Join Sidewalk Labs on Saturday, March 2, from 3–7 p.m. for Open Sidewalk: Winter Warmer.
It’s cold. The weather plays a big role in determining how much time we spend outdoors. While the seasons drive the character of how we live in Toronto – trips to the island during the summer or pumpkin parades in the fall – it is no secret that outdoor activity is concentrated in the six-month period from April through October when the weather is pleasant.
At this Open Sidewalk event, we share some of our ideas and prototypes to making outdoor public space the social default year-round. In addition, we will be sharing some of our big ideas about how to make the eastern waterfront accessible and livable with affordable housing, sustainable development, and improved transit.
Prototypes at 307
Building Raincoat is an adjustable awning that extends outward from the building’s edge to protect the sidewalk from rain, wind and sun. It is attached to one side of the building and anchors into the street pavers below. We have used a building material that is called ETFE (Ethylene Tetrafluoroethylene), a durable, highly transparent, lightweight plastic film. This is the first project in Ontario to use this emerging material. The Building Raincoat is designed by award-winning, Toronto architects PARTISANS, renowned for their design of Toronto’s beloved Bar Raval, and environmental engineers RWDI, with structural design by Maffeis Engineering.
Hexagonal paving system delivers four key features: modularity, heating, lighting and permeability. Individual precast concrete slabs are easy to pick up and replace—eliminating disruptions from street work and helping the streetscape adapt as new technologies emerge or new community needs arise. Pavement heating clears snow and ice, eliminating the need for plowing and salting, improving safety, facilitating all-season use, and minimizing ecological damage. LED lights help signal changes in street use, making it easier to control traffic flows or direct people to take over street space for public uses, such as pop-up markets or temporary road closures. Permeable pavement and other green street features like bioswales absorb stormwater or melted snow—guiding it to underground stormwater management systems. Our new prototype implements real concrete pavers in a test streetscape in the 307 parking lot.
Art brings people together and helps communicate across languages. At this event, we will showcase a series of interactive works that use lighting, projection mapping, mud and other techniques to reflect on relationships between humans and animals in public space, and the broader connection of ecology and urbanism. Brought to life by Curator-in-Residence, Melanie Wilmink, these works enliven the inside and outside of 307 and aim to prompt public discussion about the role of art within urban infrastructure. This event will include a lecture by Dr. Sara Swain, and artworks such as: Nicole Clouston’s “Lake Ontario Mud,” Michael Palumbo’s “Recursive Writing,” and Haru Hyunkyung Ji & Graham Wakefield’s “Conservation of Shadows.” The day will also include participatory drawing sessions with Jason Logan of the Toronto Ink Company. These works will then be morphed by mixed-media artist Ilze Briede [Kavi], and projected onto the Building Raincoat on the exterior of 307.
Numina is a civic technology startup using computer vision sensors to make cities more responsive, so they are safer, healthier, and more equitable. Numina works with communities like St. Louis, Jacksonville, Downtown Brooklyn, and the Netherlands’ oldest city, Nijmegen. Their solution is best known for supporting street safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and their projects have been supported by the likes of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Clinton Foundation. Numina de-identifies data at the source, differentiating each type of object within its sensor’s field of view into broad categories such as “pedestrian,” “cyclist,” “bus,” “truck,” etc. From its inception, Numina has committed to never collect any personal information and to provide intelligence without surveillance. We are piloting Numina to help us measure how people use the street prototypes at 307 and help us better plan and design future exhibits. You can find our Responsible Data Use Assessment for Numina here.
- 3:00 PM: Open Sidewalk starts, our art installations Toronto Ink Company Painting Sessions, Conservation of Shadows: Underworld, Recursive Writing, and Lake Ontario Portrait, all begin. Vesta Lunch on Wheels and BeaverTails Food Trucks are available, and all of our explorations open up and kick off
- 4:00 PM: Welcome remarks from Sidewalk Labs and our keynote presentation, “Feral Hospitality: Making Space for Multispecies Co-existence in Kedi” with Dr. Sara Swain
- 4:45 PM: Artist’s Talk: Artificial Nature (Haru Hyunkyung Ji & Graham Wakefield)
- 5:30 PM: Designing the Raincoat: Nadine Soliman, Pooya Baktash, and Bryan Schopf
- 6:00 PM: Raincoat Projection: Ilze Briede
What is 307?
We’ve transformed an old fish processing plant and parking lot into an experimental work space — 307 is where Sidewalk Labs works every day in Toronto and is open to the public every weekend. Inside and outside, we’re exploring some of the ideas that could become part of this future neighbourhood and establishing an open venue for community collaboration. We’re excited to co-create and share our explorations with you as the Sidewalk Toronto project evolves.
Who Is Invited?
You! And anyone else you know who is interested in the past and future of Toronto. Let us know you’ll be there by clicking the RSVP button right here on this page.
Getting to 307
307 is located at 307 Lake Shore Boulevard East (at the base of Queens Quay East and Parliament Street). There are a number of options for getting here:
- Bike Share: We’re thrilled to offer the first Bike Share Toronto station on Quayside, located at Parliament and Lake Shore Boulevard East.
- Cycling: There is limited bike parking onsite at 307. There is additional bike parking is available at 333 Lake Shore Boulevard East.
- Bus: 307 is accessible by TTC on the 72B Pape.
- Wheel-trans: A designated drop-off/pick-up point can be found on the east side of Small Street, between Parliament Street and Lakeshore Boulevard East.
- Parking: Pay parking is available at 333 Lakeshore Boulevard East (enter from Parliament Street).
