The people of Toronto are enjoying the country’s largest shipping container market, courtesy of local firm LGA Architectural Partners. Located on a two-block, 2.4 acre site, the Stackt market is comprised of various repurposed shipping containers, configured to make the most of the space in order to create a vibrant market area that serves as a community hub.

several long picnic tables and benches

The project is located at Bathurst and Front Streets. The lot is slated to be converted into a public park in the future, but in the meantime, LGA Architectural Partners collaborated with Giant Containers and the local council to utilize the space to build the temporary market. Accordingly, the shipping container project had to be designed to not only serve as a community-centered public space but also in a way that it could be dismantled and installed in another area in the future.

Related: Repurposed shipping containers turned into solar-powered Cycle Hubs

black shipping container market with painted murals on walls

The design of the Stackt market was focused on creating a welcoming social hub for the community. The multiple repurposed shipping containers are strategically stacked to create an open, light-filled market punctuated with several open-air courtyards.

black shipping container market with people walking nearby

The ground level is comprised of a network of detached buildings with single- and double-height interiors that house a number of retail shops as well separate containers that have been installed with the basic utilities needed to support the businesses, such as heating and cooling systems, water infrastructure and more. The top containers are arranged in grid-like formations to create side passageways and courtyards that can be used for cultural events. The third story of containers are arranged in a staggered design that adds a unique, eye-catching dynamic to the marketplace.

people waiting in line to get in shop in a black shipping container

The market contains anchor and pop-up stores as well as several food and beverage spots, including an onsite brewery. All of the storefronts have a uniform design to create a cohesive look to the market and reduce visual clutter. While some of the stores are permanent, pop-up spaces will change with the seasons.

black shipping container with several tall windows

According to Janna Levitt, partner at LGA Architectural Partners, the prime focus of the shipping container project was to create a lively space that currently meets the needs of this community and possibly another one down the road without leaving a permanent impact on the landscape. “As our world becomes more digital, retailers are looking for unique physical spaces and experiential opportunities for their customers,” Levitt said. “Shipping containers suggest an unusual and immersive retail experience while also offering a practical and sustainable building solution. Their inherent modularity means that the project can be disassembled and deployed elsewhere to create future Stackt developments, while leaving the site unscathed.”

+ LGA Architectural Partners

+ Giant Containers

Photography via Industryous Photography