Waterfront Toronto has announced the five teams who have qualified for a design competition to revitalize the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and adjacent Harbour Square Park at the heart of Toronto's lakefront area. The teams include prominent Toronto architects, landscape architects, and planning firms, along with high-profile firms from across North America and Europe.

Current entrance to the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal, image by Craig White

Thirty-three design teams submitted proposals outlining their qualifications in November and December 2014. Waterfront Toronto and City of Toronto staff reviewed the qualifications. The process to find the top five teams was overseen by an independent fairness advisor. Those participating in the competition are:


John Campbell, President and CEO, Waterfront Toronto stated “The level of interest from design teams around the world is a testament to the importance of this site and international awareness of the transformation underway on Toronto’s waterfront. Given the incredible roster of shortlisted teams, we expect that the calibre of the designs will be very high, and we are looking forward to seeing how the teams propose to connect this orphaned site with the rest of the city.”

Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell, and local City Councillor in whose ward the significant sites are located, said “With this competition, we have an exciting opportunity to develop an inclusive vision for the Jack Layton Ferry Terminal that promotes outstanding park and building design and reflects the needs and aspirations of the park and ferry users. This will create a beautiful gateway to the Islands for residents and visitors and play an important role in the larger revitalization of the waterfront.”

Scope of the work to be carried out, image courtesy of Waterfront Toronto

The five teams now face an intensive 6-week design exercise followed by a public exhibition planned for mid-March 2015. The exhibition will give Torontonians an opportunity to consider the design approaches and provide feedback to an independent jury of renowned design professionals. A stakeholder advisory committee comprised of local residents, businesses and neighbourhood groups will convene to provide advice and feedback to the project team, the design teams and the jury.

Once an approach is identified by the competition jury, the selected design team will prepare a Master Plan which will include a phasing strategy to prioritize work. Following Toronto City Council approval, the current capital budget includes funding for the initial phase of work. Afterwards, the Master Plan will guide subsequent budget requests and to ensure that remaining phases follow in a coordinated manner.

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Related Companies:  urbanMetrics inc., Waterfront Toronto