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Toronto to get an elevated park

"The need to retain public spaces in our cities as they develop and grow requires increasingly ingenuitive thinking. A new development in Toronto shows just that sort of thinking in action," writes Gizmag about Toronto's soon-to-be-developed new green space hovering above the train tracks down near Union Station. 

The park, which will be located at 45-141 Bay Street between two buildings, is the work of real estate company Ivanhoé Cambridge for Metrolinx and is "part of the ongoing development of Union Station. The plans include the addition of a new bus terminal, two office buildings to be constructed standing either side of the rail corridor, and the park area between the buildings," the article says. 

The park will not only connect the buildings, which are designed to achieve LEED Platinum certification, but will provide the city with a public space "for recreation and leisure" while also connecting them to the underground PATH. 

Another article in Bloomberg provides additional context. That article reports that the 2.7 million square foot office complex will cost around $2 billion, with construction set to begin in spring of 2015. 

Read the full story here
Original Source: Gizmag

Pearson and Google Maps partner to offer new airport experience

Toronto Pearson International Airport and Google Maps have collaborated to give passengers detailed indoor maps of the terminal. 

Both Google Maps and Google Maps mobile will help passengers find amenities, pre- and post security points, and other points of interest. The map allows passengers to view the floor plan, while also providing zooming capabilities. 

"It's important that we connect with passengers using the technology and platforms that meet their needs and exceed their expectations," Scott Collier, Vice President of Customer and Terminal Services, Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), said in an article that appeared on Future Travel Experience, noting that the implementation of the indoor maps "directly supports our strategic goals of improving our ability to connect with our passengers."

"For thousands of people every day, Pearson is Toronto's gateway," said Aaron Brindle, spokesperson for Google Canada, in a press release. "We are thrilled that Canadians and travellers from around the world can now navigate Toronto Pearson Airport with Google Maps."

Read the full story here
Original source: Future Travel Experience 

Vogue names West Queen West world's second coolest neighbourhood

Vogue has named West Queen West the second hippest neighbourhood in the world in part thanks to its street style, arts and culture scene, and prominent indie shops and designers. 

Here's what they said: 

"Toronto is currently enjoying newfound prominence—and desirability—amongst globe-trotting tastemakers. Queen Street West is a verifiable artery of indie patisseries, homegrown labels, and hidden-from-view galleries—hallmarks of hipness, if ever they existed. It’s also the home of the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art, well-established “art” hotels The Drake and the Gladstone, and the charming Bicyclette, a local clothing boutique and lifestyle brand whose owners love “glitter, DIY projects, treasure hunts and details.” Soho House Toronto is nearby, as is Graffiti Alley, a block where street art is both 100 percent legal and lauded."

Toronto followed only Tokyo's Shimokitazawa. The report was surprisingly refreshing. Here is the full list of the world's hippest neighbourhoods.

1. Shimokitazawa, Tokyo, Japan
2. West Queen West, Toronto, Canada
3. Sodermalm, Stockholm, Sweden
4. Tiong Bahru, Singapore
5. Centro, Sao Paulo, Brazil
6. Canal Saint-Martin, Paris, France
7. Bushwick, New York City, U.S.
8. Brera, Milan, Italy
9. Wynwood, Miami, U.S.
10. Zona Rosa & La Condesa, Mexico City, Mexico
11. Fitzroy, Melbourne, Australia
12. Silver Lake, Los Angeles, U.S.
13. Hackney, London, U.K.
14. Kreuzberg, Berlin, Germany
15. Dashanzi Art District, Beijing, China

Read the full story here
Original Source: Vogue 

Jennifer Keesmaat brings lessons from Toronto to Perth, Australia

Toronto’s chief planner Jennifer Keesmaat delivered a keynote speech at the Planning Institute Australia WA State Conference at the end of July to highlight Toronto’s “shift” to public transit and its mission to improve congestion, all while challenging the constraints of urban sprawl.

Perth and Toronto have different challenges. While Perth expands outward, Toronto’s challenge is to improve conditions within the boundaries of a city that has reached its growth boundary.  Still, Keesmaat said, Australia’s largest city with a population of just under two million could learn a thing or two from Toronto. 

“There might be some interesting lessons learned with respect to how you begin to transform to an advanced form of urbanism once you move away from that approach of continuing to develop in a very suburban way,” she said. 

“We’ve been there and gone down that trajectory over the course of the past 30 years and we’re now at a moment where we are beginning to urbanise our suburbs by focusing on adding mid-rise development along our corridors and by ensuring we have the density we need in order to make transit a real option.”

