Public Space Incubator

Despite great strides being made in developing unused outdoor urban spaces into entertaining and useful entities (the Bentway, Sugar Beach, the revitalization of Ontario Place to name a few), there are still copious amounts of neglected public spaces itching for a facelift.  Every neighbourhood in every part of the city has a park, lane-way, vacant yard or other urban space in need of  a creative solution to draw the neighbourhood in and breathe life into the area.

Public Space Incubator, (administered by the Park People Organization) are offering the chance for anyone with an innovative and creative plan to apply for funding and the chance to transform an under-utilized, outdoor urban space into a vibrant, creative public space.

There are 2 separate funding rounds, one in 2018 and one in 2019 with up to a maximum of $50,000 funding per awarded project (5 projects will be awarded in each year).  Stage one  requires a letter of intent and must be submitted no later than March 29, 2018 for consideration.  For more information on this ambitious and insightful initiative, read more here



The War Against Hostile Architecture

Also known as Defensive Urban Design,  this form of architecture has been around for decades.  As more applications are utilized in our modern day society, many feel that the design element, and those responsible for commissioning them have gone too far.   Primarily used for property protection and crime prevention, certain design elements target humans and even animals, subliminally removing them from areas with discreet design maneuvers.  More often than not, they go unnoticed and therefore unchallenged.

However, a  movement against these hostile architectural elements is afoot across the globe with many viewpoints, both pro and con.  Click  here to read more on this controversial subject.

Wading through the permit process

Following up on last week’s article on the fines and penalties that could be incurred when starting work before having the necessary permits in place, many people are wondering whether their specific renovation is subject to the permit process or not.   We have attached a link to the City of Toronto website which includes a fairly comprehensive list of which projects can and which can not be undertaken without securing the necessary permits.  The list should be used as a guide only as it is not completely inclusive.

Still not certain?  Contact Grove Inc., and we will be happy to help guide you through the process and the paperwork involved in obtaining the proper permits for your unique renovation/new build project.  Click here for information from the City of Toronto’s “when do I need a building permit?”


The Prince Edward Viaduct – where east meets west

If you live in the City of Toronto, it is a safe bet to assume you have traveled along the Bloor Viaduct (originally, the Prince Edward Viaduct),  in some mode of transportation.  Whether by car, subway, bike, or on foot, chances are you have crossed the ravine  using this iconic roadway.   In a recent search on the City of Toronto website for something completely unrelated, we came across this archival storytelling of the viaduct and the people involved in bringing it to fruition.   As much a part of Toronto’s history as the Distillery District and Fort York, the story of the building of this impressive span deserves to be read and enjoyed by all .  For those interested in learning more, you can find the whole story here

The Rain Sun Rooms

The backyard addition of a mixed-use residential/office in London caught our eye for its unique design, functionality and eco-friendliness. The owners, design team Tonkin Liu, who use the home for business and residence have created a zen-like feeling in this well-conceived and playful addition which has recently been shortlisted in the Don’t Move – Improve 2018 contest which recognizes excellence in residential home extensions in the UK.  Read more on this innovative design HERE

Toronto – Design Destination

George Yabu and Glen Pushelberg, the founders and driving force behind the world renowned design firm, got up close and personal during the Interior Design Show in Toronto recently. During an interview with Eleanor Gibson, they talked about the creative energy flowing into Toronto and how our great city has the potential of becoming one of the top international design hubs. As self-appointed ambassadors in promoting design growth in the city, this dynamic team are striving to put Toronto on the map as an exciting design destination that will appeal to young, creative new talent. For more on the story, read HERE

The Interior Design Show

If you are looking for something warm to do this weekend, check out the annual Interior Design Show at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre.  The opening gala is Thursday night and included in the ticket price are various catered goodies and libations.  Mingle with the who’s who of Toronto’s design scene while stepping into a cornucopia of innovative and trend setting design.  The show continues all weekend, but open only to the trades on Friday.  For more information, check out their website by clicking on the link.


The Vycle

Designer Elena Larriba and Engineer, Jon Garcia have come up with a design that deserves all the accolades it is receiving.  The Vycle, one of the newest designs to come out of the  Royal College of Art could very well be the ride of the future.  Combining the need to attain vertical spaces with the desire to move efficiently and in a healthy manner, the Vycle offers a viable alternative to walking stairs or riding elevators by biking up or down a vertical channel.  Currently with a patent pending, this creative design will surely pique the interest of developers in the not too distant future.    For more on the Vycle, click here




Grove Inc.’s design engineers can help homeowners create their renovation dreams through 3D imaging.  Using the  most basic of floor plans or just simple measurements, we can produce three dimensional renderings that help you understand, down to the finest detail, what your finished space will look like.  Our team of Professional Engineers and Architectural Technologists can also help with obtaining permits for your upcoming renovation.  For more information, call and speak with one of our design engineers, or email us at

Sustainable and Strong

This amazing structure in Thailand is made entirely of sustainable bamboo and boasts a neutral carbon footprint.  This is truly an ancient building technology made all the more relevant by today’s urgent need for environmentally sound construction.  Read the article and see more pictures on this beautiful work of art by clicking HERE

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