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Scene: An Urban Umbrella to Replace Sidewalk Scaffolding

A possible alternative to dark, depressing construction hoarding makes its Toronto debut.

WHERE: Yonge and Gould streets.

WHEN: October 25, 11 a.m.

WHAT: What you see there is no ordinary scaffolding. It’s an Urban Umbrella–brand sidewalk shed, designed in response to a 2009 competition held by New York City’s buildings department in an attempt to come up with a replacement for the ubiquitous plywood shelters that guard pedestrians from falling debris at construction sites. The Urban Umbrella—with its elegant archways, LED lighting, and transparent ceiling panels—was the winner of that competition. Today, it made its Toronto debut in two locations: the site of the future Ryerson Student Centre, at Yonge and Gould streets, and also at the site of the future One Bloor condo high-rise, at Yonge and Bloor streets.