• Artist: Esmond Lee 李春錦
  • Medium: Installation
  • Project Type: Independent Projects
  • Neighbourhood: Scarborough

74% of Scarborough residents are visible minorities, compared to 39% for Toronto city centre. We are what makes Toronto multicultural. Witness us.

Location

  • Intersection: Borough Dr. & Town Centre Court
  • Public Washrooms: No
  • Physical Access: Wheelchair accessible
  • Indoors/Outdoors: Outdoors

The Project

“Below the City” will celebrate Scarborough for what it really is—a dynamic and vibrant place built on a continuum of migration. Overshadowed by the urban centre, the suburbs are often considered plain and lackluster, with downtown credited as Toronto’s source of culture and diversity. But inside the quiet houses, tucked away in plazas and along secluded roads are new ideas and activities drawn from diverse backgrounds. Migration is not the start and end of a journey, but a collection of experiences and values that evolve through generations. The artist will recognize Scarborough as a unique cultural hub by creating a larger-than-life vinyl mesh banner. Durable and low-cost, vinyl is commonly used as signage for its mobility and adaptability. Using this as metaphor, the artist will blend personal photographs with those from the community to bear witness to Scarborough as source of cultural inspiration for today’s Toronto. Project website: https://belowthecity.art/

The Artist

Esmond lee 李春錦 is an artist, photographer, and architect based in Scarborough. As a second-generation Chinese Canadian, he explores long-term and intergenerational experiences of migration. Lee draws from his background in architecture to examine identity, belonging, and nuanced cultural evolution in the suburbs. He is proud to create socially engaged and hyperlocal work that strengthens his community.

Acknowledgements

  • This project was supported through Toronto Arts Council Strategic Funding.

Esmond Lee 李春錦 would like to acknowledge his parents France Lee Chi Kwong 李清增 and Tracy Tsang Tsui Ching 會璀貞, his sister Bernice Lee Yun Chau 李潤秋, and Scarborough where he calls home.