As we learned this past year, during the winter of 2015, even record-cold
temperatures cannot turn back Torontonians from the Beach. For 2016 we return with an expanded second
annual Winter Stations exhibition to celebrate Toronto's winter waterfront landscape.
This year we are expecting to include up to thirteen lifeguard stands 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 15, 2016 until March 20, 2016.
This is a single-stage open international competition, welcoming artists, designers, architects,
landscape architects and all those that defy labels to submit proposals for Winter Stations'
temporary artwork installations.
FREEZE / THAW
Toronto winters are long and unpredictable. They consist of varying temperatures, amounts of precipitation,
wind, in short: dispositions. There are days the snow falls heavy. Other days are deceptively bright and
sunny, but with bristling winds and plummeting cold. The snow accumulates, along with the ice, and
sometimes it is blown away, dispersed in drifts. But at some point during the long winter months we wait
for the temperatures to rise and the sun to melt it all away. Whether it will do so for good is always
The theme of Freeze / Thaw asks designers and artists to respond to the changing climactic conditions
and transitions of the Toronto winter. Designs may anticipate the coming spring or refuse to yield,
reminding us December is only a few months behind and will return again. They may highlight a static
moment or phase in our winter. Perhaps, most significantly, designs have the opportunity to observe,
reflect or contrast the immediate waterfront landscape with its banks of snow and frozen ice. To this
end, they should expect to be playful and provocative, creatively utilizing materials and site to
inform concepts that echo the freeze / thaw narrative and will engage the public.
There is no limit to the size of the installation, but please note that included in the jurors
instructions will be durability and constructability.
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 11 - 15, 2016. Last year,
this included an opening party at the Balmy Beach Club and a speaking engagement at Toronto's Design
Exchange. 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.
Winterstationsinc., the not for profit organization under which this competition runs , reserves the right
to use all entries and the identity of all teams for media purposes, for all social media interventions
and for any other appropriate use to publicize this event.
Ryerson University's Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Sciences, OCAD University's School of Environmental Design, and
Laurentian University's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Architecture will
head up teams of students to create installations for four stands.
Up to ten proposals from this Call will be selected to design installations for the remaining lifeguard 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 shepherd's 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.
Landscape Architect / Assistant Professor, Harvard University GSD
Architect / Co-founder, Partisans Architecture;
Lecturer, U of T Daniels FALD
Winner, Winter Stations 2015 ("Snowcone")
Winner, Winter Stations 2015 ("Snowcone")
Editor-in-chief, Azure Magazine
Jury Chair, M.A. Urban Design Studies;
Senior Fellow, Global Cities Institute U of T;
Founder, Friends of the Beach Parks
HONORARIA AND BUDGET
The budget for the creation and construction of each installation is
$15,000.00 CAD. The budget is to be divided in the following fashion:
- □ $3,500.00 CAD for the designers honorarium.
- □ Up to $10,000.00 CAD including taxes for the purchase of all materials,
hiring of any engineers or other consultants deemed necessary, and labour for
the installation and removal of the installation. This budget will be jointly
managed by the designer, the Winter Stations management team and the constructor.
- □ A separate budget of up to $1,500.00 CAD for travel and
accommodation is available for designers outside of the greater Toronto area.
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 2015 through to installation. The final winners will be announced January 8, 2016.
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 entries must be submitted electronically as four separate PDF files
not exceeding 7MB each. Each entry must contain, in order, the following
documents (in English).
Each document and file name 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.
- Registration Form (electronic)
- Page One - 11 x 17" (279mm x 432mm) - Project Summary
- □ 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
- Page Two - 11 x 17" (279mm x 432mm) - Images and Drawings
- □ 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
- □ Images of selected projects for which team members have been
responsible, followed with a brief description.
Note that Team Information (Page 3) will be withheld from the Jury until after their deliberation.
||September 14, 2015
|End of question period
||October 19, 2015
|Deadline for submissions
||November 13, 2015
||November 16 - 25, 2015
|Technical Review, Development of Construction Drawings, Tendering
||November 16 - January 5, 2016
||January 11, 2016
||January 11 - February 15, 2016
||February 10 - 14, 2016
||February 11, 2016
||February 15, 2016
||March 19, 2016
The organizers reserve the right not to proceed with any entries should they
not be deemed appropriate or technically sound
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Is this year's theme both "freeze and thaw" together, or can it be either "freeze" or "thaw"?
This year's theme should incorporate both "freeze" and "thaw" together.
Is the installation to provide public
access to an internal space or is the intent for the installations
to only be viewed?
There is considerable flexibility with
the installation in relation to the lifeguard stand. Please assume you
may use an area up to 5m in radius centred on the stand. The installation
will need to be affixed/touch the station at minimum on one of the
legs but need not sit on or in the frame. If you are not substantively
connecting to the stand please consider issues of wind pressure and
simple vandalism and ensure it is securely anchored.
Is it possible to come up with a single idea that
engages all of the lifeguard stations? Or will it need to be specific to any
Your submission should target only a single lifeguard
station. Your design should also not target a specific lifeguard stand along
the beach, as it is unknown which station will be used until construction.
Is there a prescribed location for the shepherd's
hook on the lifeguard chair?
Typically, the shepherd's hook leans against the ring
Do the lifeguard towers have any foundation system?
The stands extend about 2 feet into the sand with an angle
iron connecting the legs around the bottom to prevent lift or sinking. They
are however quite sturdy and take a team with shovels well over an hour to
Does the tide at any of the five station locations
ever come up to within 5m of the station? Should our designs account for
the possibility of being flooded by lake water?
While the tide is very minimal, a few of the stations
do come within very close proximity to the water. Designs should take this
under consideration as large waves and multiple-meter-thick ice accumulations
do have the potential to adversely impact the stations.
Is it possible to create temporary foundations
(footings or piers) to resist against severe weather like wind?
You may use sand anchors to give tension if necessary however
you may not use any load-bearing/concrete foundations.
Can the emergency buoy / shepherd's hook be
The locations of the shepherd's hook/buoy can
be determined at a later date however they must be retained and clearly
visible wherever they are placed.
Is it possible to move the 'No lifeguard on duty'
signage? Either up or down from the existing station or possibly to a
separate location near the boardwalk?
The signage cannot be moved but it can be duplicated
and the information made available elsewhere by the designer.
Would there be any power supplied for the installations?
Can we use a generator?
The stations will not have any access to power or
the use of a generator.
Can part of the construction budget be used to purchase equipment
such as solar panels, batteries, lights, etc.?
Yes, you may allocate some of the budget towards those items.
Would there be any access to water?
Water will not be available apart from the Lake. Depending on the severity of the weather this access may also be
Would there be access to additional snow? Either brought in by snow plow or a nearby hockey rink?
Any additional import of snow would have to be included in the construction budget.
Is it reasonable to extend the budget by using
materials provided free-of-charge by the entrant's contacts?
Yes, you may use materials provided for free if you wish.
Is it possible to propose to forego some/all of the
honorarium to the designer to allow for the increase of the construction
Yes, you may delegate some or all of your honorarium
toward the construction budget if you wish.
If donations are made to the competition to facilitate completion of
the project, could a tax receipt be provided?
No. Winterstationsinc. is a not-for-profit entity without the ability
to issue a tax receipt.
Can costs be shared between teams? For example, heavy equipment for the lifting
or delivery of materials?
While possible, this will be at the discretion of the general contractor and should
not be relied upon as part of your submission.
Can we modify the steel structure in any way (such
as painting the steel)?
You may not modify the steel structure in any way
(including painting) however you may use a tape or vinyl covering as a way
to change the colour or detail of the stand.
Can the public/viewers access the top of the chair
where the lifeguard sits?
Yes, the public/viewer may access the top of the chair if you wish.
The shepherd's hook does not appear in the photos -
Do we still have to incorporate it into our design?
While it may not be included in the photos for the
stations, the police may choose to reinstate them at any point in the
future (over which we have no control). Because of this, your design
should be mindful of that fact and treat it as though the hook were there,
regardless of whether it is or not.
