City of Toronto public art opportunities and updates on commissions, installations and unveilings.

Project Overview

Rendering of pedestrian-only street with people attending a farmers' market.
Rendering of the George Street Revitalization Project. Courtesy of Montgomery Sisam.

The City of Toronto invites professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a two-stage competition to develop artwork as part of the George Street Revitalization Project (GSRP).

The revitalization project combines community, social and health supports and housing services in one connected city block. The proposed facility will replace the Seaton House emergency shelter and renew some vacant heritage residential sites such as the historically-significant Fegan House, with a new facility that will contain a City-operated long-term care home, transitional housing with supports, a transitional shelter for women and men, an emergency shelter for men, and a community hub for residents and neighbours. Construction is anticipated to start in summer 2022 and end in 2026.

Ward 13: Toronto Centre

Submission deadline: August 30, 2021 at 4 p.m.

Public Art Opportunities

The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy outlines the City’s commitment to public art created for, and with the input of, Toronto communities, and to create opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice. We welcome submissions from all artists including those who are Indigenous, Black, and/or racialized; those with various intersectional social identities; those with lived experience of mental health issues and/or housing insecurity and artists who may not have previously worked in the public realm. ArtworxTO, the City’s Year of Public Art, will take place in 2021 as part of the City’s commitment to artists and art as part of COVID-19 recovery. All new commissions will be included in the ArtworxTO program wherever possible.

The George Street Revitalization Project is located in the Garden District neighbourhood of Toronto’s downtown core, stretching from Allan Gardens in the north to Moss Park in the south, and includes the connecting George and Pembroke Streets. The GSRP lies within the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is currently home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 with the Mississaugas of the Credit. The area continues to be significant to urban Indigenous communities and is the location of many Indigenous-focused resources and service providers including The Indigenous Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto, Miziwe Biik Aboriginal Employment and Training, Anishnawbe Health Toronto and more. George Street intersects with the proposed Indigenous Business District (on Dundas Street East between Church and Jarvis Streets), as well as Allan Gardens, which is an Indigenous gathering place.

There are five public art opportunities in the GSRP Public Art Program titled, Accommodations. The GSRP will create public infrastructure that aims to provide private space to those who are underhoused or experience housing insecurity and income precarity. Accommodations implies a place to live or settle as well as an approach that makes accommodations to site, context and personhood. We envision artworks that accommodate an understanding of the long history of this place as land, knowledge and community. And we anticipate artworks that are human-centred, accommodating differing and shared ways of life, movement and identification. We are seeking to work with artists who use socially-engaged approaches within their art practices, equalizing process and production in a manner that defines engagement with one or more communities as an essential aspect of determining the parameters of the final artwork.

Project 1: Exterior Gathering Space for the shelter and transitional housing clients
$500,000 total art budget

Project 2: Interior or Exterior Gathering Space for the long-term care residents
$500,000 total art budget

Project 3: Orientation
$250,000 total art budget

Project 4: Transition
$250,000 total art budget

Project 5: Interiors
$250,000 total art budget

Competition Process

This is a two-stage, open, international competition for professional artists as defined by the Canada Council for the Arts.

A specially convened selection panel, composed of a majority of practicing arts professionals as well as community members, will be established for this competition, which will be co-chaired by curators Jenifer Papararo and Lisa Myers.

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest: July 19 – August 30, 2021

Stage 1 is an open call to artists, requesting an Expression of Interest (EOI) submission as outlined in the full EOI document. A shortlist of approximately five (5) artists will be selected for each art opportunity, based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an engaging public artwork that considers the site and context.

Online information sessions will be scheduled in late July and mid-August (dates to be confirmed) and will be open to all prospective artists.

Stage 2: Request for Conceptual Approach: September 22 – November 8, 2021

Short-listed artists will be notified in late September 2021 and invited to submit a proposal outlining their conceptual approach including their area of focus and their proposed research and/or engagement process. A detailed design proposal will not be required at this stage. Stage 2 requirements will be provided along with an Artist Resource Dossier containing some initial research and information about the site and context. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $2,000.00 (+HST) for this stage. Travel for site visits would be through a separate budget. Travel is still to be confirmed and will consider pandemic restrictions.

