Downsview Complex


As the Downsview Complex grew from a group of isolated government offices into a bustling urban campus, both visitors and emergency services were having difficulty finding the right building. Infrastructure Ontario and Urban Strategies asked Forge to develop a wayfinding plan and signage strategy that would give the campus a strong identity and help everyone find their way.


We began by analyzing the traffic patterns for both vehicles and pedestrians to reveal the site’s underlying logic. Forge’s designers then developed a coordinated sign family adapted to the specific conditions at Downsview Complex. The signage is constructed from durable materials with a unique wedge shape that stands out from other nearby signs. 18’-tall signs mark the campus gateways, while human-scaled signs identify the buildings and parking lots. Thin post signs complete the wayfinding experience by helping pedestrians to find their way around the campus.


The result is a clear and attractive wayfinding system that creates a real sense of place and clearly identifies each building and the services within. Our wayfinding plan responds to users’ intuition and respects the site, using clear signage to define and clarify a walkable campus.

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