Building Magazine


Competition open to develop pedestrian networks along Toronto’s Sheppard East transit line

Middle City Passages Toronto is a dual phased international competition that is part of the IVM international programme “Passages, transitional spaces for the 21st Century.” Similar competitions are occurring in Barcelona, Shanghai, Sao Paolo, Buenos Aires and Tours, followed by a rotating exhibition. Toronto’s competition is organized by Metrolinx and the University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design in partnership with the City of Toronto. It is open to young professionals and emerging practices in architecture, urban design, landscape architecture, urban planning, and related disciplines.

The multi-billion dollar investment in the expansion and improvement of Toronto’s public transport system, including along portions of Eglinton, Finch and Sheppard Avenues, provides an opportunity to combine a series of small, high-impact interventions with major infrastructure projects. The Sheppard East Light Rail Transit (LRT) line is part of this investment and aligned with municipal plans that call for growth that is less dependent on the automobile.

The Middle City Passages Toronto competition is an opportunity to investigate how new transit infrastructure along Sheppard East might interweave with existing local, small-scale pedestrian networks. It is also a chance to test how forging connections between local paths and transit infrastructure can further support development and improve local living conditions. Can the design of new types of passages aid in producing a more urban condition in suburban Toronto?

The competition will focus on developing strategic design proposals for two test sites that exmplify typical conditions — Palmdale Drive and Agincourt Drive. The jury consists of a group of international and local experts, including Henri Bava, Andres Borthagaray, Harold Madi, Marcel Smets, Richard Sommer, Leslie Woo, and Mirko Zardini.

The selected teams will receive an honorarium of CA$1,000 for participating in a workshop in Toronto to elaborate their ideas and produce strategic projects with the assistance of local and international coaches. Travelling expenses will be covered up to a value of CA$3,000. The prize-winning team will be retained as a special advisor to Metrolinx’s Senior Manager of Design Excellence to advance the design of walking and cycling access to transit stations and corridor rapid transit projects up to a value of CA$25,000.

March 6, 2015 – Registration opens

April 30, 2015 – Deadline for applications

May 2015 – Selection of 6 teams to participate in the Design Workshop in Toronto

July 2-9, 2015 – Design Workshop in Toronto with selected teams

August 2015 – Final submissions and announcement of the winning team

For more information on the competition visit

For more information about the overall Passages program visit

For additional inquiries please email

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