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id8 Downsview

Through a community-based fieldnotes program, local story collection, and arts and culture, the Dept supported a comprehensive engagement process for the redevelopment of 520 acres in northwest Toronto.


The Dept worked alongside Swerhun Inc to deliver comprehensive engagement services to Northcrest Developments and Canada Lands Company in support of their redevelopment of 520 acres in Downsview. These lands include the former Downsview military base and the Bombardier airstrip. Rethinking the evolution of the area and building sustainable, resilient, vibrant, healthy, and complete communities in close consultation with stakeholders and the local community will be multi-phased and take decades.


Our work focused on highlighting the neighbourhoods, people, history, and culture that are in Downsview already with engagement modules such as Downsview Stories and Downsview Fieldnotes.


Check out our trailer for the Downsview Stories project:

The Dept also worked with Future Simple Studio to develop "XOXO Downsview," a pilot project that fostered an approach to local arts that will be used for decades to come. The project prioritized community collaboration and highlighted the exceptional creative energy in and around Downsview. XOXO Downsview launched in September 2021 in collaboration with ArtworxTO, Toronto’s Year of Public Art. One year became two, and over that time, XOXO Downsview brought hundreds of creative people together through diverse interim arts projects.



Projects were guided by a set of inclusive principles created in collaboration with local artists and organizations. The projects were also shaped by the XOXO Advisory Committee, composed of local and city-wide experts, and artist submissions were judged by a pool of XOXO selection panel members. The projects included installations, murals, multimedia works, in-person and audio tours, events, and even a local pilsner.



Check out the projects and all the artists and community groups who made XOXO a success.


And you can learn more about the wider engagement process on the id8 Downsview project website.

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