Timelines

July 19, 2021: Expression of Interest issued
August 20, 2021 at 4 p.m.: Deadline to register and for questions to be submitted
August 30, 2021: Submissions due
September 22, 2021: Short-listed artists notified
November 8, 2021: Stage 2 Conceptual Approach proposals due
Late November 2021: Artist selection
December 2021 to December 2026: Art developed and delivered (subject to GSRP building schedule)

To register for this call and to receive the full EOI document with project descriptions and submission requirements, and links and dates for the online information sessions, please send an email to: info@workshopto.ca

Project Overview

Portrait of Pam McConnell standing outside during the reopening celebrations of the revitalized Regent Park
Late Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell is seen at the reopening of the revitalized Regent Park. Photo courtesy of the McConnell Family.

The City of Toronto invites professional artists (including artist teams) to submit proposals for an outdoor three-dimensional sculptural public artwork that captures the likeness of the late Deputy Mayor Pam McConnell and has an element of engagement and accessibility with the viewer.

The commemorative artwork is to highlight the outstanding contributions of the former teacher, public servant and political leader, whose dedication to community and social justice facilitated solutions to many challenges facing lower-income communities, such as child poverty and hunger, literacy, homelessness and affordable housing.

The art component of this new public space will be selected through an open, one-stage competition, with a net budget of approximately $250,000 (+HST). The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: all fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.

Ward 13 – Toronto Centre

Submission Deadline: August 16 at 4 p.m.

Public Art Opportunity

The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy outlines the City’s commitment to public art created for, and with the input of, Toronto communities and to create opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice.

Regent Park, located on the traditional territory of the Anishinabek and the Huron-Wendat, is a revitalized neighbourhood located in downtown Toronto. The area is bounded by Gerrard Street East to the north, Shuter Street to the south, River Street to the east, and Parliament Street to the west.

The primary site for artists to consider is south of the Pam McConnell Aquatic Centre, located at 640 Dundas Street East (at the corner of Sumach Street) in the grassed landscaped area to the west of the walkways that criss-cross the park-like setting. The site will be described in detail in the Terms of Reference.

The commissioned artist will work closely with the City’s Economic Development and Culture, working in collaboration with Parks, Forestry and Recreation and other partners to develop and complete the project.

Competition Process

This is a one-stage, open, competition for professional artists or artist teams residing and working in the province of Ontario, with emphasis on artists with specific connections to Toronto. Submissions from women, Indigenous, Black and racialized artists and those who may not have previously worked in the public realm are especially welcome

Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions)
  • is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition)
  • has a history of public exhibitions
  • has produced an independent body of work

A specially convened selection panel, composed of practicing arts professionals, community members and a McConnell family representative will be established for this one-stage competition.

Stage 1: Request for Proposals

Professional artists are invited to submit proposals to be reviewed by the selection panel. The panel will select one proposal to be executed, based on artistic excellence and the proposal’s suitability to the overall design scheme and context.

The contract will be awarded in September/October 2021.

ArtworxTO, the City’s Year of Public Art, begins in fall 2021 as part of the City’s commitment to artists and art as part of COVID-19 recovery. All new commissions will be included in the ArtworxTO program wherever possible.

Timelines

August 10, 2021, 4 p.m.: Last day for questions to be submitted
August 16, 2021, 4 p.m.: Request for Proposals submissions due
August 30, 2021: Selection panel meeting
September 2021: Notification to competition artists of finalist artist (artist team) selected
September/October 2021: Contract awarded to finalist artist (artist team)
Fall 2021 – Spring 2022: Artwork production phase; site preparation; transportation to site; installation.
July 2022: Official public unveiling of the Pam McConnell Memorial

Submission Requirements

Professional artists (artist teams) are invited to respond by submitting two PDF documents, with the following information:

One PDF file labelled: Last Name First Name_file 1_Pam McConnell

  • Written proposal concept, maximum three pages.
  • Proposal concept sketches, renderings, design details, a plan to show location.
  • Details on proposed materials and any other relevant information to explain the proposed project.
  • A preliminary budget outlining critical costs such as production/fabrication, professional fees, such as engineering drawings, etc., transportation and installation.

