If there's one thing Toronto is good at, it's out-of-the-box ideas. Between street food markets, DJ ice rink raves and supermarket/playground hybrids, The 6ix is definitely not lacking in interesting creations.
But there's one upcoming opening that's thinking inside the box. This spring, a 100,000-square-foot plot of unused land at Front and Bathurst streets will be transformed into a huge, new shopping centre made entirely out of shipping containers.
Stakt Shipping Container Market will spread out over a vacant industrial site that was used as a slaughterhouse until 2014, and previously housed a smelting plant. The area has been an unpopular (and foul-smelling) mainstay of southwest downtown for decades, and since it's now now all but abandoned, it's ripe for a public space.
While the elements of this highly anticipated new space are still under wraps, earlier concept drawings show an outdoor movie theatre, brewery, food market and even a ski hill. According to the Toronto Star, a craft brewery is one of the anchor tenants and the team behind the container market are also working with fitness providers, urban farm companies, artists, event curators, nonprofits and social enterprises.
The project's websites states organizers are currently planning to offer food and drink options, entertainment experiences, a marketplace and a space for artists. The unused land will be transformed "into an experience of curated discovery," according to the Stackt's website.
The new market will provide the neighbourhood, just west of the Entertainment District, with much needed recreational and retail space. According to Mike Layton, the city councillor who initially championed using the lot as a public space, Stackt will lease the land from the city on a temporary basis before the land is turned into a park.
But with the amount of excitement and revenue the new marketplace will bring in, here's to hoping Stackt stays around for a long while.