Upper Toronto

a science fiction process for building a city above Toronto.

Upper Toronto is a speculative design and public consultation project that was active 2010-2012.

What if we treated the land development process like theatre, but all the ideas had to be good…

What if we proposed a city in the sky and consulted the public…

Imagine a city resting on the Bay Street towers or the CN Tower as a walk-in restaurant.

Once Upper Toronto is finished, Lower Toronto will be abandoned and turned into a combination of national park, farmland and intentional ruin.

This is, of course, a terrible idea.

But it’s a terrible idea that allows us to imagine a new city. To ask what would happen if, knowing what we now know, we could start fresh.

While clearly infeasible, it is important that all the proposals that make up Upper Toronto are good ones, even if forced relocation to the sky is not.

This has to be a city that we, the people planning it, want to live in.

If you have an idea or curiosity about Upper Toronto, get in touch

In the Press

“These consultations need to be a good night out,” Zimmer points out. Spending a night discussing an imaginary city needs to be fun in order for people to get involved. The subtle performance aspect of the project is evident when people get excited and are ready to leave their disbelief at the door, with the help of introductory “spiels” and discussion facilitation. - The Varsity

“Inspired by science fiction and a certain amount of frustration with Toronto's urban planning process, they hope to have a fully-realized and completely ridiculous proposal put together soon.” – io9

“You know how when you were a kid, sometimes you would get an idea in your head, and you wouldn’t let the fact that it didn’t make sense or that it didn’t play by the rules of logic and physics or even that it was actually a terrible idea stop you from just imagining the shit out of it? The world could be guided by the principle of “What if…?” and the answer could be “…then everything.”

Jacob Zimmer, creative director of performance company Small Wooden Shoe, is bringing something of the magical thinking of kid logic back in style. Zimmer’s latest project-in-the-making asks the question “What if we took Toronto and built a new city on top of it and called it Upper Toronto and moved everybody up there?” – Torontoist

“Upper Toronto is a piece of theatre that mirrors the real process of development. We’re going to try to create the kind of city that the people of Toronto would love to live in.” – Quiet Babylon