Documenting and Visualizing Sunlight in Toronto’s Core

Canaran, Matthew
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University of Guelph

This study documents and visualizes the relationships between sunlight, built form, and public life in Toronto’s core. Photographs and stop-motion videos document the movement of sunlight and differences in human behaviour in varying sunlight conditions. Maps and diagrams made with Rhino3D/Ladybug visualize the annual sunlight conditions throughout the study area. This research builds upon prior studies and observes a strong relationship between sunlight and public life that changes with the seasons. This paper presents a series of recommendations including the protection, expansion, and intensification of public space in winter’s sunlight – especially on pedestrian-oriented shopping streets – and encourages the use of large deciduous trees to regulate sunlight across the seasons. There is a need to act fast since the built form of downtown Toronto is changing rapidly. While this research and its recommendations pertain to Toronto, they can be applied to other cities with similar climates, sunlight conditions, and built forms.

Sunlight, Rhino3D, Stop-motions, Thermal Comfort, Sunpath