Diamond Schmitt shortlisted for St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts redevelopment

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Chin, Communications Director
Email: achin@dsai.ca

Gary McCluskie, Principal
Email: gmccluskie@dsai.ca

February 24, 2023

Toronto, ON – The team of Diamond Schmitt, Smoke Architecture and MVVA has been shortlisted for the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts redevelopment. The design competition was launched by TO Live and CreateTO to engage the community in a vision for the future of the 50-year-old performing arts centre – to bring an inclusive and accessible cultural and community hub into the heart of downtown Toronto.

The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts is a place of life, and we look to water in all its forms for inspiration.

The Anishinaabemowin word for water is nibi: I am coming toward you. Water seeks out life to nurture it; riparian ecosystems border the soft, living edges of water with the greatest diversity and activity. The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts sits on the former shoreline edge of Lake Ontario, alongside an already vibrant cultural ecosystem that forms the core of Toronto’s identity.

Inside, an identifiable and unifying shoreline element is a living border around the formal performance spaces. Alongside this internal shoreline, areas for gathering surround the performance hall like pebbles and eddies, adding places of interest and activity throughout.

Mookibii ~ Shaped by water
The St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts will achieve radical inclusivity in a contemporary performing arts venue. Toronto and our visitors know this space belongs to us because we see ourselves represented here in all our glorious diversity, where our differences and similarities can shine. No matter our calling, there’s a level of audience or performer participation that welcomes us.

The architecture of the space supports these goals because it references natural and regional inspirations that have worked well here for millennia.

View our full design proposal for the St. Lawrence Centre for the Arts here.

The winning design will be announced the week of March 13, 2023.