On June 20th, in Ottawa, the IPMC was invited by the National Capital Commission (NCC) to hold the re>Odawa Vision Workshop. Indigenous youth from across the country came together to participate in a design exercise aimed at the celebration of Indigenous presence in the fabric of our capital. After a day tour of assessing multiple sites, three teams worked to develop unique and iconic recommendations for recognizing indigenous presence in the urban fabric and created places of social connection to bring all Canadians together in a space of inspiration and common cause. The following is a brief summary of each team’s presentation to the public at NCC’s Capital Urbanism Lab, 40 Elgin Street, 2nd Floor, Ottawa.

- Our Commons: Re-positioning the seat of governance through spatial structures and community spaces
- The Land: Resetting Boundaries
- River/Flow: Fire keeper Circuit
- Indigenous Business Incubators and Pop-Up Shops
- Water Reconnection through a walkable re-telling
- Narrative Pathway
- Process of healing


Team One put forth a 3 step intervention process for indigenous place-making in the capital.
Step 1: create a permanent seat of governance for indigenous peoples at the site of the former US Embassy.
Step 2: highlight the river as the life of the capital through an extensive firekeeper circuit.
Step 3: tell indigenous stories through light projections on the riverside edge of Parliament Hill
A walking path connects the three interventions by land while water connects the remainder of the firekeeper circuit. All three interventions use light in their own way, either through fire or light projection, to reveal indigenous presence throughout the capital otherwise invisible during the day. Using light in this way allows for more widespread semi-permanent occupation of places and acts as a wayfinder independent of typical signage.



Team two proposed an alternate walk-able route to Confederation Parkway focused on telling the indigenous narrative of the capital. The three major objectives of this proposal were reconnecting to the water, recalling truths and making the process of healing more accessible to the public. Mino-bimaadiziwin or “the good path” derives itself from the Water Walkers movement of the Great Lakes started by Anishinaabe grandmother Josephine Mandamin. Their sacred walk aims to raise awareness of the water as the Lifeblood of Mother Earth and calls for both its protection and ultimately, our respect. In this same way, Mino-bimaadiziwin aims to raise awareness of indigenous place and presence surrounding Kitchissippi (Ottawa River). The team explored various steps of the healing process and prescribed these to several of the NCC owned sites along the Water. These steps are by no means rigid. More so, they are the beginning of a conversation, a process, the next chapter of our capital’s narrative.

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Team three focused on developing a process rather than an definitive answer. Their main objective was creating a place within the capital to acknowledge uncomfortable truths and begin a dialogue about them. The proposal to extinguish the centennial flame (a celebration and reflection of only 100 years of Canada’s past ) aims to begin a new narrative for Canada - one that includes these uncomfortable truths. Like other Grassroots initiatives, people will come, people will stay, communities will form and conversations will happen - all in plain site just outside the country’s seat of governance. The new fires forged in these new communities will stay lit until the needs of all Canada’s people are met. Only when everyone has access to clean water, proper shelter, proper healthcare and everything else we consider a basic human right, only then can the central “centennial” flame be relit.

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To view our full presentation please visit


The re>Tkaronto is supported by Ontario 150 and the City of Toronto

The re>Tkaronto is supported by Ontario 150 and the City of Toronto

The re>Tkaronto Project will restore Indigenous presence to downtown Toronto in the Moss Park/Allen Gardens district through a process of place making guided by Indigenous youth and practitioners. The re>Tkaronto project aims to reduce the polarization that exists between Indigenous and non-Indigenous individuals by restoring space for education, culture and celebration. It also aims to strengthen relationships between the participant non-profit organizations, the City of Toronto, and Indigenous businesses and community.

The project is organized to engage Indigenous Youth and Elders to identify Indigenous placemaking opportunities in downtown Toronto determined in consultation with the City of Toronto. The project will result in a Vision Framework for this core area of Toronto. In addition, a
pilot project Indigenous Gathering Place will be identified and a concept design prepared.

During phase 1 of this project, IPMC will support a series of place-making workshops for an Indigenous youth cohort. In addition, school workshops will be held at an Indigenous grade school. The workshops will be supported with Indigenous Place Making Council mentors who are practitioners in the place-making professions (urban planning, landscape architecture, architecture, public art, engineering), who will work with youth participants to gather these visions and translate them it into an implementation package. 

By the end of 2017 the product of the re>Tkaronto process will be a District Plan Vision as well as a design for the   Indigenous Gathering Place pilot project identifying the location, technical design, and cost of an installation created through the visioning and engagement process. Subsequently in 2018, the re>Tkaronto team will work with the City to take the project forward to the next implementation steps including fund-raising for the construction of the project. A vision for the Moss Park/Allen Gardens District and an implementation package will be developed on an Indigenous Gathering Place in downtown Toronto close to existing Indigenous services. Youth empowerment, skills development, and internship opportunities through the visioning and design phases of the re>Tkaronto project will lead to new career and job options for Indigenous youth.

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  • Provide a vision for the Moss Park/Allen Gardens District in downtown Toronto as a hub of Indigenous culture, community services, businesses and incubation for entrepreneurship.
  • Create a pilot project to demonstrate how Indigenous Place Making can be a transformation agent of change in support of inclusiveness, reconciliation and as a sector of economic opportunity for Indigenous youth in Toronto.
  • Prepare a vision and implementation package for the creation of a central place or places for programming, learning, ceremony to be used by the Indigenous community and all citizens in proximity to local services.
  • Provide highly visible public gathering spaces that are landmarks and welcomes both non-Indigenous and Indigenous people.
  • Provide Indigenous youth with employment and internships related to hands-on opportunities to participate in the place-making process.
  • Provide skills development and training for Indigenous Youth in technologies related to cultural programming, architecture, landscape architecture, engineering and construction.
  • Create collaborative partnerships between aligned organizations working with Indigenous communities.