Market 707, Scadding Court Community Centre

Alexandra Park, Toronto

Market 707 is a bold and prototypical urban intervention that transformed a residual urban space into an engaging street market that is also designed for future reuse.

 

On a formerly barren sidewalk outside Scadding Court Community Centre in Alexandra Park, we used shipping containers to build a new urban market. We modified each container to include roll up doors, canopies for shelter, and power and water services, providing all the necessary infrastructure for small service or food vending businesses. The vendors supplied their own seating and decorated their containers with signage and other personalized elements, bridging the gap between the market and the public realm. Working with a gardening group from the community centre, we also helped add the infrastructure for green roofs, which were then planted with sunflowers.

With a very small investment, the market has created an opportunity for young adults, newcomers, and first-time business owners to access a large client base for multi-cultural and inexpensive food offerings, or to set up much needed services such as phone or bicycle repair. Closely linked to the activities and culture of the community, the market has enriched the streetscape, contributed to community safety and well-being, and brought much positive attention and pride to its community.

The project also involved the release of a free Modular Market Developers Manual, which offers insight – based on Market 707’s own success – on everything from navigating city and zoning by-laws and health licensing to funding and vendor selection, which has already helped to create similar markets elsewhere in Toronto including Stackt Market.

In 2013, The Toronto Urban Design Awards granted Market 707 a rare ‘Special Jury Award’ for its contribution to Toronto’s livability.

The street theatre derived from this modest intervention was among the richest and certainly the most spontaneous of all the sites visited.

2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards Jury

Awards

2013 Toronto Urban Design Awards – Special Jury Award

Media

Globe and Mail – (October 2013) A market made of containers fills a neighbourhood gap