Accessibility at 307
Site and select washrooms are wheelchair accessible. ASL-English interpretation will be available for this event. Find out more about accessibility at 307 with our PDF guide here (find screen reader version here). Please reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org should you have any questions about accessibility.
Partners and Performers
- PARTISANS: PARTISANS is an award-winning architecture studio that works at the intersection of design and programming, technology and craftsmanship, invention and activation. Executing at all scales and across various typologies, we are a diverse team of architects, artists, storytellers, entrepreneurs, and cultural enthusiasts that fights for a cause: high-performance design that strives to make the improbable possible.
- RWDI: RWDI is a world-leading environmental engineering engineering firm here in Toronto. Their innovative work helps ensure projects fit their climatic context, identifying creative approaches to making the built environment safe, hospitable and sustainable.
- Maffeis Engineering: Maffeis Engineering is an international specialty structural engineering consultancy, with 14 offices worldwide consisting of an office in Toronto. Maffeis Engineering is a leader in ETFE and fabric structures along with building facades, mechanical/retractable structures/facades/ roofs, mass timber, sports stadiums, complex geometric structures, and bridges. Maffeis engineers specialize in providing consultancy services for the design of niche or complex buildings and structural systems.
- Numina: Numina is a civic technology startup using computer vision sensors to make cities more responsive, so they are safer, healthier, and more equitable. Numina works with communities like St. Louis, Jacksonville, Downtown Brooklyn, and the Netherlands’ oldest city, Nijmegen. Their solution is best known for supporting street safety for pedestrians and cyclists, and their projects have been supported by the likes of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and Clinton Foundation.
- Melanie Wilmink: Melanie Wilmink is Sidewalk Labs’ Curator-in-Residence and a doctoral candidate in Visual Art and Art History at York University, where she examines the inter-connectivity between spectatorial experience and exhibition spaces. Her ongoing research was developed through an ongoing curatorial practice where she specializes in media art and public installation. Major projects include Urbanity on Film (2009) – a month long screening and workshop series using a mobile home and the city as an exhibition site, and The Situated Cinema Project; in camera (2015) – a two-week installation of a mobile micro-cinema in the streets of Toronto. Her recent publications include the anthology Sculpting Cinema (2018), co-edited with Solomon Nagler.
- Jason Logan: Jason S. Logan is a Toronto-based creative director and strategic graphic designer. Recent projects include branding, identity and creative direction for Horses Atelier, a smellmap for the The New York Times and Creative Direction for Rogers Publishing. Logan is also the author of several books and the founder of the Toronto Ink Company. In 2014 he lead the CDTO campaign an initiative to build an Office of Creative Direction for the City of Toronto.
- Dr. Sara Swain: Sara Swain is a writer, researcher, and educator based in Toronto. She holds a PhD in Communication and Culture from York and Ryerson Universities. She studies the ways in which non-human animals are implicated in the imagination, development, and conceptualization of media technologies, and our understandings of communication
- Ilze Briede: Ilze Briede, also known as Kavi, is a Toronto-based artist originally from Latvia. She works primarily with moving imagery, projection mapping and sculpted three-dimensional surfaces and forms. Kavi’s work has been exhibited in Canada and the UK. She holds a Bachelor of Humanities in Chinese language and culture from Latvian University (2006). She also completed a Bachelor of Arts in digital media production (2014) and a Master of Arts in interactive media (2016) both from Arts University Bournemouth. Kavi is currently a Master of Fine Arts candidate at York University.
- Nicole Clouston: Nicole Clouston is a practice-based researcher currently completing her PhD in Visual Art at York University. In her practice she asks: What happens when we acknowledge, through an embodied experience, our connection to a world teeming with life both around and inside us? Nicole has exhibited across Canada in Montreal, Victoria, Edmonton, and Toronto. She is currently the artist in residence at the Coalesce Bio Art Lab at the University at Buffalo.
- Haru Ji: Haru Ji is a media artist and co-creator of the research project “Artificial Nature”, exploring the subject of life in art through artificial life worldmaking. She holds a Ph.D. in Media Arts and Technology from UCSB and is an assistant professor in DPXA & the Digital Futures programs at OCAD University.
- Michael Palumbo: Michael Palumbo is an artist and researcher whose interests include distributed creativity, sustainable software, human/nonhuman agency, and tinkering. Michael is a PhD student at York University, and works as a researcher in the Distributed Performance and Sensorial Immersion Lab (DisPerSion Lab). He holds an MA in Theatre and Performance Studies from York University and a BFA in Electroacoustic Studies from Concordia University.
- Graham Wakefield: Graham Wakefield is an Assistant Professor of Computational Arts and a Canada Research Chair at York University, Toronto. He directs the Alice lab for Computational Worldmaking, whose research-creation program integrates AR/MR/VR with nature-inspired generative simulation and live coding toward worlds of open-ended creativity.
- Vesta Lunch on Wheels: Vesta Lunch on Wheels is a new food truck from Toronto’s iconic greasy spoon, Vesta Lunch. They will be serving poutine and papas locas, tacos, burritos, quesadillas, burgers, and pulled pork, chicken or steak on sourdough buns.
- BeaverTails: BeaverTails is truly one of a kind. Irresistibly delicious, artisanal Canadian pastry, always there to share special moments that make lifelong memories. Iconic indulgence since 1978, today they continue their heritage by uniquely combining their original recipe with premium quality ingredients. Served piping-hot, their hand-stretched whole-wheat pastries are both crispy and chewy at the same time.