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Connecting the Dots of Toronto’s transit system
Applied’s Tim Fendley presented alongside KerrSmith’s Helen Kerr to introduce the idea of wayfinding harmonization in Canada’s largest city

Applied and in particular, Tim Fendley, have been hard at work on Toronto’s transit system since 2011. Last week Tim had the chance to share the progress being made with the public.

The Connecting the Dots event, co-sponsored by Toronto’s transit agency, Metrolinx and Spacing magazine, was the introduction of the ideas behind the wayfinding harmonization initiative into the public realm.

Tim and KerrSmith’s Helen Kerr did a great job introducing a highly-engaged audience to wayfinding, showing international examples of good harmonization, some hilarious examples of bad wayfinding, and the insights and principles that apply to the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Areas’s (GTHA’s) unique regional context.

Tim and Helen on the wayfinding harmonization effort for Toronto’s transit system.

The event was a success, having been attended by over 300 people. Twitter was active throughout the event as people commented on the initiative; “Tim from @AppliedStudio: conclusion of GTHA transit wayfinding is lack of consistency restricts riders desire to travel #connectthedotsGTA” , “Helen from @kerrsmithstudio: People &transit employees can help when wayfinding fails, but that’s why you need wayfinding #connectthedotsGTA“.

A lively Q+A raising fascinating questions followed; Could this methodology be used to navigate social services? How do you measure the effectiveness of a wayfinding system? How do we improve wayfinding for hearing and visually impaired passengers? How can we create wayfinding that learns? How do we balance consistent information with the legacy of brands? How will it be funded? There was great support for the general direction of harmonization, and curiosity as to how it will move forward.

The attentive crowd at Toronto’s Isabel Bader Theatre.

You can find out more about the project on Metrolinx’ website or hold out for a project update here!

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