The Campfire Benches, Toronto, ON


Bloor Street in Toronto’s upscale Yorkville area is home to 60 stylish benches thanks to the BIA’s initiative in 2020. These contemporary benches, crafted from a combination of wood, granite, and stainless steel, were designed by local award-winning agency, DTAH, to incorporate durability, comfort, luxury, and modernism.  

DTAH created multiple designs, and the 2018 prototype proved to be so successful that the build-out was fully commissioned. Each circular bench is perfect for up to five people, and thoughtful design elements, such as a seatback for improved safety and wider spaces for personal items, add a level of comfort. An elm tree planted in the center provides both summer shade and winter illumination.  

The campfire-inspired look is achieved with a stainless-steel surround and programmable lighting blocks that create flickering patterns under the wooden seating area. The BIA can program these blocks into an unlimited number of colors based on season, occasion, or theme. As an added fun feature, every bench has a fire-shaped button to control the lighting.  

GVA Lighting supplied numerous customized solutions for the Campfire Bench, an interactive lighting installation. They devised a unique enclosure for integrating LIRA™ RGBW into the bench’s surface. To imitate a campfire’s flicker, LIRA™ RGBW fixtures without optics and HIGHLIGHTER® COVE color-altering units were attached beneath the benches using a tailor-made bracket system. The end product is a beautiful display of color that elevates the community, promotes safety in public gathering spots, and encourages interaction between locals and tourists for many years to come. 

Bloor Street boasts high-end retailers like Holt Renfrew, Harry Rosen, Hermès, and Dolce & Gabbana, and these new benches complement the chic atmosphere. While the design and materials feel luxurious, the benches remain accessible and comfortable. The BIA and DTAH have transformed boring public benches into functional art pieces that invite visitors to engage and interact. The lighting system, which can be customized into different combinations, creates variety and interest during the evening and night.  

The BIA has infused Bloor Street with personality and charm, making it a vibrant and engaging area for both visitors and locals. The benches, located near the Village of Yorkville Park and the Yorkville Murals, are the perfect place to meet, relax, or take a break during a walk or run.  

Lighting Designer: Mulvey and Banani Lighting

Landscape Designer: dtah

Furniture Designer: Hauser

Electrical Contractor: Somerville Construction