City Building

505 Richmond St. W. transforms for one evening to host NXT City Prize

October 23, 2015
505 Richmond St. W. transforms for one evening to host NXT City Prize

On September 24, Build Toronto’s historic building at 505 Richmond St. W. was transformed with lounge furniture, full-service food and beverage booths and flashing lights in order to help the NXT team celebrate our future city builders. NXT City Prize is an awards event that calls for entries from those under 35 detailing how they can make Toronto great in meaningful ways. The proposals deal with turning possibility into impact through structures, mobile apps, businesses, events or event pop-up installations to connect people and create opportunities in our public spaces.

In supporting the next generation of city builders, Build Toronto welcomed over 700 of the City’s innovative thinkers through our building.

“Partnering with NXT City at 505 Richmond is meaningful for us at Build Toronto as it brings to life the type of development we want to see occur in this phenomenal heritage structure” says Salima Rawji, Director, Development. “Innovative thinking around privately held, publically accessible spaces is something we have focused on with this development in particular and aligns well with the NXT City urban ideas competition values. It’s exciting to host the best and brightest thinkers under 35 and see them respond so positively to our spaces and our redevelopment story.”

505 Richmond is a site that plays an important role in Toronto’s history. Back in 1837, the lands were set aside by the City as the future St. Andrew’s Market to serve the growing west end and the third public market in the City. In 1850, a wooden market was constructed to meet the demand, unfortunately that was destroyed by a fire 10 years later. A new market was then constructed in 1837 and became a significant hub for the community. Unfortunately by 1900, the market was no longer viable and closed down, which prompted a decision to tear down the building. A new Water Works Building was erected in 1932 as part of 6the City’s program to offset the Depression Era’s unemployment. That building stands until this day. Back in 2011 the City declared this building and site surplus to the City’s needs and it became Build Toronto’s responsibility to device a new plan and new life for this important site.

The historic site was declared surplus by the City of Toronto and identified for transfer in 2011. Since then, Build Toronto has been working with local Councillor offices and the local community to gather input to prepare for an important redevelopment project that will focus around a food hall and incorporate a YMCA facility.