public space incubator park people toronto

Toronto's public spaces are about to get a lot more interesting

There's a new incubator in town, and it's about to seriously change up the way we see public spaces in Toronto.

The project, called the Public Space Incubator or PS Incubator for short, is an initiative run by Canadian organization Park People that seems too good to be true. 

According to the PS Incubator's online statement, the initiative's goal is to "support tangible pilots that test new, innovative ways to bring under-utilized public spaces to life." 

Ideal candidates for the grants are "people who have bold, creative, and radical ideas for Toronto's parks, plazas, schoolyards, laneways, streets, and other public-accessible open spaces." 

The well-moneyed endeavour, funded by famed Toronto architect Ken Greenberg and his wife Eti, has a budget of over $500,000. 

With plans to fund five projects this year and five projects in 2019, the incubator is offering between $15,000 and a $50,000 per endeavour. It also plans to further support successful project applicants by networking with them amidst industry professionals.

Unfortunately, grand ideas and a bucket of paint isn't going to grant you funding for the project. The process consists of two stages, including a letter of intent and a full application with work plans, budgets, community engagement strategies, and potential risk assessments.

Though anyone is eligible, applicants must either be a registered charity or have a charitable trustee as a partner.

If the project is permanent, applicants must explain how they plan to maintain it. If it's temporary, the project should be up for at least four consecutive weeks or for a series of events. No one-offs are considered for funding, and all projects should be finished by summer 2019.

Essential things like capital costs, programming, operation, and research costs are all covered by the grants, plus honorariums for those working on the project directly. 

If you have a community-driven, innovative project for the abandoned park by your area (a see-saw city, perhaps?) apply for the first round of the PS Incubator's applications before March 29. 

Lead photo by

Ken Lane


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