One PDF file labelled: Last Name First Name_file 2_Pam McConnell

  • CV (one for each team member, if applicable).
  • Names and contact information for two references (preferably from recent projects).
  • Maximum ten images of previous and relevant work, with caption including title, materials, dimensions, location, and commissioning body (if applicable).

The PDF applications must be labelled with the name of the artist and project as noted above.

The documents should be emailed to publicartcompetitions@toronto.ca with subject line: “Last Name First Name_file 1_Pam McConnell” and “Last Name First Name_file 2_Pam McConnell” and should not exceed 20 MB total size per email.

The submission deadline is August 16 at 4 p.m. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Contact

Johnson Ngo
Public Art Officer
437-881-2998
Johnson.Ngo@toronto.ca

Project Overview

Rendering of the new Etobicoke Civic Centre building.
New Etobicoke Civic Centre

CreateTO in collaboration with the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division and the Indigenous Affairs Office, is inviting Indigenous artists (Indigenous artists born or living in Canada) to submit their qualifications to the first stage in a two-stage process to commission public art through collaborations with members of the project Design Team (Henning Larsen and Adamson, and Associate Architects and PMA Landscape Architects) for the new Etobicoke Civic Centre (ECC). This call also includes opportunities for Indigenous artists to participate in a paid mentorship program.

The new ECC, will be located on a 13.8 acre property bounded by Kipling Avenue to the west, Bloor and Dundas Streets to the north and the TTC/CPR rail corridor to the southeast. The ECC is situated on the Ancestral territory and gathering place of the Anishnaabe, the Haudenosaunee, the Tionontati (Petun), the Wendat, and the treaty territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit.

Conceived as an “integrated civic hub”, this mixed-use development will feature municipal and civic offices, a Council Chamber, a citizen services centre, multi-purpose meeting rooms, a wedding chapel, a daycare centre, a community recreation centre with a pool and running track, a Toronto Public Library District Branch, an art gallery, and a large outdoor civic square surrounded by ample new sustainable landscaping.

Following an international design competition, design of the civic centre was awarded to internationally acclaimed architect Henning Larsen and Adamson, and Associate Architects and PMA Landscape Architects (the “Design Team”). Completion is expected for the summer of 2025.

Ward: Etobicoke – Lakeshore

Extended submission deadline: April 26 at 6 p.m. (closed)

Public Art Opportunities

There are three opportunities for commissioned Indigenous artists to collaborate and work with select members of the Design Team in developing design concepts. Two paid mentorships to enable emerging artists to learn more about public art are also offered. Goals for the Indigenous artwork are to honour the ongoing Indigenous presence on Turtle Island and invoke Indigenous Peoples’ connection to Mother Earth; engage the community at large, including local and regional Indigenous communities and the general public, fostering connection and dialogue; serve as welcoming elements inviting exploration by visitors and staff; and serve as intuitive wayfinding landmarks. The artworks should be iconic, impactful, durable and require minimal maintenance.

Ultimately, the Indigenous art program aims to respect and honour all Indigenous people, First Nations, Inuit and Metis people, their elders, their knowledge keepers, both young and old, their ancestors and their valuable past and present contributions to this land.
The artworks must be unique. Editioned works or versions of existing works will not be considered.

Please note, funding for the design and construction of ECC and all public art is subject to City Council’s approval. In the event that the ECC does not proceed, all artists commissioned work will be concluded and artists will be compensated for all work completed up to the date work has been suspended.

Opportunity One: Stone Carving

Design Fee: $25,000

The opportunity consists of the development of a program of bas-relief Indigenous imagery relevant to this territory, to be inscribed into boulders and large stone elements that are placed in key locations around the ECC. The choice of stone materials and placement within the site will require collaboration with the Project Landscape Architect.

Opportunity Two: Sculpture Program for the Sacred Fire Vessel and East Garden

Design Fee: $50,000.

  1. Sacred Fire Vessel: This opportunity consists of the design of the cover for a Sacred Fire Vessel to be placed in an exterior location. The mechanical components will be commercially supplied to meet safety requirements.
  2. East Garden: This opportunity consists of designing small scale sculptural elements to be integrated into the East Garden at the ECC.

