Design competition launched for Toronto’s King Street pilot

On January 9, the City of Toronto officially launched the design-build competition for the public spaces along King Street in the area of the King Street Transit Pilot. Mayor John Tory, Councillor Michael Thompson (Ward 37 Scarborough Centre), Chair of the City’s Economic Development and Culture Committee, and Councillor Joe Cressy (Ward 20 Trinity-Spadina) made the announcement this morning at David Pecaut Square along with a number of other public space initiatives to encourage people to visit King Street.

The competition, called Everyone is King, invites submissions to animate the new curb lane public spaces on King Street which range in length from 15 to 140 metres.

Summer pop-up on King Street. Photo by Robert Voigt via City of Toronto.

Summer pop-up on King Street. Photo by Robert Voigt via City of Toronto.

“I am pleased we have seen improvements to the efficiency of King Street as part of the downtown transportation network,” said Mayor John Tory. “I want to make sure that King Street remains a great place to eat, shop, gather and be entertained during this pilot. This program will encourage people to continue to come out to King Street.”

Local businesses have the opportunity to advise the City if they wish to use a space as an additional outdoor café to support their business on King. Any remaining spaces or time (for example February and March) not claimed by local businesses will be made into attractive public spaces for all to enjoy through the Everyone is King design-build competition.

“This public space initiative is a critical part of the King Street Transit Pilot,” said Councillor Cressy. “It’s important the businesses be able to use these newly created spaces in a way that will contribute to their success and keep King a vibrant part of the city.”

The call for entries is now open and further information about the program, criteria and key dates is available here. 

The Everyone is King competition will bring life to these public spaces beginning in the spring. To animate these spaces in the winter months, the City is constructing creative installations on King Street; these could include warming stations, ice sculptures, fire performers and art installations. More details will be available on the King Street Transit Pilot website in the near future.

“While the City works with outside partners to create new public spaces this spring, the City’s Economic Development and Culture division will be taking some immediate steps to help draw people to the neighbourhood during the winter months,” said Councillor Thompson. “The City is committed to making sure that visitors continue to access and enjoy everything King Street businesses have to offer.”

In addition to the public space initiatives, Eats on King, a program to promote local quick and full-service restaurants in the King Street Transit Pilot area, will run Monday, February 19 to Thursday, March 29.

Interested restaurants can request an application to join the program by emailing [email protected]. Completed applications are due no later than January 30 at 5 p.m. There is no cost to participating restaurants other than the value of the offer they extend to their customers. For more information, email [email protected] or call 416-397-1234.