The curating of Passages in Toronto consisted of an international idea competition with a professional workshop, based  on an open call, focusing on the urban and architectural scale of the typology of passages. The design competition was organized in order of the IVM and Metrolinx, in close collaboration with the University of Toronto and the City of Toronto.

The research investigated how the passage can be an instrument to pair the large scale infrastructure projects of the LRT with the local walking patterns in inner-suburban conditions. Designers are encouraged to invent possible integration strategies, (re)connecting supportive walking environments with transit stops and hubs. Using the case of the Sheppard East LRT line, the passage will be elaborated as a micro-connection, a local link that can contribute relatively cheaply and quickly to the spatial quality and the quality of urban life. By designing a series of small but impactful interventions around the new LRT line, the competition aims to tackle the gaps left by long planning processes and large-scale operations. 49 teams took part in the competition, resulting in 6 finalists. that developed their ideas in a in situ workshop from 2 to 9 July 2015 and were presented to the jury and local stakeholders.

The results of the competition were disseminated in the local press, the IVM website, presented on the passages-expositions in Paris, Barcelona, Beijing, Shanghai,…  Metrolinx, the regional transportation authority, is responsible for the planning, construction and delivery of the expanded system, working with local municipalities and the private sector. The winning team of the competition was commissioned to undertake a client support role with the Metrolinx Design Department for the design of pedestrian and cycle access to the LRT stations. The stakeholders praised the research results, able to link and join forces between different agencies and jurisdictions, combine agenda’s and ambitions. 

Researcher(s): Maarten Van Acker
Commissioned by: Institut pour la Ville en Mouvement (VEDECOM)
Period: 2014-2016
Partner(s): Metrolinx, University of Toronto, City of Toronto