Finalists made their pitch in a bid to see their “Back to the River” design picked up as the future of London’s river guided landscape is decided.
The five finalists in the London Community Foundation’s competition showcased their design plans at the Western Fair Carousel Room Thursday evening.
London Mayor Matt Brown was among of the many community representatives and citizens who came out to see the designs unveiled.
“Investing in our river front is integral to that investment, they’re connected in so many ways,” said Brown.
“What we’re doing is we’re dreaming, we’re imagining what that river front will look like, and I have to say, from what I’ve seen so far, it’s very exciting.”
Every design had interesting and compelling features with aims to enhance the river-scape, taking into account the natural environment, community and commerce.
“We can picture having a cup of coffee by the river bank and watching the sun rise, sitting at a bistro and having a glass of wine overlooking a boardwalk and watching the sun set as a rowing skull speeds by, as a family is out in a canoe or a kyack enjoying the Thames River, right in the heart of our city,” said Brown.
Members of the jury met in July to select the final five:
- Team 1 – Civitas, Denver
- Team 2 – PWL Partnership, Vancouver
- Team 3 – Janet Rosenberg Studio, Toronto
- Team 4 – Stoss + Dillon, Boston and Toronto
- Team 5 – Brook McIlroy, Toronto and Thunder Bay
The firms were each awarded $40,000 to flesh out their initial design plans for what they envisioned the Thames’ riverfront could look like. The two-tiered design competition aims to come up with a proposal that will enhance community quality of life, the environment and economic development.
Here are renderings from the five presentations, click on any photo to open the gallery:
The first tier includes a continuous development strategy for the river between Oxford Street and Adelaide Street for the next two decades, followed by identifying developing opportunities. Tier two would focus on a development strategy for the stretch between Wellington Street and Adelaide Street over the next five to 10 years.
The winner will be chosen during the week of November 2nd. They’ll get an additional $200,000 to make their plan construction ready.
Where the process goes from there is up to London City Council.
It’s believed a Thames River revamp could cost between $5-million and $8-million dollars.