You’re Invited: Public Meeting on Toronto’s Wayfinding System March 28, 5 – 8 PM

This video introduces the world’s first Touchless Wayfinding System:

  • D-Sign worked closely with the Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Canada, to create a pilot system that would enable users to find their way to nearby locations in the airport.
  • The system incorporated a multi-tiered menu structure, enabling users to select from categories such as Food and Drink, Lounges, Amenities, and Retail.
  • Once a destination had been selected by a user they were shown an animation through a 3D map of the airport starting at their standing point and ending on the destination they had chosen.
  • Does this Touchless Wayfinding System remind you of Tom Cruise‘s actions in the movie Minority Report? (We’re getting closer to that future time!)

Do you sometimes have difficulties finding your way in the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada?

Toronto residents, commuters and visitors will receive help soon in finding their way around the city via Toronto’s wayfinding system.

Since Toronto is Canada’s largest city, it’s about time for the City of Toronto to propose a wayfinding system for:

Here are the highlights of a wayfinding system:

  • enables people to orient themselves in physical space and navigate from place to place.
    • In a city, it relates to both the built and the natural environment and makes streets, neighbourhoods, and the city more “legible”.
  • its components are:
    • Signs
    • Names
    • Maps
    • Lighting
    • Street furniture
    • Urban realm
    • Public art
    • New technology (mobile/websites)
  • wayfinding systems exist in many Canadian and international cities such as London, New York and Vancouver

The City’s goal is to “develop a coherent wayfinding system in Toronto that extends across transportation modes and into electronic devices.”

The purposes of the wayfinding system in Toronto are:

  • “to provide consistent information to ensure trips are simple and direct
  • to provide a consistent signage and information system
  • to create a ‘legible’ city that will help to:
    • reduce traffic congestion,
    • improve the functionality of the city’s streets,
    • give people the confidence to move around the city, in whatever mode – safe in the knowledge of knowing where the street leads, and how long their journey will take”

Three Phases of the Wayfinding Project:

Phase One:

  • was kicked off in October 2011
  • has various stages including:
    • developing the system principles
    • implementation strategy
    • identifying funding sources
    • and defining the parameters for the pilot system that will be presented to City Council in June 2012 with specific recommendations prior to moving to implementation

Phase Two:

  • will include design guidelines
  • and prototypes for pilot implementation

Phase Three:

  • will include a city-wide roll out
  • and full implementation of the wayfinding strategy

The consultant team of Steer Davies Gleave and DIALOG have been selected to develop the wayfinding strategy and they will work closely with:

  • a Steering Committee
  • and a group of Stakeholders comprised of City staff and representatives such as:
    • TTC
    • Metrolinx,
    • Tourism Toronto
    • Pan Am Games
    • The Association of Registered Graphic Designers of Ontario
    • Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas.

The successful implementation of a unified wayfinding system will deliver the following proven benefits to residents, businesses, and tourists:

  • To identify and connect places
  • To promote efficient travel
  • To stimulate economic growth through increased pedestrian activity
  • To reassure and encourage exploration/ wandering/ discovery

The Steer Davies Gleave and DIALOG team provides the following questions for discussion at the upcoming public meeting for Phase One of the Toronto Wayfinding System Strategy:

  • How would the Strategy affect you?
  • What components should be considered/included?
  • What are the main mobility issues for your institution/group/audience?
  • How do you think wayfinding could help solve some of these?
  • What are the challenges/constraints/opportunities – locally and at a city level?

Public Open House

Wednesday, March 28, 5 – 8 p.m.
Metro Hall – Rotunda, 55 John Street, Toronto

“The purpose of this event is to provide the public with an opportunity to engage the City and the consultant team on the emerging directions and framework of Phase One of the Toronto Wayfinding System Strategy.

This event provides an opportunity to learn how we have incorporated stakeholder feedback and public consultation into the study and to see work completed to date. This is also your opportunity to contribute feedback on the Draft Wayfinding System Strategy.”


5:15 pm – Welcome and Presentation
A presentation and overview of the Draft Wayfinding System Strategy and study process.

6:00 pm – Question and Answer Period
Participants will be provided the opportunity to ask questions of the study team.

6:30 pm – Interactive Panels
One-on-one conversation at each of several graphic panels, which will illustrate the analysis, process, work completed to date, and design concept. Panels will be facilitated by team members, to elicit comment and feedback.

For more information please visit the project website or contact Paul Mulé, Project Consultant, DIALOG,


Cristin Lazier – Project Manager
Public Realm Section – Transportation Services
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West – 17E
Toronto, ON, M5H 2N2
Tel: 416-392-8234

Ashley Curtis – Project Director
Steer Davies Gleave
2500 – 120 Adelaide Street West,
Toronto, ON, M5H 1T1
Tel: 647-260-4861

Please click here to check back for updates on the status of the project as well as invitations for public meetings.

You're Invited: Public Meeting on Toronto's Wayfinding System March 28, 5 - 8 p.m.
You're Invited: Public Meeting on Toronto's Wayfinding System March 28, 5 – 8 p.m.

Toronto, Ontario, Canada


March 26, 2012

Public meeting to discuss wayfinding in Toronto

The City of Toronto has scheduled a meeting for this Wednesday evening to share information and hold discussions with the public on the City’s proposed wayfinding system for residents, commuters and visitors.

The meeting will be held Wednesday, March 28 from 5 to 8 p.m. in the rotunda of Metro Hall, 55 John St.

Wayfinding is a system designed to help people to find their way around a city. More than just signs, wayfinding today includes names, maps and new media as well as elements of the public realm such as lighting, street furniture and public art.

In the first phase of the project, the plan is to establish principles and an implementation strategy, identify potential funding sources and define the parameters of a pilot project that will be presented to Toronto City Council.

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.7 million people. Toronto’s government is dedicated to delivering customer service excellence, creating a transparent and accountable government, reducing the size and cost of government and building a transportation city. For information on non-emergency City services and programs, Toronto residents, businesses and visitors can dial 311, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.


You may also like: