Design Exchange

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Design Exchange (DX)
TypeDesign, Education Centre
Coordinates43°38′52″N 79°22′48″W / 43.64774°N 79.38011°W / 43.64774; -79.38011[dead link]

The Design Exchange (DX) is a Canadian event venue. It is located in Toronto's financial district in the historical Toronto Stock Exchange building, that was incorporated into a skyscraper in 1991, the Toronto-Dominion Centre (222 Bay Street).[1] The organisation operated a design museum, but this museum was closed in 2019. Since 2017, it hosts a biennial design festival, the Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology (EDIT).


The building presently occupied by the Design Exchange was used by the Toronto Stock Exchange from 1937 to 1978.

The federal agency Design Canada closed in 1985, followed by the University of Toronto's (soon rescinded) announcement in 1986 that its school of architecture was to be shut down. In 1983 the Toronto Stock Exchange moved out of 234 Bay Street, which was a designated heritage property since 1978.[2] Olympia and York (O&Y) purchased the building.[3][4][5]

A study commissioned by O&Y indicated that there was support for using the building as a cultural design centre. Advocates of this proposal gathered in January 1986 to lobby the city government, and the city recognized ten of them as "The Group for the Creation of a Design Centre in Toronto", which legally became an organization in 1987 and later became the Design Exchange organization. A study launched by the city found that the proposal was "both possible and desirable".[6][5]

The Bay Street property was sold in 1986, to Cadillac Fairview and the Toronto Dominion Bank, but O&Y required that the design centre idea would be kept. The new owner had to pay the city $500,000 a year to use for running the centre.[5] This centre was named the Design Exchange in 1988 and control of it was handed to the citizens' group which had advocated for it.

A gift shop at the Design Exchange, June 2012. Several months earlier, the museum began to operate exclusively as a museum for design.

In 1996 a permanent collection was established. DX held exhibitions and also organized educational programs and design awards. In March 2012 the Design Exchange came under the directorship of Shauna Levy, and began to operate exclusively as a design museum.[7] In 2015, DX was organizing exhibitions in other locations, such as Smarter.Faster.Tougher., an exhibition about the design of sportswear.[8]

In 2017, the Design Exchange launched a 10-day festival called Expo for Design, Innovation & Technology (EDIT), in partnership with the United Nations Development Programme. The festival was held in East Harbour, an old soap factory.[9]

In 2019, the DX gave Razor Suleman the position of chief executive officer (CEO), effective immediately. The Design Exchange's collection was deaccessioned in the same year, with the institution ceasing operation of its design museum.[10][11] The closure of the museum saw the Design Exchange's efforts reoriented towards the biennial EDIT event.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Design Exchange puts A-list on the auction block: Style Czar". Toronto Star, Karen von Hahn May 19, 2015
  2. ^ "Toronto's architectural gems–the Design Exchange (The original Toronto Stock Exchange)". Historic Toronto. 2012-06-15. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  3. ^ "234 Bay St". Heritage Property Detail. City of Toronto. 20 Jun 1973. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  4. ^ "TO DESIGNATE THE PROPERTY AT NO. 232 BAY STREET OF ARCHITECTURAL VALUE AND OF HISTORIC INTEREST". By-law 1978-0570. City of Toronto. 14 August 1978. Archived from the original on 27 January 2016. Retrieved 13 August 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Design Exchange | History + Founders". Archived from the original on 2018-01-19. Retrieved 2018-01-18.
  6. ^ Lord Cultural Resources Planning and Management Inc., "Design Centre Feasibility Study" (Toronto: report prepared for City of Toronto Economic Development Committee, 1987).
  7. ^ Proteau, Adam. "Raising capital at the Design Exchange"
  8. ^ "Sport and fashion collide at new Design Exchange exhibition". Toronto Star, Karen von Hahn July 14, 2015
  9. ^ "Six highlights of Toronto's upcoming EDIT design festival". Retrieved 2020-04-06.
  10. ^ a b Cormier, Brendan (23 August 2019). "Canada no longer has a design museum. That's a blueprint for failure". The Globe and Mail. The Woodbridge Company. Retrieved 11 April 2020.
  11. ^ Gibson, Eleanor (29 August 2019). "Closure of Canada's only design museum shows "lack of support for design" says V&A curator". Dezeen. Retrieved 11 April 2020.

External links[edit]

Media related to Design Exchange at Wikimedia Commons