Toronto and Perth are both maturing cities, Keesmaat said, and as cities mature limits need to be put in place. She told Perth about Toronto’s protected greenbelt which caused a “fundamentally shift the land economics of the region and forced many suburban developers to become urban developers — they changed their game.” But beyond this, the focus of her speech remained on transportation and congestion, and its direct ties to population growth. 

She said planning high-density communities makes transit options more sustainable, the key to reducing traffic congestion in the long run. 

“It’s a zero-sum gain, that if you continue to plan low density communities there will never be environments that can successfully sustain public transit because there simply isn’t the critical mass to make high-frequency transit use work,” she said. 

For more from her speech, read the full story here
Original source: Perth Now

MakeWorks partners with Indiegogo Canada to expand reach

On Monday, Toronto's MakeWorks announced a partnership with Indiegogo Canada that will help the co-working maker studio expand their programming and potentially finance a second location.

MakeWorks is the first coworking space of its kind in Toronto, providing support to both digital and physical-focused startups. The 10,000 square-foot space houses some 30 different startups, prototyping tools and maker tools such as 3D printers, and acts as a large event space for community and hackathon events alike. 

"Toronto needed a new kind of shared workspace catered to the next generation of startups, products, and services. We built MakeWorks to serve a more diverse group of startups, and the feedback so far has been overwhelmingly positive,” MakeWorks founder Mike Stern said in an article that appeared in Tech Cocktail

The partnership with Indiegogo Canada will allow the studio to enhance their community workshop programming and expand their in house equipment offerings. MakeWorks has been working to increase the number of startups involved in the space. As such, Indiegogo will move its Canadian headquarters into the space as part of the deal. 

Read the original story here
Original Source: Tech Cocktail

Toronto named Intelligent Community of the Year

After months of deliberations, Toronto has been selected as the Intelligent Community of the Year at the Intelligent Community Forum, held in New York last week. 

This comes after years of "knocking on the door," as Network World put it, for many years now. Toronto ranked in the top seven in 2005, 2013, and 2014. The annual title celebrates cities that use smart IT infrastructure to grow communities, create jobs, and contribute to economic growth, among other things. 

"Toronto was selected because it performed impressively against a set of diverse criteria and focused its academic, creative and private sectors, as well as its City Council leadership on the work and continued success of the entire community. In our view, Toronto offers a glimpse of how to flourish in the new economy and of how to adjust to the changes of the digital era," said ICF co-founder Lou Zacharilla in a press release.

Zacharilla also apparently called Toronto "New York City with manners."

Really, it was the efforts of Waterfront Toronto that solidified this year's crown. The organization has been pushing to make Toronto's contributions in this realm known. Waterfront Toronto's forthcoming "innovation district" will "provide 12,000 new residences with 100 Mpbs broadband to individual homes, and 10 Gbps networking to businesses…with the goal of providing design and media companies in Toronto with the highest transmission rates in the world," Network World reports. 

"This is a significant win for Toronto; one that recognizes the great efforts made in the city to work together on using information technology to create jobs, attract investment and make us more competitive," said Toronto Deputy Mayor Norm Kelly in the press release. "The work of Waterfront Toronto to collaborate with government, businesses, and the education and research community is helping establish Toronto's waterfront as an example of how to use future-ready information and communication infrastructure to attract jobs and residents."

Read the full story here
Original Source: Network World

Turning vacant lots into mobile urban farms

Toronto-based nonprofit the Bowery Project was highlighted in a recent article for its forward-thinking approach to urban farming and for taking advantage of vacant lots. 

The Fast Company article describes the Bowery Project as follows: "Using a simple modular system built from milk crates, a new Toronto nonprofit plans to convert vacant city lots into instantly mobile urban farms that can supply neighborhoods with local produce."

The Bowery Project, founded by Rachel Kimel and Deena DelZotto, works with the city of Toronto and various developers to maximize space in the city and use it for good.

“If developers buy a piece of land, usually there’s a long period of time where the land sits vacant until they’ve gotten permits, finished their designs, and raised the money they need,” Kimel explains in the article. “We’re hoping to be kind of a transformative application for an interim project for these lots."

The food will be split three ways with one third going to local hunger organizations, another to the volunteers who work on the farm, and the last will be sold to local chefs to help sustain the organization. "They expect that chefs will request specific food items that are otherwise difficult to get in Toronto, such as shishito peppers," the article says. 

Kimel and DelZotto met while volunteering at another local food access organization, the Stop.

“We love the energy that comes along with growing food,” Kimel says in the article. “We wanted to engage the community and transform a part of the neighborhood that would otherwise be left as concrete and weeds.”

