Dufferin Grove Redux – Framework for Community/City within a City (within a park)

Dufferin Grove Park and Dufferin Mall are a unique juxtaposition of two necessities for urbanites: shopping: places for exhibition, spectacle, and commerce, and a large park: for leisure, community making, and gathering. Currently, the two sides of Dufferin street appear to service two separate parties sharing the same neighbourhood, best described as the Pizza Oven vs. Pizza Hut Dichotomy.

This design seeks to understand how these two seemingly disparate types of activity may peacefully coexist. It explores how a remaking of urban design form characterized by typological juxtaposition and driven by landscape elements can create a walkable, mixed use destination district unique to Dufferin Grove’s sense of community comprised of varying low-rise and high density forms. The grid – an active border to the City Fields (blocks) – simultaneously separates and unifies while also connecting and allowing for differentiation. The grid summons it’s power from Toronto’s infrastructure while recalling Ungers theory of Archipelago Cities – a “condition where parts are separated yet united by the common ground of their juxtaposition,” and Koolhaas’ idea of horizontal congestion – to “combine architectural specificity with programmatic indeterminancy… to orchestrate on a metropolitan field the most dynamic coexistence of activities.” 

Design Principles


Block Structure draws from existing street and infrastructural networks, and the district uses the language of Toronto’s grid-based archipelago of neighbourhood parks and shopping areas.

Create a mixed-use destination district with a unique identity comprised of a varied pattern fabric of previously segregated uses and forms.

Ideological PRINCIPLES


Vehicles restricted to block boundary, pedestrians circulate freely within and between blocks

Reinvent the park as a large, continuous swath of various open space typologies and uses.

Built form centres around landscape, framing and anchoring movement and views.


Focus on complete streets and pathways framed by various “groves” as active edges between blocks and activities.

Formal codes & operations


Create a pleasurable pedestrian walking experience with thru-circulation opportunities every 30-65 meters, weather protection, and ground-level detail.


Urban mat fabric comprised of flexible, low-rise building form whose character is inspired by local material and forms.
1. Mixed Use + Terrace
2. Slab-bar + Plaza
3. Big Box  + Underground Parking
4. Mat + Courtyard
5. Row House & Street
6. Live-work + Alley

Guiding Conceptual Collage and Block Structure
“Nolli” map
Precedents Collaged into Districts and Enclaves
Block plan, Streets, Figure Ground, First Floor Figure Ground

Metrics bars showing existing and proposed redevelopment of program and open space on site.

The Master Plan

Further Projects