6Place Toronto

is a McLuhan Centre for Culture and Technology research/working group project investigating significant urban spaces in Toronto where Media and Infrastructure intersect with Architecture and Public Space. From the Portlands to South Etobicoke, these are contested, iconic, dormant places, currently subject to major speculation and diverse visions for the city of the  future. This project investigates urban history, networks, image, building stock, landscape, infrastructure, data and meta-data. Engaging faculty and students in Architecture, Urbanism, Information, Art History, Politics, Anthropology, Media and the Visual Arts, 6PTo’s methods of documentation and dissemination include mapping, lens- and drone-based imaging, drawing, stratography, archival and media research, walks, talks, workshops and seminars. Each of the six investigations is a pilot for an interdisciplinary, layered urbanism and civic broadcast, ultimately testing the potential of Public Space in the North American Metropolis.  6PTo is also supported by U of T’s School of Cities and by the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.


1/6 Portlands/Monument
2/6 Water/Data
3/6 Work/Inventory
4/6 Creek/Fort/Burial
5/6 Islands/Bubbles
6/6 Landfill/Publics

About | Land AcknowledgementCredits |  





Modern cities are spaces of desire, projection and futurity. One way that cities express inclination and aspiration, to themselves and to the world, is through real, planned, projected and imagined infrastructure projects.

Toronto’s R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant, completed in 1941, is the city’s palatial ode to shared, public provision — it is an over-specified, immoderately adorned expression of the potential of public works and the collective systems that constitute urban life. Sidewalk Toronto is Google subsidiary Alphabet Inc.’s proposed 12-acre development of “smart” infrastructure, urban innovation and improved, sustainable and connected living.

These two sites are productively disjunctive — revealing comparable if opposing motivations in the contemporary history of a city that feels as if it is always becoming, always reaching toward a future it missed somewhere along the way. R.C. Harris and Sidewalk are two infra-structurally connected undertakings only Toronto could produce and/or project, two sites that bookend visions of a modern city that, through technology, attempts to support, nurture and create the social, economic and ecological needs of its denizens.

Jamie Allen


Palaces of Infrastruture: From Water to Data

at the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant

Sunday's proceedings will include walking, talking, guided tours and discussions at both the R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant and the Sidewalk Labs / 307 Corporate Office. 

Artists and designers Jacinte Armstrong, Sage Sidley and Daniel Rotsztain we be helping trace the experience of the Sunday walkshop, creating interventions and materialisations for further discussion and exhibition.

Walkshop Schedule:
10:45am-12:00pm: R.C. Harris Water Treatment Plant
12:30pm: Lunch
2:00-3:00pm: Sidewalk Labs / 307
3:30-5:00pm:  an open Discussion at Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design.

1 Spadina Cresecent, Toronto, Room 230.

with Beth Coleman, Shannon Mattern, Biance Wylie and Jamie Allen.

The Walks/ Site visits are a public event with limited attendance.  The concluding discussion will be open to the public.

Sun, Mar 3/19
10:45am- 5pm


Monday Night Seminar at the McLuhan Centre

A Pedestrian View of Sidewalk Toronto

Beth Coleman
Associate Professor of Experimental Digital Media; Director, City as Platform Lab, University of Waterloo.

Shannon Mattern
Professor of Anthropology at the New School for Social Research and School of Media Studies.

Bianca Wylie
Open Government Advocate, Dgen Network; Senior Fellow Centre for International Governance Innovation.

at the Mcluhan Centre
39 Queen's Park Cres E, Toronto

Mon, Mar 4/19
6pm - 8pm