Toronto's annual Winter Stations competition aims to coax people to the city's beaches during the coldest winter months with shelters and installations. Seven winning proposals have been selected from a total of 378 international submissions and will be built for a temporary exhibition that runs until late March.

The winning designs will need to make use of existing metal lifeguard stands as structural supports and, though they only have a limited shelf life, will also be required to withstand the local harsh weather.

This year's theme was Freeze/Thaw. "The theme of Freeze/Thaw asks designers and artists to respond to the changing climactic conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter," explains the brief. "Designs may anticipate the coming spring or refuse to yield, reminding us December is only a few months behind and will return again."

The Steam Canoe, by Toronto's OCADU comprises a shelter that takes the form of an upturned canoe. Built from wood panels, its interior includes a small space for visitors to take shelter from the elements. The proposal also makes use of light tubes to channel sunlight and melt the snow, with the aim of creating fog.

In the Belly of a Bear, by Calgary-based Caitlind r.c Brown, Wayne Garrett, and Lane Shordee, features a dome constructed from a steel box tubing frame, clad in wood pallet siding. The interior will be covered in fake and real fur (the latter sourced used from local stores). Visitors will be able enter via wooden ladder and sit inside the snug 15 ft (4.5 m) diameter structure, enjoying the landscape from the single acrylic window.

Aurora Borealis, by Sudbury, Ontario's Laurentian University team is an installation that aims to enliven the beach with sewn fabric, LED lighting and a welded aluminum frame. The chandelier-like structure is kinetic and its lights will respond to touch.

The remaining winners can be seen in the gallery, or you could check out the Winter Stations in person by visiting the exhibition that runs from February 15 to March 20.

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