Opportunities One and Two will be a collaboration with the Landscape Architect and will also entail periodic review by an Elder.

Opportunity Three: Lead Artist: Wedding Chapel Co-Created Wall Work

Design Fee: $50,000

A co-created, wall mounted indoor artwork is proposed for the interior of the wedding chapel. The artwork design and planning will be led by an Indigenous Artist and executed by a team of Indigenous participants (artists and craftspeople) assembled by the lead artist.

The lead artist will act as the coordinator and visionary for the development of a concept, and an execution budget, managing and leading the creative process for design, assembling and managing the team of Indigenous participants (artists and craftspeople) who will execute components of the design. Artists and craftspeople who are interested in participating as an artwork “Maker” in this collaborative, co-created project may contact  eccpublicart@gmail.com for details.

Mentorship Opportunity

Two paid mentorship opportunities are available to emerging artists who have an interest in learning more about public art as a discipline. The selected artists will learn about the processes involved in collaborating with architects, engineers, project managers, fabricators, public servants, and the community. The purpose of these mentorships is to increase the skills and knowledge of Indigenous artists who seek to pursue future public art opportunities. Final details of the scope and timing of these mentorships are to be determined.

Eligibility

Interested Indigenous artists, born or living in Canada, are invited to submit their credentials for consideration as part of the first stage of a two-stage public art process. Recognition as an artist and Indigenous person by the Indigenous community and ability to demonstrate learnings from their own journey and teachings received are of importance.

Please note, these opportunities entail Indigenous Artist collaborations with the designated Design Team member. Non-Indigenous team submissions will not be considered.

Proponents must be Indigenous professional artists with a history of public exhibition as artists, a background including training as artists including equivalent informal or traditional training, and curator, community or peer recognition as artists.

Architects and designers/design studios are not being considered for this project.

Selection Process

Three to five candidates will be selected to advance as finalists for each commission opportunity, including the mentorships. Selection will be made by the ECC Public Art Jury and Working Group. Finalists will be invited to participate in juried interviews with an honorarium paid to finalists for their participation.

Timelines

March 16: Call for artists
March 19: Release of the application forms*
March 23 at 8 a.m.: Deadline to secure the “Call to Artists” package of information and submission forms*
March 25 and 27 at 11 a.m.: “How to Apply” online information session**
April 26 at 6 p.m.: Extended submission deadline

*Please contact Karen Mills at eccpublicart@gmail.com to request the application forms and an invitation to participate.** Please email Karen Mills at eccpublicart@gmail.com to register for the online event. 

Application Process

“How to Apply” online information sessions will be held on Thursday, March 25 and Saturday, March 27 at 11 a.m.. An additional session may be scheduled at a later date.

To request the application forms and to secure the “Call to Artists” package, please contact Karen Mills at eccpublicart@gmail.com.

Late submissions will not be accepted.

Project Overview

The City of Toronto invites professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a competition for a public artwork or artworks as part of the design of a new park for the Lawrence Heights neighbourhood.

Lawrence Heights Triangular Park plan
Courtesy Dillon Consulting

The art component of this new public space will be selected through an open, two-stage competition, with a net budget of approximately $475,000 (+HST). The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: all fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.

The design, by Dillon Consulting, is currently underway, and construction is planned for completion in 2023.

Ward: Eglinton – Lawrence

Submission Deadline: March 1 at 5 p.m.(closed)

Public Art Opportunity

The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy outlines the City’s commitment to public art created for, and with the input of, Toronto communities, and to create opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice. We welcome submissions from Indigenous, Black, and racialized artists, and those who may not have previously worked in the public realm.

Lawrence Heights is an historical neighbourhood that is home to a strong, diverse, and engaged community. Artists are asked to consider the social impact of their work and how they can engage with community members, both long-time residents and those newer to the area, during the development and/or creation of their proposals. Community engagement will be a requirement for the selected artist and as such, interested artists should be prepared to outline how they intend to do so within their submissions.

