Our Doors are Open to Your Ideas

Effective city-building requires collaborative input from the public and private sectors, as well as direct citizen consultation. City planners are charged with the primary task of listening to these (often competing) concerns and preferences in their production and maintenance of an effective city. Yet the mechanics of a desirable city requires a chorus of voices and perspectives to ensure that the city’s function of serving and supporting residents and visitors while providing opportunities for interaction and recreation is sustained. Quite often, these ideas – efficient transit, effective streetscapes, accessible buildings, functional street furniture – are intuitive to community-members.

The Martin Prosperity Institute champions the value of quality of place in helping to drive economic development. With this line of thought in mind, the Institute is proud to participate in the City of Toronto’s Doors Open event. Doors Open is a civic event over the weekend where close to 150 buildings of architectural, historic, cultural and/or social significance open their doors to the public. Admission is free. It is a wonderful opportunity to connect with significant spaces in the City of Toronto.

Doors Open guests will be invited to “Help Build Your Ideal City” at the Martin Prosperity Institute by adding a building, space, event, monument, or other city to an installation at in our Institute. Large-scale participation will allow visitors to collectively produce a piece communicating “The Ideal Toronto.” We will upload the final result to our website and circulate to all participants.

Come Visit Us

We look forward to seeing you this weekend (May 28 & 29) and welcoming you to our space to see some of our work and help us build the ideal city. We are located in the MARS Heritage Building at 101 College Street, in Suite 420 (fourth floor). There will also be a myriad of other events taking place in the MARS, making it an excellent stop on your Doors Open experience.

Our Space

The MPI moved into its space in March 2008. The space is part of the original Toronto General hospital which opened in 1913. The bricks came from the Don Valley Brickworks. The cupola above the library is still intact. The part of the building that houses our office previously housed the doctor’s quarters; no surgeries were done here, so we have no ghosts.The office space was designed by Detroit-area architect Christian Unverzagt of M1/dtw in collaboration with Richard Florida and Kevin Stolarick. All materials in the office (bamboo, cork, glass) are renewable. It was conceived of as a creative, open space where surfaces can be creatively engaged, and where the spaces are flexible in terms of how they can be used. Most of the furniture comes from Design Within Reach, located on King Street in Toronto.

The library consists of just under 2,000 volumes and is a private, non-circulating collection. The majority of the books are derived from Richard and Kevin’s personal collections, and the library continues to grow as we develop our streams of research.

Download this Insight (PDF)

Download Doors Open Handout (PDF)

Download Art @ MPI Handout (PDF)

The Martin Prosperity Institute at the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management is the world’s leading think-tank on the role of sub-national factors—location, place and city-regions—in global economic prosperity. We take an integrated view of prosperity, looking beyond economic measures to include the importance of quality of place and the development of people’s creative potential.