Can the work involve excavation of the sand either around or next to the lifeguard station? If yes,
would the displaced sand have to be returned?
While possible, it would add significant cost to your installation. Any excavation would
be required to keep an approx. 60cm distance from the lifeguard stand (you cannot move or relocate the stand).
You would not need to use the excavated sand however the sand would also need to be replaced, adding further cost.
The 2015 competition included a fire pit - Are there any restrictions/limitations for including a fire pit? If
included, would the firewood have to come from the construction budget?
For the 2016 exhibition we are planning on a community fire pit separate from the installations, therefore your
entry should not necessarily contain a fire pit. Wood would be supplied by the organization.
From which direction are the prevailing winds on-site?
The prevailing winds come from the South-West. Refer to the Canadian
Wind Energy Atlas for more information.
Who owns the structure at the end of the display, and what happens to the installations?
Winter Stations owns the structure at the end of the exhibition. The installations will under
most circumstances be dismantled and the materials either recycled or donated.
If teams receive a donation of materials would they be able to acknowledge the supplier's sponsorship?
Yes, you may credit the supplier's sponsorship.
After the jury chooses a project to go onto the next phase, will the short-listed entrant be
involved with the drawings that are created for the construction and budget feasibility?
Once the number of winners is announced in January each team will be assigned a contact
person from Winter Stations and the contractor with which we will work together to figure
out the details and budget.
Is there a limit to the number of submissions
entrants can send in?
There is no limit to the number of submissions
competition participants can submit.
What if team members collaborate on one or
more teams? Are they eligible to enter multiple entries in that
There is no limit to the number of teams
competition participants can be a part of.
Do you have to submit your application materials
in order to register for the competition? Or Can you register beforehand?
While this was the case in 2015, we now require participants to pre-register
before submitting their materials. You can find the registration page
My country does not appear in the list of countries
on the registration form - Am I still eligible to enter the competition?
The Winter Stations Design Competition is open to
anyone from any country. If for some reason your country is not listed
on the registration form, let us know at so that
it may be added to the list.
What are some of the details of the selection
The jury will deliberate between November 16-25 and will
rank their top proposals (the number of which to be confirmed later). This will
then be followed by an equal selection of entries that will be ranked in preference for review
should any from the original selection be deemed unfit to build for any reason. The technical
panel will spend the next month reviewing the entries to determine if they meet the criteria of
constructability and cost of construction. If the first selection of proposals are deemed to
meet the criteria they will be announced on January 11, 2016. If any of the first choices fail
to meet the criteria, the second set of proposals will be considered by order of preference.
The jury and the technical panel will be unaware of the names of the teams or individuals who
have submitted entries until they are announced on January 11, 2016.
What happens if participants are unable to make the trip to Toronto?
Attendance is not mandatory as the organizers will be on-hand to provide
construction services, however we do encourage the winners to attend the opening to ensure
and assist in construction and to meet the public and media to explain
their concepts. We would wish to be able to welcome all winners to the celebrations of
their installations however are we mindful that this is not always possible.
The submission requirements include "Layout of selected images and drawings describing
the project." - Do participants have to include images here that are different from
those required on Page Two? Can the images/drawings on Page One provide support
for the 150 word description on this page?
The selected images and drawings requested for
page one are intended to be broader representations and illustrations
of your scheme. These images are meant to illustrate how you perceive
the project and what you mean to say. The views or elevations requested
for page one should be specific and should best illustrate the intended
Can we include multi-page pdfs as part of our submissions?
Apart from your CV (Page Three), you may NOT include multi-page pdf files as part of your
submission. In the event that you do, the jury and public will only see the first page.
Can we embed video or other special features into the pdf submissions?
Please do not embed any video into your pdf submissions as they will be
converted to jpegs and presented to the jury in hard-copy.
Is it necessary to mark the pdf sheets in a way that identifies the team?
There cannot be any marks or symbols that identify
the individual or the team. If there are they will be disqualified. This
is required in order that the jury not be compromised.
Can the project name identify the entrants?
Entrants must not use a project name that can be used to identify a company
or individual. If they do they will be disqualified.
- Please send your questions to prior to October 19, 2015.