The innovative project sought to revitalize the O’Keefe laneway and St Enochs Square between Yonge and Victoria St., near Yonge-Dundas Square by transforming the derelict space into a vibrant public space through a community design process.
Successful precedents in Melbourne, Australia, suggest that these overlooked spaces can become hubs of pedestrian friendly community activity, incorporating greenery, public art, festivals, and even small scale retail such as coffee shops and flower shops, supporting density and economic development.
The community consultation project is now complete. Those interested in seeing the results should contact 8-80 Cities directly. Unfortunately, construction is expected to keep the laneway closed until at least 2015.
This project is partially funded by the Ontario Government.
ING DIRECT nominated O’Keefe Ln/St Enochs Sq to be part of the 8-80 Cities Make a Place for People project that aims to renew 8 locations in Ontario through a community-design process. The laneway is one of two sites chosen to work with celebrated Danish architecture firm Gehl Architects. The final community-led plan for the space will be made publicly available and include visualizations and recommendations based on input from various groups. The overview of the Make a Place for People project is here: