

The public spaces to be installed on King Street include:
• Two durable destination parklets (selected from the design build competition)
• 10 temporary public space installations (selected from the design build competition)
• 12 City initiatives such as bicycle parking corrals, trees and Muskoka chairs
• Various business-operated outdoor café spaces and public seating areas – up to 16 cafe patios and three business operated public installations will be installed.
• Four student and recent graduate projects from a City of Toronto and Ryerson University Office of Social Innovation partnership called ShapeLab.

“The pilot project has made tremendous improvements to the daily lives of both people using the streetcar and for people using the street,” said Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina). “More space to both animate King and support local business will not only build on the pilot’s early successes, but bring even more life to an already busy section of our city.”

The curb lane public spaces between Bathurst and Jarvis Streets are currently delineated by planters. Local businesses were offered the opportunity to claim the public spaces on the block adjacent to their business for their use. Spaces not claimed by local businesses were included in the Everyone is King design build competition.

“I was really excited to see the calibre of the submissions to the design competition,” said Councillor Lucy Troisi (Ward 28 Toronto Centre-Rosedale). “I can’t wait to see how they translate from paper to reality over the next few weeks. I hope everyone takes the opportunity to visit King Street and enjoy these installations.”

The competition saw a total of 96 entries in two categories. The winning projects from the design build competition are:

Temporary Installations

Asphalt Poetry by Plant Architect Inc. in collaboration with Poet Ronna Bloom


Rendering location differs. Street edge divider not shown. Credit: PLANT Architect Inc.

#WouldYouRatherTO by Urban Minds


Credit: Urban Minds

The Spark by Andrea Bickley, Edvard Bruun, Alex Flash, Alice Huang, Camille Kauffman, Michael Laanvere, Tudor Munteanu, Éamonn Pinto, Rebecca Shaw

Credit: The Spark

The Present Moment by Hello Kirsten

Credit: Hello Kirsten

Ziggy by Julia Jamrozik and Coryn Kempster

Credit: Coryn Kempster and Julia Jamrozik

Woggle Jungle by VPA Studio: Victor Perez-Amado, Anton Skorishchenko, Michael De Luca


Fence not shown. Credit: VPA Studio

Everyone is (a) Kid by Anthony Renditya, Chelsea Alexander, Ian Kendall, Iva Mihaylova, Jeffrey Kwong, Katrina Beaudette, Krysia Bussiere, Ryan Guiricich, Sam Spagnuolo


Fence not shown. Credit: Everyone is (a) Kid

Watch Your Step! by Stephanie Boutari


Credit: Stephanie Boutari

The King St by BRENS North America in collaboration with O2 Planning + Design


Credit: Brens North America and O2 Planning + Design

 King’s Buried Treasure by Karen Roberts in collaboration with Cindy Scaife and Marg Cresswell

Dry Wet. Credit: Karen Roberts


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