Innovation Catalyst

Cluster Description

The Toronto Region is a North American hub for design and the centre of the design cluster in Canada with an extremely high concentration of designers in the workforce. The design cluster includes the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning, industrial, interior, graphic, UI/UX and fashion design.

Design improves commercialization success for products and service, enhances place making, and makes technology work for users. Ontario has a rich design education infrastructure with all universities and colleges offering some design and design-related programs. In the past decade many of these institutions have also established design masters programs.

The design cluster has been a key contributor to global success for business sectors such as contract furniture, medical devices, and financial services. Design businesses in Toronto are concentrated in a number of areas. The innovative re-purposed warehouses of 401 Richmond Street, the Centre for Social Innovation, Liberty Village and the King-Spadina area, have attracted many design firms to co-locate and collaborate with entrepreneurs and creative businesses in their midst.

The next emerging design neighbourhood is taking shape on the Waterfront. Toronto is home to the Design Exchange, Canada’s design museum; the Toronto Fashion Incubator (first in the world); and the Design Industry Advisory Committee (DIAC), a non-profit, cross-disciplinary design research group established by the City of Toronto in 2001. DIAC brings together the various disciplines in the design cluster through their associations to explore new strategies that leverage the creative talents of designers to improve economic, social and environmental outcomes.

More information and a detailed agenda coming in soon!

Meet your Organizers


Image credit: photominus, istockphoto.