Read the full story here
Original Source: Fast Company

IBM to open mobile lab in Toronto

IBM has announced plans to open 18 new mobile application development studios internationally, including one here in Toronto. 

The company made the announcement at its Impact conference, which took place in Las Vegas last week. 

"The mobile lab will be part of the new Interactive Experience Lab for creating apps for the Web, kiosks and other multi-channel outlets in downtown Toronto and expected to open in a few months, said Warren Tomlin, IBM's North American labs leader. It will focus helping customers creating mobile applications based on industry-specific, pre-configured Ready Apps created by IBM," Computer Dealer News reports. 

The MobileFirst studios are designed, in part, to widen IBM's consumer base and attract new business—including startups—that are looking to move into or further develop their mobile platforms.

For IBM, one of the goals of launching the portfolio is to widen its customer base and to appeal to companies both large and small.

"We are transforming ourselves in the context of where the market is going," Nancy Pearson, vice-president of IBM’s cloud category marketing, is quoted as saying in the article. "It's the whole channel of IBM as a service."

Although IBM has announced the studio will open within the next few months, details on the location of the studio and the number of jobs this will create was not yet available.

To read the full article, click here
Original Source:  Computer Dealer News

Two Toronto companies among finalists at SXSW Accelerator wearable tech competition

Two Toronto companies were announced among the finalists in the 2014 SXSW Accelerator pitch competition's wearable technologies category this past weekend.

South by Southwest, an annual music festival and technology conference that takes place in Austin, Texas, saw 500 web-based companies apply for a chance to showcase their products to at Startup Village in several different categories. 
Up first was Bionym, a company that launched its debut product the Nymi in September of last year. Nymi is a wearable identification wristband device that authenticates users through their heartbeat. 
"Identity is hard," the presenter is reported as saying in an article that appeared on livescience, but "what if you could make identity easy?"
Later, Kiwi Wearable Technologies took the stage to present their "Kiwi Move," a tracking device that "the company says will contain motion sensors, temperature and air pressure sensors, a microphone, and Wi-FI and Bluetooth capabilities," the article says. 
Although the top award did not go to one of these startups (Silicon Valley startup Skully Helmets won for its augmented reality motorcycle helmet), having two Toronto companies in the wearable tech sphere make it into the finals further solidifies our leading place in this field internationally.
Read the full article here
Original Source: livescience

3D printers come to Toronto Public Library

The Toronto Public Library has announced plans to bring a variety of 3D printers and related software to its Digital Innovation Hubs, which will open at the Toronto Reference Library and the forthcoming Fort York branch in the coming weeks. 
The Digital Innovation Hub will launch with a collection of iMacs, MacBook pros, video and audio editing software in an effort make technology more accessible for TPL users. 
"One of the things that the library has been doing is trying to equalize people's access to information and knowledge," Paul Trumphour, access and information manager at Toronto Public Libraries, told Global News.
"We became a kind of community hub for people to come in and get access to decent Internet for free. A few years ago we introduced access to Microsoft Office on pretty much all of our workstations. One of our goals is to bring awareness that this type of technology exists and how it can be used."

Library-goers will have access to seminars and workshops to learn more about the 3D printing process, as well as the ability to scan and print objects.
The library eventually hopes to partner with local maker spaces, community centres that focus on using and participating in technology and workshops, to "introduce mode advanced programming."
Read the full story here
Original Source: Global News

Daniels Spectrum named best new venue for meetings and events: Canada

Daniels Spectrum has been named the best new venue for meetings and events in Canada, according to the first National BizBash Event Style Awards.
The winners of the inaugural awards were announced last Wednesday at the BizBash IdeaFest in New York. The awards honour "the best ideas, strategies, products and venues across North America" and are given to "entries that demonstrated innovation, quality of execution, effectiveness, and an influential impact on the event and meeting industry."
Located in Regent Park, Daniels Spectrum is a cultural hub and features office and event space, community programming, meeting rooms, and various other amenities. 
Here's what BizBash said about Daniels Spectrum.
Located in downtown Toronto’s Regent Park redevelopment, Daniels Spectrum was designed by Diamond & Schmitt Architects and has a mandate to support culturally diverse and inclusive events. The colorful facility features a fully equipped main hall with a 300-seat retractable bleacher system and two retractable walls, an outdoor stage, and a lounge for smaller performances, meetings, and receptions.
View the full slideshow featuring all the winners here
Original Source: BizBash

