News Release
November 18, 2022

Today, Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner for the City of Toronto, and Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO, Humber College, celebrated the achievements of a partnership between the City and Humber College.

The City has partnered with Humber College through the college’s Centres of Innovation Network to create updates to TinyTO – the model of downtown Toronto that resides in the lobby of City Hall. Designed and produced by Humber students in Industrial Design, Interior Design, Graphic Design, User Experience Design and Game Programming, the updates to TinyTO will serve as a tool to help city planners, developers and residents envision redevelopment options, consider growth and expansion patterns, and imagine the future. The newest addition to the model was also unveiled – a 3D printed model of City Hall and the Toronto Sign, along with plans for additional enhancements including an Augmented Reality component.

The partnership saw a multi-disciplinary team of Humber students and faculty members participate in the ideation process for a new TinyTO model. Their work took place through coursework and workshops hosted at City Hall and Humber College’s Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation, culminating in a presentation of processes and learnings to staff and three new segments of the model along Toronto’s ever-evolving waterfront.

Recent partnership achievements include:

  • 2020 – The initial partnership saw a successful “Hackathon” brainstorming event
  • 2021 – Students focused on producing concepts and a vision for the model of the future
  • 2022 – New, updated tiles for the model were produced and began to be installed

The team worked closely with City staff to design and produce new sections of the model using the City’s 3D Massing dataset. The existing model consists of 12 tiles (in a four by three tile grid) with each tile measuring 1.2 metres x 1.2 metres; the existing model is at a scale of 1:1250. New additions to the model are at a scale of 1:1500. This decrease in scale allows for more of the city to be captured in the model.

The new additions have been designed with flexibility in mind, for example, splitting each tile into four quarters for more accessible transport. The new sections also consist of three components: 3D-printed buildings that sit on top of acrylic blocks with a vinyl base map underneath to allow each component to be updated, maintained and replaced when necessary.

The vision for the model is to apply the latest technologies and create a unique real-time, city-wide, interactive multi-media exhibit where residents, tourists, stakeholders and decision-makers can gather to look at the present and emerging forms of the city and discuss planning, urban design, architecture, landscape architecture and development concepts.

This project is an excellent example of the City’s collaboration with one of Toronto’s higher education institution partners facilitated by the City Manager’s Office and CivicLabTO,

The model is located on the first floor of City Hall and is available for all visitors to City Hall to view. More information about the model, including a video produced by Humber College highlighting their work, is available on the City’s Creating a New State-of-the-Art City Model webpage.

More information about Humber College’s fellowship program and TinyTO is available on Humber’s website.


“Partnerships are key to many of the City’s successes, and partnerships with our higher education institutions are among the most valuable. In this instance, both the students and our City staff have learned from working together to implement new technologies in unique and innovative ways. A newly updated and interactive TinyTO city model is a great learning tool for visitors to City Hall and also an incredible city-building tool for our staff.”
– Gregg Lintern, Chief Planner & Executive Director City Planning

“Working on TinyTO has been a tremendous opportunity for Humber students to showcase their innovative ideas through work-integrated learning and earn real-world experience that is supporting development in Toronto. We are looking forward to continuing to build big things at TinyTO with the support of the City of Toronto.”
– Ann Marie Vaughan, President and CEO, Humber College

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations
City of Toronto
Media Relations Specialist
Humber College