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.