Toronto Docklands



The Toronto Docklands (also referred to as the Portlands) has been a site of investigation for many years, dating back to the city’s bid for the 2008 Olympic Games. Sections have been designed for in various design competitions, but this attempt was to consider the district in its totality, anticipating the continued economic shift away from heavy shipping toward residential uses (with an added challenge of a minimum net-FAR of 6). Bisected by a canal, with some industrial relics to be kept, the site has the opportunity to use its past as a means of urban generation.

Part of the thesis of this project, as well as the semester, is that urban design has been treated as large-scale architecture in the past several decades. Proposals remain diagrammatic and lack testing of the neighborhood and architectural scales for viability and livability (as their sizes and configurations affect the human condition). The project was simultaneously developed using housing units and a representative building to test and inform an urban design that was developed contemporaneously at the larger scale. Thus, the proposal is a realistic and humanistic proposal.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Professor: Michael Dennis