The City commissions and accepts donations of high quality, innovative public art works and monuments that are relevant to their prospective community and context, and enrich the urban experience of Toronto’s residents and visitors. These City-owned works of public art and historical monuments enhance public spaces all over Toronto.
New acquisitions are added each year through commissions and donations of public art enlivening municipal spaces, parks, transit infrastructure, bridges, underpasses and more. Learn more about the City’s public art commission and donation process.
The City of Toronto coordinates competitions for artist submissions and community consultation, assembles and manages the jury or selection panel, and oversees all aspects of the commissioning process through to the completion of the public art work.
The artist brief, call for submissions, and jury composition are devised in consultation with the City staff from relevant departments. Alternatively, an external public art consultant may be contracted, in which case municipal staff devises the request for proposals from art consultants.
Commissions are awarded through a competitive process. Competitions are adjudicated by a qualified independent selection panel with professional expertise in contemporary art and knowledge of the local context.
Public art competitions are the City’s primary form of artist selection. Depending on requirements specific to the project, the competition may be open, limited or invitational:
The form of competition to be used for a particular project is determined by the City staff.
An independent selection panel is convened for each public art commission under the City of Toronto’s jurisdiction.
These selection panels select short-listed and winning artists, measuring the artist’s proposal and past work against the general goals of the City’s Public Art Policy and the specific objectives of the project at hand.
Qualified selection panels are comprised of:
City Council has approved a one-year moratorium on accepting proposals for new donations of permanent works through the City’s Public Art and Monuments Donations Policy, effective immediately. No new proposals will be considered until January 2021.
An art collection exhibited outdoors requires ongoing maintenance due to exposure to harsh weather conditions, vandalism and pollution.
Toronto Culture is committed to maintaining its outdoor Art and Monuments collection. Under the direction of the division’s Public Art Conservator, works from the collection are cleaned and conserved as required.