“Toronto’s Urban Backyard”, a proposal by Blaike Allen, MArch student; Michael Monaghan, MLA graduate; and Kathryn Pierre, MArch student, has won the public vote prize in the Ontario Place: A Call for Counterproposals design challenge. Over 1400 votes were received for the prize. 

The competition, open to students and recent graduates of Canada’s architecture schools, sought alternate proposals for future of Ontario Place that preserve the cultural heritage of the site. The iconic public space is located on Toronto’s waterfront, and is facing redevelopment by the provincial government. Ontario Place was included in the World Monuments Fund’s 2020 list of 25 imperiled cultural heritage sites.  

The team’s project aimed to return Ontario Place to its goal at conception: An urban backyard to be enjoyed by all. By introducing creative free-play spaces while deprogramming and reimagining historic structures, “Toronto’s Urban Backyard” envisions an Ontario Place that meets the needs of the residents of today’s densely-populated city.