Canary District

The Canary District is a 35-acre new development located in the east end of downtown Toronto. This mixed use residential neighbourhood will feature a new YWCA, affordable housing, mixed retail, restaurants and a student residence for a local college.

Bruce Mau Design was invited to develop an overarching vision for the project, and did so by facilitating workshops with several prominent local and international architects, landscape architects, developers, and community advocates. Using a ‘scenarios’ design process, BMD synthesized research themes that emerged into a set of potential future scenarios for the neighbourhood. These possible futures—articulated through narrative, visual, programmatic, and strategic frameworks—helped the team arrive at a singular yet flexible direction. The project considered issues related to business, government, education, community, and tourism. The outcome was a vision statement as well as visual research to support it.

BMD also helped the broader project team to translate the vision into a strategic guide for spatial design and events programming.

BMD then led a naming process, ultimately arriving at “The Canary District,” inspired by the iconic Canary Restaurant building that will act as a gateway to the area. The BMD team also developed the brand, including a visual identity, for this new neighbourhood.