The primary site for artists to consider is the south west edge of the park, along the new Deep Roots Terrace, where a series of locations is possible in a linear promenade, accessible to the street as well as the park. Other sites may be available at the entrances to the park and at several sites within the park itself. It is an option for artists to work at one or a combination of sites. The sites will be described in detail in the Terms of Reference for short-listed artists.

Competition Process

This is a two-stage, open, international competition for professional artists. Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions),
  • is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition),
  • has a history of public exhibitions,
  • has produced an independent body of work.

A specially convened selection panel, composed of practicing arts professionals and community members, will be established for this two-stage competition.

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest: December 17, 2020 – March 1, 2021

The selection panel will review all submissions and meet in late February, 2021 (date TBC) to identify a short-list of five (5) artists, based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context.

Stage 2: Request for Concepts: Mid-March – Mid-May, 2021

The short-listed artists will be notified shortly after the selection panel’s first meeting, and invited to submit a conceptual design proposal. A detailed Terms of Reference document will be provided to short-listed artists, with all of the detailed information required to prepare and submit their proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $3000.00 (+HST) for this stage.

All proposals will undergo a technical review by City staff and Design Team members, in order to assess them for safety and maintenance concerns. Each artist will receive their technical feedback notes, and have time to incorporate them into their proposals, if necessary, and all technical reviews will be circulated to the selection panel. Proposals which are deemed not technically viable will not advance to the interview stage.

Short-listed artists will attend an interview (interviews may be conducted online) and present their proposals to the selection panel in June, 2021 (date to be confirmed). The panel will choose a finalist whose vision for the site best suits the overall scope and intent of this project, and has the ability or perceived ability to conceive and realize a public artwork on this site.

The short-listed artists will be notified of the competition results by the end of June, 2021.

ArtworxTO, the City’s Year of Public Art, will take place in 2021 as part of the City’s commitment to artists and art as part of COVID-19 recovery. All new commissions will be included in the ArtworkTO program wherever possible.

Timelines

December 17, 2020: Expression of Interest issued
March 1, 2021: Submissions due
Mid-March, 2021: Selection panel meeting
Mid-March 2021: Short-listed artists notified
Mid-May 2021: Proposal deadline
Late May 2021: Technical review
June 2021: Artist interviews and selection

Submission Requirements

Artists are invited to respond by submitting a single PDF document with the following information:

  • CV (one for each team member, if applicable)
  • Brief artist statement outlining your interest in this project, showing relevant experience, ability, and general artistic approach. Please include your experience with and intended approach to the community engaged process. Do not include proposals at this stage.
  • Maximum ten images of work, with captions, including title, materials, dimensions, location, and commissioning body (if applicable). Audio / Video files may be provided via URL.
  • Names and contact information for two references (preferably from recent projects).

The PDF application must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Last Name First Name_ LHTriangle), and should not exceed 20 MB total size.

The document should be emailed to publicartcompetitions@toronto.ca with subject line “LH Triangle Park EOI Submission”. The submission deadline is 5 p.m., March 1. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Contact

Catherine Dean
Public Art Officer
647-458-5657
catherine.dean@toronto.ca

Project Overview

The City of Toronto invites professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a competition for a public artwork or artworks along the newly redesigned Humber Bay Shores Trail. The trail runs from the Humber River to the east, through Humber Bay Shores park and the Humber Bay Butterfly Habitat, and connects to the Humber Bay East and West parks to the west.

Humber Bay shore trail, view towards Humber Bay
View south towards Humber Bay, at the foot of Palace Pier Court, Etobicoke

The artwork for this site will be selected through an open, two-stage competition, with a budget of approximately $350,000 (+HST). The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: all fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.

Ward: Etobicoke – Lakeshore

Submission Deadline: February 22 at 5 p.m. (closed)

Public Art Opportunity

The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy outlines the City’s commitment to public art created for, and with the input of, Toronto communities, and to create opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice. We welcome submissions from Indigenous, Black, and racialized artists, and those who may not have previously worked in the public realm.

humber bay shores aerial view
Aerial view of plaza site

The creation of a new plaza along the trail provides a highly public site for an art work or works on the shore of Humber Bay. The open space is designed as a rest area for trail users, with a wide view of the bay, lake and the Toronto skyline to the east. The site will also be visible to those passing by on the trail, as well as from the surrounding condo towers.

