Competition Deadline:

Your Design


What is

Winter Stations is a single-stage international design competition held annually in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Participants are tasked with designing temporary winter art installations which incorporate existing lifeguard towers spaced strategically across the city’s Kew and Woodbine beaches. The structures (not in use in the wintertime) are considered visual anchor points for the installations.

As in previous years, Winter Stations intends to build 4-6 winning proposals for a six-week exhibition along the waterfront, funding permitted.

While Toronto beaches are not typically as well visited in the colder seasons, Winter Stations has captured the imagination of the city. Designers can expect their designs to be well-visited and should anticipate public interaction.

The competition is open to everyone in the world. There is no fee to enter.


Over the past 10 years, Winter Stations has become a vibrant tapestry of art, innovation, and community. It’s a testament to the transformative power of creativity and the lasting impact it leaves on our lives.

In the spirit of celebrating a decade of resonating with our hearts and minds, we are thrilled to announce the theme for the 2024 edition of Winter Stations: Resonance.

Resonance captures the echoes of our artistic legacy and the enduring impact of Winter Stations. It invites us to reflect on the moments that have left a lasting mark, the installations that have stirred our hearts, and the memories that have become part of our collective narrative.

This year, in an exciting twist, we are asking designers to embark on a remarkable journey of reinvention and reimagination. We want you to breathe new life into the echoes of the past by recreating, reimagining and reinventing cherished installations from Winter Stations history.

Visit our archive and choose a previous installation as a source to inspire your designs.

Let the brilliance of Resonance guide your creative process as you explore the rich tapestry of previous installations infusing them with fresh ideas, innovative approaches and your unique artistic vision.

As with other years, we ask our designers to conceptualise their station to be experienced up close and from afar, in person and virtually, as we continue to acknowledge the potential for in person and travel restrictions. Furthermore, given unforeseen circumstances regarding our installation sites, stations should be designed structurally independent of the lifeguard stands and be suitable for both a sandy beach environment and a flat urban surface.


The lifeguard stands are essentially identical and can be incorporated into the installation – however designs should not depend on structurally fastening or modifying the stands in any manner. The stands are a visual anchor to the installations and designs must be able to be exhibited independent of the lifeguard stands.

Please assume minimal security and the possibility of vandalism or simply wear and tear from the curious. There would be no power or utilities available. Installations should not propose use of electricity or fire. Proposals should indicate how materials would be disposed of, recycled and/or repurposed at the end of the display period.


Entries must be submitted electronically as 1 PDF not exceeding 10mb. Each entry should contain, in order, the following documents (in English):

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
  • Rough-order-of-magnitude cost for artwork installation

Page Three – 11” x 17” (279mm x 432mm) – Project Credits

  • Name of the installation, and the designer(s) who worked on it
  • Contact info for every member of the team, including email and phone number
  • Name of design studio, or practice (if applicable)


  • 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. This info should only appear on page three.
  • Final submission should be 1 PDF consisting of 3 pages.
  • Proposals may be landscape or portrait format.
  • Please be aware that submissions will be reviewed by the jury as hard copies (i.e. do not attempt to attach hyperlinks, videos, or any other digital content to the pdf files).
  • Submissions by email will not be accepted; if you wish to submit, please do so electronically through the Dropbox link.
  • Please use the following naming conventions: save your files with the name of the installation. For example: BellyOfTheBear.pdf
  • Proposals should not exceed a foot print of 10 square meters if the proposal has a roof or is enclosed by walls.
  • Proposals which encourage climbing (stairs, ramps, etc.) are subject to the Ontario Building Code.

Additional Resource Files:


Proposals should adhere to the following budget for submissions:

  • $5,000.00 CAD for materials
  • $10,000.00 CAD for labour


An honorarium will be provided to winners and allocated as follows:

  • Design Fee – $2,000.00 CAD
  • Travel is up to the discretion of the artist/team


Is it possible to apply to Winter Stations as a team?
Yes, you can apply as a team or individual. If you’re applying as a team, you only need to register one team member and if you have a collective name, put that in the ‘Organization’ part of the file name structure. All team members will be properly credited when the winning teams are announced.

Can I submit more than one proposal?
Yes, you can submit more than one.

Does the design have to include a lifeguard stand?
Yes, every design must include and/or interact with the existing lifeguard stand in some way but must not be structurally dependent upon it. The intention for 2022 is to display once again display the installations on the beach, but we may have to revert to an alternative setting depending on how the pandemic evolves.

Does the proposal have to be submitted in a specific language?
Yes, please submit your proposal in English. The jury selection will be primarily based on your design and supporting visuals.

Can we temporarily remove the structure for the installation?
No, the intent of the design brief is to incorporate the lifeguard stands as part of the overall design.

Can every country participate in this competition?
Yes, this competition is open to everyone.

Is there a specific file name required for the submission?
Yes, please save your files with the name of the installation. For example BellyOfTheBear.

How do I submit my design?
At the top of the ‘Competition’ tab, click ‘Submit Now’ to upload your submission to the Winter Stations Dropbox.

Is there a cash prize?
There will be an honorarium of $2,000 CAD for each winning artist/team (typically processed through an etransfer).

Is the deadline for submissions before midnight on December 3rd? Or just before, December 2nd 11:59pm EST?
The deadline for Winter Stations is December 3rd at 11:59pm EST.

How important is the integration of the lifeguard stand in regard to judging criteria?
All designs must interact with or acknowledge the lifeguard stand, however, should not be structurally dependent upon it.

How much detail regarding construction does the proposal need to provide?
The proposal should consider the construction budget and general feasibility of the design. Our fabrication team will connect with winning design teams directly to go over the construction in more detail following the competition. Given the current global situation, materials and labour have experienced high rates of inflation, therefore designers will be asked to work with our fabrication team to value-engineer where needed to achieve the intended design.

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