Pavilion Project aims to commission a temporary structure that engages the community, transforms the neighbourhood (Inside Toronto)

In an article published on July 11, 2016, Inside Toronto discusses the Pavilion project. The project, which aims to construct a temporary structure that will be open for a 6-10 week duration during the summer of 2017 is intended to be used as an innovative community space with an educational component such as workshops and films. 

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Pavilion Project aims to commission a temporary structure that engages the community, transforms the neighbourhood (Inside Toronto) 


Ward 18 councillor for Davenport, Ana Bailao, addresses the crowd at 213 Sterling Rd. during a Ward 18 Talks event regarding the Pavilion Project. This is the second installment in the community talk series. July 7, 2016. - Hilary Caton/Metroland

Beginning in 2017, the Pavilion Project, a non-profit initiative, aims to commission an emerging talent each year to build a temporary structure that tests the limits of design. And the Junction will be used as its inaugural location.

Taking the lead from cities like Melbourne, New York City and London who have all tested the waters, the Pavilion Project seeks to create a temporary structure that engages the community and transforms the neighbourhood.

“We believe Toronto is an important international design city and that Canada supports a wealth of design talent and we want to create a program that gives this national scene more visibility,” Illana Altman, the executive director of the Pavilion Project, said in a presentation at 213 Sterling Rd. July 7.

Altman gave a presentation at the second instalment of the Ward 18 Talks hosted by Ward 18 (Davenport) councillor Ana Bailao to roughly 35 people.

The Pavilion Project aims to commission a temporary structure on one of three parcels of land directly against the rail path off Sterling Road. The chosen structure will be around for six to 10 weeks during the summer of 2017 to provide “an immersive experience” for the community.

Altman said the Pavilion Project chose the Junction for its transitional qualities and emerging potential.

“Our organization is committed to setting up structures in transitional neighbourhoods because we’re really interested in how temporary structures can inform an architectural agenda going forward,” she said.

“And how it can bring a community together on site on dormant land; this is also an incredible site with incredible history and context.”

The search for Canadian architects and firms has already begun, Altman noted. A long list of firms will be created and from there it will choose a short list of architectural firms who will create and present a small scale idea to the community. The community is then tasked with providing feedback regarding each project and then a jury selection process will choose the winner.

Aside from looking attractive and being innovative, the structure must also serve more than a structural function; it must have an educational component, whether with workshops or screenings of films, and have cross-programming capability.

The Pavilion Project also plans to team up with the Design Exchange and the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) to provide additional programing throughout the year after the structure is removed.

The Pavilion Project organizers hope to stay in the Junction for the next couple of years as the area develops. Because the structures are temporary the Pavilion Project has the freedom to leap frog around the area. But it’s not shying away from the rest of the city.

“Our interest goes beyond the west end,” Altman told The Villager,

“There are neighbourhoods we’re already talking to in various parts of the city for future seasons.”

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