Thematically, artists are asked to broadly consider the history and ecology of the area. The new plaza at the foot of Palace Pier Court is named after the Palace Pier dance hall, which stood on the site from the late 1920s until it was destroyed by fire in 1963. After the pier’s demolition, the section of the bay where it stood was filled to create the current site, along with other modifications to the shoreline over the 20th century which included the creation of the Humber Bay parks.

In a recent community survey, the majority of respondents cited the proximity to nature, the water, and the area’s biodiversity as its most important characteristics. They envisioned an art work which complements and acknowledges the area’s unique natural features and history.

Artists are asked to consider the social impact of their work and how they can engage with community members during the development and/or creation of their proposals. This will be a requirement for the selected artist, and interested artists should outline potential opportunities for community engagement in their letter of interest.

Competition Process

This is a two-stage, open, competition for professional artists.

Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions),
  • is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition),
  • has a history of public exhibitions,
  • has produced an independent body of work.

A specially convened selection panel, composed of practicing arts professionals and community members, will be established for this two-stage competition.

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest: December 21, 2020 – February 22, 2021

The selection panel will review all submissions and identify a short-list of five (5) artists, based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context.

Stage 2: Request for Concepts: March – May, 2021

The short-listed artists will be notified in March (date to be confirmed), and invited to submit a conceptual design proposal. A detailed Terms of Reference project document will be provided to help short-listed artists prepare their proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $3,000 (+HST) for this stage.

Short-listed artists will attend an interview and present their proposals (online presentations may be required) to the selection panel in May, 2021 (date to be confirmed) The panel will choose a finalist whose vision for the site best suits the overall scope of this project, and has the ability or perceived ability to conceive and realize a public artwork on this site.

The selected artist will be notified by the end of June, 2021.

ArtworxTO, the City’s Year of Public Art, will take place in 2021 as part of the City’s commitment to artists and art as part of COVID-19 recovery. All new commissions will be included in the ArtworkTO program wherever possible.

Timelines

January 2021: Expression of Interest issued
February 22, 2021: Submissions due
March 2021: Selection panel meeting
March 2021: Short-listed artists notified
May 2021: Proposal deadline
June 2021: Technical review
June 2021: Artist interviews and selection

Submission Requirements

Artists are invited to respond by submitting a single PDF document with the following information:

  • CV (one for each team member, if applicable)
  • Brief artist statement outlining interest in project, showing relevant experience, ability and general artistic approach. Please include your experience and intended approach to the community engaged process. Do not include proposals at this stage.
  • Maximum ten images of work, with caption including title, materials, dimensions, location and commissioning body (if applicable). Audio / Video files may be provided via URL.
  • Names and contact information for two references (preferably from recent projects).

The PDF application must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Last Name First Name_ HumberBay), and should not exceed 20 MB total size.

The document should be emailed to publicartcompetitions@toronto.ca with subject line “Last Name, First Name_HumberBay”. The submission deadline is 5 p.m., February 22. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Contact

Catherine Dean
Public Art Officer
647-458-5657
catherine.dean@toronto.ca

Project Overview

The City of Toronto invites professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a competition for a public artwork or artworks as part of the design of the Northeast Scarborough Community Recreation and Childcare Centre (NESCCC). This new multi-use community centre and child care facility in Scarborough’s Joyce Trimmer Park will include a gymnasium to accommodate an indoor cricket and running track, a teaching kitchen, fitness/dance studios, a 25-metre indoor lap pool and leisure pool. In addition to the Centre, the surrounding park will be upgraded with various outdoor amenities, including the addition of a skate park, multiple outdoor play spaces and a tree-lined promenade.

Rending of the Filter Park and Northeast Scarborough Community Recreation & Childcare Centre
View of NESCCC from Sheppard Ave. E., through Filter Garden. Courtesy Perkins & Will.

The art component of this new community centre will be selected through an open, international, two-stage competition, with a budget of approximately $450,000 (+HST). The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: all fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.

NESCCC will become an important part of a vibrant, strong and culturally diverse local community. The site is located just south of the Rouge National Urban Park, a continuous ecological corridor from Oak Ridges Moraine to Lake Ontario. Within the Rouge Valley watershed, surrounded by parks and natural areas, the architecture and landscape of the project are inspired by this important ecological context.

