Ontario Construction News staff writer
The City of Toronto has partnered with Humber College through the college’s Centres of Innovation Network to create updates to TinyTO – a model of downtown Toronto in the lobby of city hall.
Designed and built by Humber students in Industrial Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, User Experience Design and Game Programming, the updates to TinyTO will serve as a tool to help city planners and developers envision redevelopment options, growth and expansion patterns.
“Working on TinyTO has been a tremendous opportunity for Humber students to showcase their innovative ideas through work-integrated learning and earn real-world experience that is supporting development in Toronto. We are looking forward to continuing to build big things at TinyTO with the support of the City of Toronto,” Humber College president and CEO Ann Marie Vaughan said in a statement.
The newest addition to the model was unveiled last week – a 3D printed model of City Hall and the Toronto Sign, along with plans for additional enhancements including an augmented reality component.
The partnership involves a multi-disciplinary team of Humber students and faculty members whose work took place through coursework and workshops hosted at city hall and Humber College’s Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation, resulting in a presentation of processes and learnings to staff and three new segments of the model along Toronto’s ever-evolving waterfront.
Recent achievements include:
- 2020 – The initial partnership saw a successful “Hackathon” brainstorming event
- 2021 – Students focused on producing concepts and a vision for the model of the future
- 2022 – New, updated tiles for the model were produced and began to be installed
The team worked closely with staff to design and produce new sections of the model using the city’s 3D Massing dataset. The existing model includes 12 tiles (in a four by three tile grid) with each tile measuring 1.2 metres x 1.2 metres; the existing model is at a scale of 1:1250. New additions to the model are at a scale of 1:1500. This decrease in scale allows for more of the city to be captured in the model.
The new additions have been designed to be flexible, splitting each tile into four quarters for more accessible transport. The new sections also consist of three components: 3D-printed buildings that sit on top of acrylic blocks with a vinyl base map underneath to allow each component to be updated, maintained and replaced when necessary.
The vision for the model is to apply the latest technologies and create a unique real-time, city-wide, interactive multi-media exhibit where residents, tourists, stakeholders and decision-makers can gather to look at the present and emerging forms of the city and discuss planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and development concepts.
The model is located on the first floor of city hall, and information is available on the Creating a New State-of-the-Art City Model webpage.
More information about Humber College’s fellowship program and TinyTO is available on Humber’s website .