Presentations were being made Thursday night for one of the most ambitious projects in London's history.

Five design firms unveiled their submissions for the 'Back to the River' contest, with the winning design set to lead to millions of dollars of investment for the Thames River and its banks.

"We're going to see lots of innovation, a river for four seasons, a lot of civic pride," says Martha Powell, with the London Community Foundation.

Designs include unique bridges, access to the water and community spaces that will hopefully transform the river back into a source of pride for Londoners.

City hall has estimated spending $5 to $8 million over the next four years building the winning design at the Forks of the Thames.

Other projects along the five kilometre stretch will be considered in future years.

City Planner John Fleming says, "It will be developed and implemented over decades. Not immediately...I think we will all understand as we see piece by piece this plan evolve and develop that we're going to get there."

The five competing firms are based in Toronto, Vancouver and Denver.

Each received $40,000 for their submission and the company with the winning design will receive an additional $200,000 for detailed design work.

A panel of experts selected by the London Community Foundation, including former mayor Joni Baechler will judge the designs.

A winning design will be announced November 2nd.