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Turning Laneways into Public Places

Toronto has a vast network of more than 2,400 public laneways running throughout its fast-growing downtown and midtown neighbourhoods. Developing a better understanding of public laneways and their potential for integration into neighbourhood life helps create a complete and diverse public realm network. Turning Laneways into Public Places - Toolkit examines laneways through a design lens, considering the urban conditions that shape the physical form and use of laneways to better understand potential interventions, transforming them into vibrant shared spaces.


The Toolkit identifies seven common typologies found in Toronto and offers possible interventions for each around six laneway transformation goals: people oriented, inclusive + accessible, beautiful, connected, sustainable + green and economic development. As well as physical interventions, a series of community organizing, planning and budgetary considerations are explored to maximize user success.  


Together the Toolkit, created in partnership with The Laneway Project, provides a resource and inspiration for individuals or groups starting on their laneway transformation.

Team Members:

Nikolas Koschany


This guide is designed to show the possibilities for laneway improvements that can help meet a range of goals for improving the public realm. The options for laneway improvements given are not exhaustive and the tools provided for creating change are not rigid; adapt what you find and create what works best to improve the public realm of your laneway – making it a high-quality public realm that is accessible, beautiful and enjoyable to use.

Download a copy of Turning Laneways into Public Places - Toolkit.

Project partners

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