Ontario residents and wintertime beachgoers from further afield can now don their gloves, scarves, and finest tuques and make a beeline for the shores of Lake Ontario for this year’s Winter Stations exhibition at Woodbine Beach, just east of downtown Toronto. Now in its eighth edition, the annual international design competition and temporary architecture exhibition aims to enliven Toronto’s otherwise dormant beaches during the frigid winter months through the creative transformation of existing, seasonally disused lifeguard stands perched along the lakefront.
This year’s six crowd-drawing, cold weather pavilion designs—three selected from hundreds of submissions worldwide and three being student-helmed designs from Ryerson University, University of Toronto, and University of Guelph—were unveiled on February 23 and will remain on view at Woodbine Beach until March 31. One winning design, Wildlife-guard Chair, debuted at Pier 8 in Hamilton as part of that city’s Winterfest celebrations. It will be relocated to Woodbine Beach in early March to join the other installations for the remainder of the exhibition.
As previously detailed by AN, the theme of this year’s competition was “Resilience” and participating designers were “asked to celebrate the ability of people to withstand and push through challenging and unprecedented times. This year, artists were asked to not only reflect on all the ways people have had to be resilient, but the ways people have channeled this resilience, be it through communities, movements, support networks, and more.”
One winning station, THE HIVE, has been dedicated to the individuals who lived at YWCA Toronto’s temporary emergency shelter at Kingston Road and Queen Street East during the COVID-19 pandemic. Per the exhibition’s organizers, residents and staff of the shelter were drawn to THE HIVE’s “vibrant colours and how it represents resilience and hope in building community in unprecedented times.”
Launched in 2015 by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates, and Curio, Winter Stations took a marked detour for last year’s edition with the winning designs being realized in and around Toronto’s (non-shoreline-adjacent) Distillery District late last spring through summer. Despite the pandemic-prompted delay and change of scenery, the 2021 iteration proved to be just as popular as the past cycles staged in the dead of winter.
“With all the uncertainty over the past two years, we’re overjoyed that Winter Stations is once again on the Beach,” said Winter Stations founder and RAW Design director Roland Rom Colthoff. “It’s great to be able to offer Torontonians a distanced and safe event to look forward to this winter.”
The 2022 competition jury was again co-chaired by Toronto City Councillor Brad Bradford and included AN’s own web editor, Jonathan Hilburg.
Below is a look at each of the six winning designs now on view (or in the case of Wildlife-guard Chair, soon to be on view) at Woodbine Beach. Individual design statements for each winning work can be found in our announcement article detailing this year’s winning pavilions. A full list of past winners can be found here.
Kathleen Dogantzis and Will Cuthbert | Canada
MELT — Cemre Önertürk & Ege Çakır | Turkey
Mickael Minghetti, with the guidance of Andres Jimenez Monge | France and Canada
Evan Fernandes, Kelvin Hoang, Alexandra Winslow, Justin Lieberman, and Ariel Weiss; led by Associate Professor Vincent Hui, Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science
Christopher Hardy, Tomasz Weinberger, Clement Sung, Jason Wu, Jacob Henriquez, Christopher Law, Anthony Mattacchione, George Wang, Maggie MacPhie, and Zoey Chao; led by Associate Professor Fiona Lim Tung, University of Toronto John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
Alex Feenstra, Megan Haralovich, Zhengyang Hua, Noah Tran, Haley White, and Connor Winrow; led by Assistant Professor Afshin Ashari, University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development