Globe & Mail: Toronto Transformed

Toronto Unbound: OCAD Students to Transform the City’s Neglected Nooks and Crannies
By Dave McGinn

Industrial-design students at the Ontario College of Art & Design were asked to turn Toronto into a creative lab, to immerse themselves in neighbourhoods and help solve the needs of local residents. The city will implement six of the students’ best ideas over the next year. Two of the winning proposals, displayed here, show what OpenCity Projects member Job Rutgers calls the exhibition’s mix of pragmatism and poetry.

They can be seen at Toronto Unbound, and exhibition of 22 proposals culled from 80 design solutions, at the XPACE Cultural Centre, 58 Ossington Ave. the exhibition runs until June 28th.

The Community market Regent Park

When Matthew Gubernat began interviewing Regent Park residents, he realized that many of them have their own backyard gardens, pockets in isolation. An idea struck: Why not bring all these green thumbs together into a community market?

The market’s main goal, according to Mr. Gubernat, will be to create a place, “for the community to come together, buy, sell, trade, communicate, tell stories and invest in the neighbourhood.”

Sure, we must all cultivate our own garden, but in doing so, the people who live in Regent Park might just cultivate their community in the process.

Red Carpet Parkdale and West Queen West

It doesn’t take much to see there’s a disconnect between West Queen West and Parkdale. One is the artistic hotbed of Toronto, with the Drake Hotel and the high-gloss gentrification it has spurred. The other is the still real Parkdale. In Vincent Monastero’s eyes, the people who live in both neighbourhoods are equally deserving of the red-carpet treatment. By installing red carpets at Toronto Transit Commission stops in both neighbourhoods, they’ll get it. “This project creates a unique way of welcoming everyone from the TTC and into the neighbourhood,” according to Mr. Monastero.”

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