see foot note
which makes a link that jumps to
Design by Nature promotes local and sustainable solutions to re-purpose materials destined for waste. To support this goal, we have partnered with three initiatives: the City of Toronto’s Urban Wood initiative, Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore and Trashswag. We encourage, but do not limit, artists to use some of these materials in their proposals. See below for more information.

City Wood

City Wood LotIn the next five years, more than 200,000 + trees will be cut down in Toronto because of the Emerald Ash borer. The picture you see to your left is the wood collected from the ice storm. Typically, city wood goes to waste or becomes mulch. Design by Nature, along with many other community stakeholders, is seeking innovative ways to re-use this valuable resource.




Inspired by the Woodshop exhibit at IIDEX and past DxN winners such as Joel Harrison’s “Slash Pile Bench” (image to your right) DxN has partnered with the City of Toronto and Urban Tree Salvage to provide artists with discarded urban wood in its natural “found” and green form.

If you are interested in using urban wood in your proposal, send an email to for more information.


Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore


Habitat for Humanity Toronto helps low-income families build and buy simple, decent quality affordable homes. In the GTA, there are five ReStore outlets that accepts donations of overstocked, seconds, used, discontinued items and salvageable building materials donated by manufacturers, stores, contractors and individuals. Items can include new and gently used furniture, building materials, appliances, cabinetry, sinks, countertops, household and décor items.

ReStore has generously offered selected finalists $100 credit from all five ReStore outlets in the GTA. We encourage artists to visit the store and see what materials they can use for their proposals. In your submission, please indicate whether you plan to use materials from ReStore.


trashswag_logo_smallerTrashswag is a crowdsourced map of salvageable materials left on the streets. When you see old furniture, bricks, doors or anything that can be salvaged, we encourage you to post your findings to the map via the mobile Trashswag app, by email ( or by using twitter and hashtag #dxnto. By continually posting and contributing to the map, we hope to create a shared resource of free and discarded materials in Toronto.

Visit to learn more.

foot note

Have questions? Email