Winter Stations returns for its tenth year in Toronto with nine installations that demonstrate Resonance

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Winter Stations returns for its tenth year in Toronto with nine installations that demonstrate Resonance

Making Waves by Adria Maynard and Purvangi Patel (Courtesy Winter Stations)

Since 2014, Winter Stations has brought Torontoans to the Maple City’s Woodbine Beach during its coldest months. Now in its tenth iteration, participants were challenged with designing artful lifeguard stands for the beach that breathe new life into the echoes of past installations that have been installed on the sandy shores of Woodbine Beach.

The theme for this year is Resonance. It asked designers to look back into the Winter Stations archive and pull ideas from a past design to inform a contemporary piece.

Four professional awards, and three student awards were given; and two installations from past years were retroactively debuted—totaling nine temporary installations. This year’s professional winners include Xavier Madden and Katja Banovic, Brander Architects, Adria Maynard and Purvangi Patel, and David Stein. These four projects appear alongside three installations by students from the University of Waterloo School of Architecture, Toronto Metropolitan University, and the University of Guelph.

From opening day on February 19 through the end of March, the works will be on view at Queen Street East at Woodbine Park, Kew Gardens, and Ivan Forest Gardens. Take a look below at the winning 2024 Winter Stations designs. Project descriptions and images are provided by their respective designers.

We Caught a UFO! by Xavier Madden and Katja Banovic (Courtesy Winter Stations)

We Caught a UFO!

Xavier Madden & Katja Banovic | Croatia and Australia

We Caught a UFO!” builds upon the project “In the Belly of a Bear”, which utilised the lifeguard chair by lifting the public above ground into a cozy space, transporting them into a new world. “We caught a UFO!” reimagines these qualities by referencing the rumours and whispers of the many UFO sightings across Lake Ontario. However, these rumours can no longer be disputed, as there is now physical proof! Caught under a net, the UFO is wrapped in glued aluminum foil which glimmers in the light, contrasting its surroundings as a foreign object. The public (especially kids!) are encouraged to explore the UFO and can climb up into the main space where pink plexi windows transform the beach into a new tinted landscape or planet! Ultimately, “We caught a UFO!” is an installation which stimulates the public’s imagination while also providing a necessary shelter from the wind and cold.

A KALEIDOSCOPIC ODYSSEY by Brander Architects; Adam Brander, Nilesh P, Ingrid Garcia, Maryam Emadzadeh (Courtesy Winter Stations)


Brander Architects | Canada

A KALEIDOSCOPIC ODYSSEY invites on lookers to step into an experience where we challenge where reality ends and imagination begins. Explore the limitless depths of perception with this mesmerizing adaptation of Kaleidoscope of the Senses, 2020. In this installation, there are 2 guiding concepts. The scale of a traditional kaleidoscope is magnified 84 times to a humanscale so participants can inhabit the instrument and become a part of its wonder. Where a kaleidoscope is commonly a closed-loop system, this device is deliberately severed into 2 sculptured equal-and-opposite parts, with purposeful space between them.

Making Waves

Adria Maynard and Purvangi Patel | Canada

Making Waves is a whimsical piece of furniture that represents the ways that simple actions can ripple outwards to “resonate” across time and space, moving and impacting others in surprising ways. The installation takes the form of an exaggerated couch, forming an unusual urban living room where neighbours can gather, play, and sit together by the water. Inspired by kinetic sculptures and whirligigs, the design is composed of a series of parts that dance when cranks are turned. Wooden slats act as rippling bench that rock and move those who are sitting, and vertical poles tipped with glowing globes bob in the air to signal people from afar. Making Waves pays homage to the 10 years of Winter Stations and the ways that public art can foster shared delight, contemplation, and play that brings together strangers and friends in public space.

Nimbus by David Stein (Courtesy Winter Stations)


David Stein | Canada

Inspired by the airy strands that make up the 2016 installation Floating Ropes, Nimbus’s playful shapes and colours do more than just resonate with its predecessor. Nimbus evolves the concept and materials by adding saturated blue ropes hanging below a bubbly white structure. The station asks visitors to consider the presence and absence of rain in our contemporary world by referencing both severe storms and flooding, as well as concerning trends of lack of rain, drought, and desertification.

Bobbin’ by Max Perry, Jason Cai, Kenneth Siu, Simon Peiris, Yoon Hur, Angeline Reyes, Oluwatobiloba Babalola, Yiqing Liu, Kenyo Musa, Ali Hasan; University of Waterloo School of Architecture (Courtesy Winter Stations)


University of Waterloo School of Architecture | Canada

Bobbin’ invites the visitor to a place where pivotal moments and whimsical memories prompt reflection. It shelters visitors with slats that create an ever-changing threshold between the bobbing zone and the surrounding beach. The seesaws draw from the playground-like Sling Swing and Lifeline projects, while its form within the landscape reflects HotBox and Introspection. Each material has been sourced from previous student projects in addition to salvaged materials from the community of Cambridge. As you navigate through, bobbing up and down, a fresh perspective unfolds, encouraging resonance with the surrounding and past Winter Stations.

Nova by Nova by Jake Levy, Emily Lensin, Luca Castellan, and Nathaniel Barry; Toronto Metropolitan University – Department of Architectural Science (Courtesy Winter Stations)


Toronto Metropolitan University | Canada

Beneath the night sky, stars shine and create geometric patterns. Nova is a star that has crashed on top of a lifeguard station and illuminates Woodbine Beach throughout the night. Nova highlights TMU’s past decade of Winter Stations, inspired by the origami, materiality, and form of Snowcone, Lithoform, and S’Winter Station. Nova introduces 3D printing, a textile canopy, and an elegant steel pipe connection to create a pavilion with “Resonance.” The star pavilion shields users and encourages them to engage with their surroundings, and the lifeguard station makes a beacon for users to access panoramic views of the beach.

Winteraction by University of Guelph – Department of Landscape Architecture. This team included Afshin Ashari, Ali Ebadi, Jacob Farrish, Cameron Graham, Ngoc Huy Pham, Ramtin Shafaghati, Zackary Tammaro-Cater and Ashari Architects (Amir Ashari, Sara Nazemi, Anahita Kazempour, Hakimeh Elahi, Yasaman Sirjani, Zahra Jafari (Courtesy Winter Stations)


University of Guelph | Canada

WINTERACTION, resonating with OneCanada and WE[AR] projects, is a dual installation in Iran and Canada. It fosters solidarity and social interaction between the two nations. Visitors are invited on an introspective journey through a labyrinth, symbolizing a complex and challenging quest, leading from confusion to enlightenment, to reach inner peace. At the center, a virtual tree emerges as a symbol of peace and alliance, evolving dynamically with visitor interactions at both locations. Celebrating the 10th anniversary of Winterstations, WINTERACTION transcends mere local interaction, integrating into Canada’s diverse cultural tapestry. This project champions human connections across borders, advocating for shared experiences, peace, and friendship.

Conrad by Novak Djogo and Daniel Joshua Vanderhorst (Jonathan Sabeniano)


Novak Djogo & Daniel Joshua Vanderhorst | Canada

Conrad is one of the two previous installations. It debuted in 2015.

Delighthouse by Nick Green and Greig Pirrie (Phil Marion)


Nick Green and Greig Pirrie | Canada

Delighthouse was previously installed in 2023.