On May 27th & 28th, 2022, The Bentway’s season kicked-off with The Street Summit, a two-day event hosted at The Bentway’s Strachan Gate that challenged traditional understandings of city streets and asked how we can create a more inclusive, equitable, and joyful public realm.
Equal parts conference, workshop, artistic intervention, and celebration, this free public event assembled local and international neighbours, urbanists, designers, researchers, city-builders, and artists alike to collectively explore familiar arteries and their potential for broader social, cultural, and political transformations.
Panels, presentations, and performances featured guests including: “Hip Hop Architect” Michael Ford; the Commissioner of Chicago Department of Transportation, Gia Biagi; a creative partnership with New York-based WXY Studio; Dane Gardener-Williams; Hayden King; Susan Blight; Adam Nicklin of PUBLIC WORK; a panel discussion on the renewal of our city’s streets presented in partnership with Doors Open Toronto; and a social event on Friday night featuring a hip hop/breaking battle with MC Switch B.
Interactive and drop-in workshops for participants of all ages included a pop-up exhibition of Myseum of Toronto’s 36 Questions That Lead to Loving Toronto; an exploration of the various flavours of street food across the city led by Tasha Shea and Howard Tam; a participatory roundtable focused on community care and mutual aid, led by Chemi Lhamo and Miru Yogarajah; a facilitated conversation on the subtle language of queer sexuality in urban ecologies guided by The Bentway Public Space Fellow Jess Misak and artist Maximilian Suillerot Wilke; and a workshop that unravels the processes and tools that define street and place-names, led by Bespoke Collective and The Bentway Public Space Fellow, Faizaan Khan.
ASL interpretation was provided by Toronto Sign Language Interpreter Service.