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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

2024 | Issue 66

Street Furniture

The imminent end of the 20-year contract with Astral Media to supply and manage Toronto’s street furniture is a foreseeable follow-up to Spacing’s 20th anniversary. The development of the contract began just a few years after we were founded, and it was one of the issues we were most active about in those early years. It sat right at the heart of our mandate to discuss the public spaces and design of Toronto.

While we’ve had many magazine and online features about street furniture, though, we never dedicated an issue to it. Now that the end of the contract is in sight, it’s time to start a conversation about where to go next. So we’ve taken the opportunity to put it on our cover and reflect on the two decades of the contract and what could be next.

Our front section also includes plenty of infrastructure: sewers, outdoor skating rinks, accessibility. Meanwhile, Natalie Welsh brings to life the former TTC Guides, who used to animate our transit system in their trim uniforms, providing assistance to anyone who needed it. Infrastructure is important, but it’s the people who use it who make our public spaces thrive.
photo by Matthew Blackett