The Bentway

Waterfront Toronto/
The Bentway Conservancy

Year Completed

Type of Work
Public Engagement

Design Holmen
Groundswell Projects


Citywide Naming Campaign for a New Public Space

Bespoke designed a memorable and engaging citywide naming campaign that generated good will and excitement amongst Torontonians at the same time that we informed them about a unique project happening. We invited everyone to brainstorm names for a new cultural corridor and public space under the Gardiner. To signal that this site belonged to the public, we designed a naming campaign to reclaim this neglected space. We held mini brainstorm parties with elementary school students, urban enthusiasts, seniors and everyday citizens. We created interactive billboards, “naming party” in a box toolkits, branded pop up sites and a website and social media #reclaimthename campaign so people could contribute online.

Our strategy was centered on building awareness through active participation over four months of engagement activities. We designed engagement opportunities that landed us on 884 unique suggestions, which were narrowed down through a jury shortlist that then went back to public vote. In one week over 5000 votes were cast to land on the Bentway as a name. Bespoke conceptualized, designed and delivered the entire campaign.