Woodbine is the iconic home of Canadian horse racing — but a new urban neighbourhood is being built around it for thousands to call their home
We created a perception-shifting identity focused on human connection and full of movement to capture this exciting new Toronto story
How an opinion connected old and new communities
As the largest undeveloped parcel of land in Toronto, the opportunity for this fast-growing city is exceptional. But this site is also far from a blank slate: Woodbine has strong associations as both the centre of Canada’s passionate horseracing community as well as an entertainment destination for sports and food enthusiasts.
So our brand challenge was clear but complex: how to balance a place brand that honours the rich heritage that’s core to existing racing fans while also building fresh association with Torontonians as a progressive choice to live or grow your business.
The solution is a place with a strong opinion: that ‘Toronto’s future is connected communities’. That there is an alternative to spending your life stuck in stressful traffic commuting from far flung bedroom communities along the highway — it’s public transit connections to downtown, walkable connections to the store, school or a night out, and interpersonal connections that come with urban life designed in nature.
A modern identity with flying colours
In order to safeguard the future home of Canadian home horseracing while still extending a warm welcome to the rest of the city, we charged headlong into the universally appealing world of jockey silks. Playing with hand-rendered patterns and joyfully colourful palette, the result is a modern distinct identity that embodies the energy and movement of Woodbine’s origins but with a graphic language that is seen to directly connect many differences together, reflecting the dynamism of North America’s most diverse city.
Capturing how entertainment moves us
At the heart of plans for Woodbine is a significant entertainment district where Toronto will come to be enthralled and inspired. Partnering with artist Joe Cruz, our identity was made to move, with emotive illustrations that evoked the feeling of going out for a night of live jazz or the electricity of a first date.