The Percent for Public Art Program: Call for New Toronto Public Art Commission Members, also available in the mobile friendly format deadline has been extended. The deadline for applications is now Friday, February 26.

The Toronto Official Plan encourages the inclusion of public art in all significant private sector developments across the City. City Planning works with the private sector to secure public art contributions through development review, Official Plan amendments and rezonings.

The governing principle for the Percent for Public Art Program is that art is a public benefit to be enjoyed and experienced by residents and visitors throughout the city. The privately-owned art is intended to make buildings and open spaces more attractive and interesting and to improve the quality of the public realm. The Program requires that the artwork must be clearly visible at all times from publicly accessible areas. Alternatively, City Planning may seek public art contributions to be directed to City-owned public lands. An overview of the Program can be found in the Percent for Public Art Program brochure. To explore some of Toronto’s public art on your own, use the Public Art Map.

The Percent for Public Art Program seeks new members for the Toronto Public Art Commission (TPAC) a City of Toronto arts advisory body and peer review group.

The deadline for applications has been extended to Friday, February 26, 2021. For more information including application requirements please view the Call for New Members, also available in the mobile friendly format.

TPAC works collaboratively with City’s Urban Design and Community Planning staff to provide recommendations and assist in the review of public art projects, activities and policies. TPAC also provides feedback about public art plans from private developers as part of the Percent for Public Art Program. Projects include large-scale development, district public art plans, secondary plans, master plans, multi-phased or individual developments, as well as contributions for private property and/or off-site locations. TPAC does not select the final artwork and are not members of a selection jury.

All applicants must either reside or work in Toronto. Previous experience in the arts is required. If you are one or more of the following, you may want to consider applying: Artists, Art Educators, Urban Designers, Architects, Landscape Architects, Public Institution Representatives, Art Historians, Art Critics, Cultural Planners, Developers, lawyers and other representatives from the corporate community, and individuals who have experience in public art, Indigenous designers, artists, historians and traditional knowledge keepers.

Due to COVID-19, all TPAC meetings will be virtual (via Webex) until it is safe to resume in-person meetings at Toronto City Hall. All TPAC meetings, including virtual meetings, will be open to the public. The Commission meets every six weeks as required. The term of the appointment for members is generally four years. No remuneration is offered for this volunteer position.

If you have questions, or would like more information, please contact The Percent for Public Art Program staff lead,
Lara Tarlo, Senior Urban Designer lara.tarlo@toronto.ca.

The Toronto Public Art Commission (TPAC) is a panel of citizen volunteers that serves as an informed peer review group to advise City Planning on public art projects and policies.

To learn more about the Program and the role of TPAC, refer to the City Council approved (August, 2010) Percent for Public Art Program Guidelines.

For more information about TPAC and future application calls, please contact Lara.Tarlo@toronto.ca.

TPAC * Agenda Closing (noon) TPAC*** Meeting (5:30 p.m.)
January 13 February 3
February 17 March 10
March 24 April 14
April 28 May 19
June 2 June 23
June 23 July 14
August 18 **September 8
September 22 October 13
October 13 November 3
November 24 December 15

Dates subject to change.

* The agenda deadline and submission of a draft Public Art Plan assumes that:

  • Preliminary meetings with Community Planning and Urban Design staff have already occurred
  • If requested by staff, the preparation and submission of a first draft Public Art Plan may be required earlier than the agenda closing.

** Staff meetings and review of draft public art plans for the September TPAC meeting must occur in early summer.

Note: Final approved public art plans must be AODA compliant. Staff will endeavour to meet Council deadlines, pending finalized approvals.

*** TPAC meetings will be held virtually on Cisco WebEx – subject to change.

City Planning (community planners and urban designers) administers this program and works with the private sector to secure public art contributions through development review, Official Plan amendments and re-zonings.

The governing principle for the Percent for Public Art Program is that art is a public benefit to be enjoyed and experienced by residents and visitors throughout the city. The Program requires that the artwork must be clearly visible at all times from publicly accessible areas. View the Percent for Public Art Program Guidelines.

When making a percent for public art contribution, a developer has three options:

  1. Off-site‘ – the contribution is collected by the City in a Public Art Reserve Fund and used with other similar contributions to commission public art for a City-initiative in the local ward. When public art is commissioned by the City, the process is administered by History, Art & Culture.
  2.  ‘On-site‘ – the contribution is used by the developer to commission a public artwork located on or immediately adjacent to the development property. In some cases, the developer commissions art as part of the design for an open space or a park that will later become a City-owned amenity.
  3. ‘On-site’ and ‘Off-site’ – any combination of the above two options. When the public art program is ‘On-site’ a City Council approved Public Art Plan is required. With the assistance of City Planning staff and the Toronto Public Art Commission, a citizen advisory group, the Public Art Plan ensures that the developer identifies appropriate public art opportunities on the site; a feasible budget and project schedule; and a fair and professional method for art/artist selection.