While it's booming and busy in the summer, Toronto's lakefront, like much of the public space in northern cities, is underappreciated during colder months. Architect Roland Rom Colthoff of RAW Design had seen how design competitions in Canadian cities such as Winnipeg and Montreal spurred architects to add to the winter landscape, so when a friend started talking about the abandoned life guard stations he spotted near Lake Ontario while walking his dog, Colthoff was inspired. Along with Ted Merrick (Ferris + Associates) and Justin Ridgeway (Curio), Colthoff created Winter Stations, a contest to create temporary installations along a beach community on Lake Ontario to encourage exploration and engagement with the lakefront. The call for submissions last September brought in 200 ideas from 36 countries worldwide; five winning entries recieved $15,000 to realize their concepts, which went up in January and will remain until March 28, 2015. "They’ve been incredibly popular and local residents want to make one a permanent installation, but we want to keep them temporary and make it about discovery," says Colthoff. "The city has 34 life guard stations facing Lake Ontatio. We're already planning for next year."
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