Toronto, Canada

Welcome to Open Architecture Toronto! We are a non-profit architectural organization that connects industry professionals, students, and volunteers with the opportunity to make a difference through design across the Greater Toronto Area.

Our mission is to promote community awareness, bring together like-minded individuals and local organizations with one common goal: to design sustainable solutions that meet the needs of our communities. We deliver these solutions by connecting with our stakeholders’ identities, values, and desires, and incorporate them into an innovative and socially responsible design.

  • 2003

    Date Founded

  • 20+

    Number of volunteers involved

  • 1

    Number of active projects

In September 2015 the Toronto Chapter and Ryerson University AIAS Freedom by Design Toronto partnered to provide pro-bono design services to Scadding Court Community Centre. OACTO is acting as a consultant for the group and has assisted them in obtaining a client and organizing a design charette held to create interest in the project, brainstorm ideas, and used to form a team of dedicated designers who would continue the project afterwards. Part of Scadding Court Community Centre is Market 707, a retrofitted, outdoor shipping container street food and retail market located at the intersection of Bathurst and Dundas Street. The scope of the Scadding Court project includes a master plan for the site to promote activity in the area to support the entrepreneurs, and the design of an adjacent parkette with community garden to support a local Women’s Residence.

  • Ongoing

    Project Status

  • 32

    Participants in Design Charrette

  • 8

    Volunteers in final design team

Samo Solutions is a one storey low-cost housing project in Kismayo, Somalia. The focus of the project is to create a housing prototype which is easy to construct and creative in design. The prototypes will be constructed of Samo Earth Blocks and will house IDPs and refugees in Somalia who are currently living in refugee camps but who need permanent housing which addresses the issues of safety, privacy, and sustainability.

  • 1,133,000

    Internally Displaced Persons in Somalia (2015)

  • 7

    Volunteers in Design Team

  • 10

    Units involved in pilot phase

  • Checkout the projects website for more information!

    Samo Solution

The Toronto chapter hosted an architectural ideas competition to explore the future development potential of LifeCorps Food Share in York Region. LifeCorps Food Share is York Region’s food hub and the only agency that can safely collect and transport fresh, frozen and dry foods to 40 agencies in the region. The ideas competition seeked inspiration for a future stand-alone building that would house LifeCorps programs: Farmers Markets, classrooms, rooftop community gardens, a community food bank, and employment training space. The ideas and images from the competition will be instrumental in gaining funding and support from potential stakeholders while also reflecting thoughtful consideration into combatting food insecurity in York Region.

  • 6

    Countries that submitted proposals

  • $1000(CAD)

    Total award money

  • 5

    Winners

Photo by Natalia Rodriguez Villalta, Eva Pérez García, and Sergi Català Lloret

On May 3rd, 2014, the Toronto Chapter in partnership with Europe-based architect Filipe Balestra held a lecture and workshop: “Incremental Strategy for Vertical Neighborhoods in Toronto”. The event was dedicated to local Thorncliffe Park, as we seized the opportunity of the establishment of a new zoning type: Residential Apartment Commercial (RAC) – a new zoning by-law provides a new and flexible land-use framework for Apartment Neighbourhoods. The design charette was unique in that 2d and 3d drawings were not the product, but physical models of the teams’ incremental proposals located on a premade massive model of the site at Thorncliffe Park. Towards the end of the day, a final and formal discussion took place with representatives of the Thorncliffe community and other professionals engaged in Toronto’s Tower Renewal process.

Proposals not only answered the question of consolidating multiple programs and acquiring building materials, but also creating activity hubs and making communities safer and more inclusive.

— Jennifer Whelan, ArchDaily

  • 1

    Workshop

  • 1

    Lecture

  • 30+

    Participants