DesignTO Festival Heads into its 10th Year

Celebrating its 10th year, DesignTO’s collection of 7 exhibitions and events has evolved into a 10-day annual Festival of over 100 free expositions throughout the city.

Light Room, Rostami Atash Atelier – Bahareh Atash, Photo credit: Courtesy of the designer

Since its inception in 2011, the Festival has welcomed over half a million visitors and featured the work of nearly 4,000 artists and designers locally and from abroad.

“We’re overwhelmed by the community support which has allowed us to get to the 10th year.  From artists and designers to sponsors and partners, the Festival is very much a community effort,” said Jeremy Vandermeij, co-founder and Executive Director.

From January 17 – 26, DesignTO will see the return of some notable staples including the ‘DesignTO Launch Party’ to kick off the week, a half-day symposium on a future without work with a keynote by Carol Anne Hilton, CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute; a multidisciplinary thematic exhibition ‘Future Retrospectives’ exploring how the past influences the future; a prototype exhibition ‘Work/Life’; several student exhibitions at OCAD University; and the annual ‘Come Up To My Room’ take-over of the Gladstone.

DesignTO Launch Party 2019, Photo credit: Natasha Hermann

New programming includes a dinner of local design, DesignTO Tours of a 235,000 square feet custom fabrication workshop, and a trip to Canada’s first suburb to talk about intensification through retail.

The program will also feature DesignTO Talks with Toronto studios Anony and Castor, Mexico-based studio Anagrama interviewed by Monocle, and Berlin-based design and architecture collective They Feed Off Buildings who create terrazzo using debris from demolished buildings.

Anagrama Studio, Photo credit: Courtesy of Anagrama
They Feed Off Buildings – Rasa Weber & Luisa Rubisch, Photo credit: Photo by Matin Diepold

The Globe and Mail and EQ3 celebrate Designing Canada: a new annual recognition of the best in Canadian design, author Randi Bergman talks to local makers featured in the recently released ‘Toronto Makes’ book, and the Toronto Society of Architects discuss the climate crisis at an Urban Affairs Forum.

DesignTO additionally launches its first youth-focused program, with animations created by Oasis Skateboard Factory students.

Read more about DesignTO and see the full Festival Schedule at