Winter Stations is now embarking on its third-year, opening an international design competition to bring temporary public art installations to The Beaches, exhibited to celebrate Toronto's winter waterfront landscape.

This year we are expecting to include up to six lifeguard stands, including an addition three by invited universities, across Balmy, Kew and Ashbridges Bay beaches located in the heart of the Beach community, south of Queen Street East, between Woodbine and Victoria Park Avenues. These utilitarian structures are to be used as the armature for temporary installations, which will need to be able to withstand the rigours of Toronto winter weather. The exhibition is to run February 20 until March 27, 2017.

This is a single-stage open international competition, welcoming artists, designers, architects and landscape architects to submit concept proposals for Winter Stations' temporary artwork installations.



Winter Stations 2017 theme: Catalyst : Converting one form or substance into another.
Its the finger that tips the first domino over. Its the flap of butterfly's wing that that sets off a chain of chaotic, unpredictable reactions. The theme for Winter Stations’ third year is Catalyst. In 2017, this seems especially fitting in this time of international political, social and cultural search for a better way forward. This winter, we ask artists and designers to unearth and intervene in such a way as to open up the landscape, as well as the minds of those who come to view and interact with the installations. We ask that proposals seek to disassemble and re-shape our notions of Toronto’s waterfront, with particular attention to the sand and materials strewn across the beach.
The installations this year will also be a catalyst for change: We would like to see less waste and more re-use. Designers should consider how their materials can be repurposed and recycled; we are excited to see proposals that evolve into future iterations, as on-going research and design projects. Entrants should address in their proposals a post-Winter Stations’ life, including de-commissioning / removal and the potential opportunities they see for their design, such as possible new sites and / or new objects.

There is no limit to the size of the installation, but please note that included in the jurors’ instructions will be durability and constructability. Installations cannot exceed the total cost outlined.

The jury may choose to pick up to ten proposals, in order of choice. The Winter Stations team will review these proposals to determine constructability. From this list we are fundraising to build up to six installations.

Winning teams will be provided with an allowance for travel and accommodation to spend time in Toronto during the installation and the activities surrounding the opening, February 17 - 20, 2017. In 2016, this included an opening party at The Gladstone Hotel. These events provide opportunities for citizens of Toronto to engage directly with the designers. Members of the design team should expect to meet with media to discuss their designs and ideas.

This year, local design and art institutions will be represented by The University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture Landscape and Design, Humber College School of Design and the University of Waterloo School of Architecture with teams of students designing and fabricating installations for three stands.


The Lifeguard Stands

The lifeguard stands are essentially identical. They are sturdy steel pipe structures to which the installation is to be fastened. The method of fastening is up to each competitor, however it may not result in any damage to the structure. As this is the off-season for use, there are few restrictions on covering the stations; the three exceptions are: the shepherds’ hook, the lifesaving ring and any emergency signage.

Please assume minimal security during the event and the possibility of vandalism or simply wear and tear from the curious. There will be no power or utilities available. Proposals should indicate how materials may be disposed of or recycled at the end of the display period. Please designate on your entry if your design is specific to one particular station.


Selection and Approval Process

Once the Jury has met and determined a short list of entrants, a technical review of the finalists will be conducted in order to ensure the constructability of the projects. Those on the shortlist will be assigned a construction team lead by a project manager, chosen by the organizers to produce the appropriate working drawings in order to ensure that the construction is feasible and within budget. This collaboration will take place from December 2016 through to installation. The final winners will be announced January 9, 2017.

All construction will be carried out in Toronto by firms selected by the organizers and overseen by the entrant, the project manager and the construction team. The entrants chosen to participate in this competition agree to work to the schedule established by the organizers.



The competition is open to artists and designers (both amateur and professional) around the world. There is no fee to enter.


Budget and Honorarium

The construction budget allows for $10,000 CAD which is to include materials, labour and any/all applicable taxes.

A design honorarium of $3,500.00 CAD will be paid to selected proposals as well as up to $1,500 travel bursary for those living anywhere outside of Toronto.

Deadline for submissions is 11:59pm (EST) November 4, 2016.


Submission Requirements

The entries must be submitted electronically as three separate PDF files not exceeding 7MB each. Each entry must contain, in order, the following documents (in English).

Registration Form (electronic)

Page One - 11 x 17" (279mm x 432mm) - Project Summary

  • 1 page maximum
  • A maximum of 150 word text describing the project and presenting the experience offered by the visitors
  • Layout of selected images and drawings describing the project.

Page Two - 11 x 17" (279mm x 432mm) - Images and Drawings

  • 1 page maximum
  • 4 main views or elevations of the installation indicating size and specification of materials. Entrant is free to choose the scale.
  • A perspective showing the design in its entirety.

Page Three - 8.5 x 11" (216mm x 279mm) - Team Information

  • Four (4) pages maximum
  • Design team member names, with brief CV for each.
  • A 100 word description of the team, highlighting its strength.
  • Name, location and date of recent publications, projects, or exhibitions.
  • Images of selected projects for which team members have been responsible, followed with a brief description.

Each document must include the Name of the project however there must be no information on page one or two of the design proposal that would identify the entrant. Note that Team Information (Page 3) will be withheld from the Jury until after their deliberation. Apart from page 3, only single-page PDFs will be accepted.




Competition Opens September 16, 2016
Question Period September 16 - October 15, 2016
Submission Deadline November 4, 2016
Jury Deliberation TBD
Technical Review November 14 - 18, 2016
Winners Announced January 9, 2017
Fabrication November 21 - February 13, 2017
Gala Event February 17, 2017
Artwork Installation February 13 - 18, 2017
Exhibition February 20 - March 27, 2017


Jury Members

Principal, Williamson Williamson

Winner, "Flow" Winter Stations 2016

President and Developer, Gladstone Hotel

Design Director, Great Gulf

Jury Chair, M.A. Urban Design Studies;
Senior Fellow, Global Cities Institute U of T;
Founder, Friends of the Beach Parks

Principal/Co-Founder, PUBLIC WORK

Winner, "Flow" Winter Stations 2016