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Market Shift Charrette


June 1, 2012


On June 1, 2012, together with the Working Habitat, we hosted a design charrette at Scadding Court Community Centre on the concept of container markets in Toronto.

Called Market Shift, Scadding Court had wanted to examine where else in the city container markets could be built. As Market 707 was the first container market in Toronto at the time, the concept was still really new in the city and there was a growing demand from community groups who wanted to learn more and replicate it’s success.

We were super excited when, on the morning of the charrette, the event was featured on CBC’s Metro Morning! This was in addition to it having been featured in various Toronto newspapers throughout the week (see below). People were definitely very intrigued by this concept and wanted to support it’s growth.

The charrette opened with author and urban innovator Jeb Brugmann, who inspired participants to think about how city building could help micro-enterprises. We then broke off the group into 4 discussion tables each examining one of 4 different sites around Toronto that could lend themselves easily to hosting such a market. These were: apartment tower sites, strip malls, parks and temporary pop-up uses such as on parking lots or derelict lots.

market_shift_3With lunch provided by the Market 707 vendors, participants came curious and left with a flood of new ideas. From creating a condominium ownership structure for strip mall containers to developing container “main streets” for a true market “feel”, there was much enthusiasm for the concept and a desire to see more of it around town. The parks group even came up with a list of guidelines for when it would be appropriate to have container markets in parks!

All in all, it was a very successful event. It provided the client with a large amount of ideas on how to expand the concept around the city and make contact with potential stakeholders to help take it forward. Through our communications and media expertise, we were also able to garner much media attention for the event including the aforementioned CBC segment and various newspaper articles. The engagement actually led to a second project with Scadding Court around reviewing the actual business model and marketing strategies.