Toronto again named one of the world's smartest communities

For the second year in a row, the Intelligent Communities Forum (ICF) has named Toronto as one of the world's 21 smartest communities. ICF looks at communities around the world and grades them based on how broadband infrastructure and IT builds economies and improves the lives of local citizens. 
The list will be whittled down to seven finalists to be announced in January. The winner will be announced on June 6, 2014 at a ceremony in New York City.
Toronto secured a spot in the top seven last year, but it was Taichung, Taiwan that came out on top. 
"One of the major reasons for Toronto’s claim to the title is because of Waterfront Toronto, which has launched several intelligent community programs," said an article that ran on itbusiness.ca. The article cites Waterfront's various accomplishments including building a cloud-based community platform that allows businesses and residents access to data "they can use it to make decisions about daily commutes, residents' health, energy, and water use."
In addition to Waterfront Toronto, the City of Toronto also named digital programs such as [email protected] and Connected For Success, as well as the Centre for Social Innovation and the Digital Media Zone at Ryerson University in its application. 
Read the full story here
Original Source: IT Business

Apply to speak at Toronto's first TEDxWomen event

Speaker applications are now open for women interested in channeling "the bootstrap spirit of Silicon Valley to celebrate invention in all its forms." The event is the first of its kind, designed to "provide a platform or women to share ideas, inspired new modes of understanding and be a catalyst of change," the website says.
The conference will focus not just on technology and objects, but "also solutions to poverty; approaches to peacemaking; expressions of art, and, at times, our own lives." More then 150 independently organized TEDx events will take place simultaneously exploring the theme of "Invented Here." 
"The result: A truly global conversation—from San Francisco to São Paulo to Toronto's Distillery District—celebrating inventors and designers; thinkers and makers; local problem-solvers and global leaders."
The event will be held on December 5th, 2013 and the deadline to apply to be a speakers is October 15th, 2013.
For more information, click here
Source: TEDxDistilleryDistrictWomen

Local typewriter collector earns international attention

"Some people collect baseball cards and others collect coins. Martin Howard, however, collects century-old typewriters," writes Gizmodo Australia, which ran a story on the Torontonian's extensive collection. It features typewriters that look like "navigation instruments" and others that "look like scales."
The article selects a few from the collection that it deems the most beautiful. Of them is the Crandall – New Model from 1887, which resembles a sewing machine. It features decorative flower designs with gold accents, detailed by 28 keys that support 84 characters.
Another, the Lambert 1 from 1902, resembles a rotary dial phone. It's "ideal for the one-finger typist," the article writes. 
"The Martin Howard Collection includes dozens of rare and historically significant typewriters. It’s the largest of its kind in Canada and continues to grow as its owner comes across new pieces. While the typewriters sometimes travel for exhibitions, you can always see the whole collection on Howard’s website, and if you really want to you can probably buy them," Gizmodo reports.
Read the full story and check out Gizmodo's favourites here. Or, if you desire, view the entire Martin Howard collection on his website here
Original source: Gizmodo 

University of Toronto among top 20 universities in the world

The University of Toronto has ranked in the top 20 universities in the world for the second year in a row, climbing two spots from last year to tie with the University of Edinburg for 17th place. QS World Universities ranks international universities annually to determine the top educational institutions in the world.
"The University of Toronto has assembled one of the strongest research and teaching faculties in North America, presenting top students at all levels with an intellectual environment unmatched in breadth and depth on any other Canadian campus," says QS, directly quoting the University's profile. 
"U of T faculty co-author more research articles than their colleagues at any university in the U.S. or Canada other than Harvard. As a measure of impact, U of T consistently ranks alongside the top five U.S. universities whose discoveries are most often cited by other researchers around the world."
The University ranked with an overall score of 91.30 out of a possible 100. However, the school ranked 13th overall based on Academic reputation, which earned a score of 99.90. The University has been climbing steadily since 2007, when it was ranked 45th out of 100. This number climbed to 23rd by 2011, and broke the top 20 in 2012. 
Here is a list of the top 20 overall out of 100 for 2013/2014:
1) Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
2) Harvard University
3) University of Cambridge
4) UCL (University College London)
5) Imperial College London
6) University of Oxford
7) Stanford University
8) Yale University
9) University of Chicago
10 = California institute of Technology (CALTECH)
10 = Princeton University
12) Eth Zurich (Swiss Federal Institute of Technology)
13) University of Pennsylvania
14) Columbia University
15) Cornell University
16) Johns Hopkins University
17 = University of Edinburgh
17 = University of Toronto
19) Ecole Polytechnique Federale De Lausanne (EPFL)
19) King's College London (KCL)
McGill University in Montreal was not too far behind, with an overall ranking of 21. The University of British Columbia ranked 49th, the Université de Montréal ranked 92nd, and the University of Alberta ranked 96th.
Read the full list here
Original source: The Independent
96 Design Articles | Page: | Show All
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