The design, by architects Perkins & Will and landscape architects PMA, working with the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation and Child Services, is currently underway. Construction is anticipated to start in fall of 2021, with completion by the end of 2024.

Ward: Scarborough – Rouge Park

Submission Deadline: February 8 at 5 p.m. (closed)

Public Art Opportunity

The City of Toronto’s new Public Art Strategy outlines the City’s commitment to public art created for, and with the input of, Toronto communities, and to create opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice. We welcome submissions from Indigenous, Black and racialised artists, and those who may not have previously worked in the public realm.

The site plan for the facility and park.
Detail of Filter Garden Area. Courtesy PMA.

Thematically, artists are asked to broadly consider the history and ecology of the area and the surrounding community, some of which is detailed above. Artists are asked to consider the social impact of their work and how they can engage with community members during the development and/or creation of their proposals. Community engagement will be a requirement for the selected artist, and interested artists should outline how they intend to do so within their submissions.

The primary site for artists to consider is the filter garden area at the south west corner of the site, along Sheppard Avenue East. In addition to welcoming visitors into the site, artwork at this site will be a visible marker of the site’s entrance. The filter garden will provide on-site water management, as well as incorporating shaded seating areas and a linear skate park. Art works could be placed close to the front edge of the site, within landscaped areas of the filter garden or as part of the skate park.

Complete information about primary site options, as well as possible secondary sites, will be included in the detailed Terms of Reference document which will be distributed to short-listed artists.

Competition Process

This is a two-stage, open, international competition for professional artists. Per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions)
  • is recognized as a professional by their peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition)
  • has a history of public exhibitions
  • has produced an independent body of work

A specially convened selection panel, composed of practicing arts professionals and community members, will be established for this two-stage competition.

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest: December 16, 2020 – February 8, 2021

The selection panel will review all submissions and identify a short-list of five (5) artists, based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork that is complementary to the overall design scheme and community context.

Stage 2: Request for Concepts: Late February – late April, 2021

The short-listed artists will be notified by late February, and invited to submit a conceptual design proposal. A detailed Terms of Reference project document, outlining all proposal requirements will be provided to short-listed artists prepare their proposals. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee of $3,000 (+HST) for this stage.

Short-listed artists will attend an interview and present their proposals (online presentations may be required) to the selection panel in May, 2021. The panel will choose a finalist whose vision for the site best suits the overall scope of this project, and has the ability or perceived ability to conceive and realize a public artwork on this site.

The selected artist will be notified by the end of May 2021.

ArtworxTO, the City’s Year of Public Art, will take place in 2021 as part of the City’s commitment to artists and art as part of COVID-19 recovery. All new commissions will be included in the ArtworkTO program wherever possible.

Timelines

December 17, 2020: Expression of Interest issued
February 8, 2021, 5pm: Submissions due
February 2021 (date to be confirmed): Selection panel meeting
February 2021 (date to be confirmed): Short-listed artists notified
April 2021 (date to be confirmed): Proposal deadline
May 2021 (date to be confirmed): Technical review
May 2021 (date to be confirmed): Artist interviews and selection

Submission Requirements

Artists are invited to respond by submitting a single PDF document with the following information:

  • CV (one for each team member, if applicable)
  • Brief artist statement outlining your interest in this project, showing relevant experience, ability, and general artistic approach. Please include your experience with and intended approach to the community engaged process. Do not include proposals at this stage.
  • Maximum ten images of work, with captions, including title, materials, dimensions, location, and commissioning body (if applicable). Audio / Video files may be provided via URL.
  • Names and contact information for two references (preferably from recent projects).

The PDF application must be labelled with the name of the artist and project (Last Name First Name_ NESCCC), and should not exceed 20 MB total size.

The document should be emailed to publicartcompetitions@toronto.ca with subject line “Last name, First Name_NESCCC”. The submission deadline is 5 p.m., February 8. Late submissions will not be accepted.

Contact

Catherine Dean
Public Art Officer
647-458-5657
catherine.dean@toronto.ca