City of Toronto public art opportunities and updates on commissions, installations and unveilings.
In early 2021, artist Brandon Vickerd was awarded the contract for the Duke Heights BIA Landmark Public Artwork. The winning artwork, entitled ‘The Heights’ was selected by a specially convened Selection Panel composed of arts professionals and community members.
Brandon Vickerd is a sculptor whose site-specific interventions, public performances and object-based sculptures act as a catalyst for critical thought and engagement with the physical world. Purposely diverse, his studio work straddles the line between high and low culture, acting as a catalyst for critical thought and addressing the failed promise of a modernist future predicated on boundless scientific advancement. Whether through craftsmanship, the creation of spectacle, or humor, the goal of his work is to provoke the viewer into questioning the dominate myth of progress ingrained in Western world views.
The Heights is a partial representation of the Elia Public School that once stood on the northeast corner of Keele St and Finch Ave W, rendered in Corten steel and cantilevered forty feet above the ground. With its innovative use of symbolic architecture, The Heights highlights the continuity between the past and the present. The sculpture evokes the history of the Keele and Finch area while celebrating the vibrant future of the community. This large-scale artwork incites a conversation around the evolution of the neighbourhood from its semi-rural history, to its life as an industrial centre, to the rapidly expanding urban centre that residents experience today. The Heights is specifically designed to enhance the experience of commuters along Keele St and Finch Ave W, whether they are viewing the artwork from a passing car, the sidewalk below or the bike lanes.
Situated at the northernmost part of the city of Toronto, DUKE Heights is one of the highest points of the city. Nestled between Downsview Park and York University, the area has great potential and is home to a wide variety of uses from residences through to an innovative mix of businesses. With the TTC, GO transit, the under-construction Finch West LRT and various highways surrounding the BIA, the community is better positioned than any other business area for strategic and planned growth.
DUKE Heights BIA began as the Dufferin Finch BIA in 2014. This newly created Business Improvement Area elected a group of business leaders who had a new vision for the area. A vision of change. Of opportunities and untapped potential. The DUKE Heights BIA is Ontario’s second largest BIA with over 2500 businesses employing over 32 000 people.
The DUKE Heights BIA’s primary objective is to promote the potential of the area, provide support to businesses in the area and inject new resources to tap into the potential of the community.
These goals will be expressed in physical form through a permanent work of art to be placed in the substantial median at one of the busiest and most important intersections in Toronto at Keele St and Finch Ave. The site has been identified and is governed by specific requirements for placement, loading and public safety.
The completed commission will be part of the daily experience for commuters and area residents and workers and will be experienced by a vast audience. It will symbolize the dynamism of the DUKE Heights BIA.
Above all, it is expected to: engage the community at large in the urban and employment neighborhood; serve as a memorable and welcoming landmark; serve as a source of pride for the community.
Katriina Campitelli (she/her)
Public Art Officer
The City of Toronto invites practicing Black artists and/or designers (including teams) that live or work in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI) to the first stage of a public art competition.
The artist(s)/designer(s) will be selected through an open, two-stage competition. The finalist will be awarded a contract and paid a fee of $65,000 (+HST) for an individual artist or split between a design team, for design and consultation services (including contract administration, project management, travel and other incidental expenses). If a team applies, the majority of the team must be Black. Working closely with City staff, the project landscape architect, Indigenous design advisor, developer, and other community partners, the winning artist(s)/designer(s) will refine their concept proposal to the requirements of the site and other conditions for project realization.
The landscape architect has developed a preliminary park concept based on visioning feedback from the community. The selected Black artist(s)/designer(s) will be responsible for leading the integration of artwork into the park design. The landscape architect will be the overall project lead, and will collaborate with the Black artist(s)/designer(s) from project award to implementation. The preliminary concept will evolve and be influenced by the Black artist’s/designer’s input.
The artist is invited to design an intervention that celebrates/commemorates the history, presence, diversity, and future of the Black community in the Moss Park neighbourhood. The artist(s)/designer(s) are encouraged to take a comprehensive approach to integrate artwork into the park in different/multiple ways including, but not limited to, the central water feature, paving design, seating and/or other standalone elements. The proposals could include two- and three-dimensional components and a combination of materials.
Public Artwork for 254 King Street East Park
Artist/Designer Design Fee: $65,000 (+HST)
Maximum budget for artwork (including all material and fabrication costs): $225,000 (+HST), 10 per cent of the projected park budget.
During early engagement, a Black Communities Advisory Group (BCAG) was formed given the community’s higher than average Black population. The BCAG acts as an advisory body at key decision points during the park design process to ensure the perspective of Black community members is reflected in the design. Feedback from the BCAG noted that representation matters, and that the Black community should feel welcomed and reflected in the space. All applicants should consult the full summary of community engagement on the project website.
A selection panel has been created by City staff, made up of Black artists and community members. They will evaluate the submissions, based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute innovative, engaging artwork that will be complementary to the overall design and community context. Higher points will be awarded to those with experience working in public space.
The submissions will be reviewed by the panel to select a five-artist/designer shortlist to proceed to the second stage.
The short-listed artists/designers will be invited to create a design proposal for the artwork that will direct and inspire their overall collaborative approach for the greater park design if selected. A detailed Terms of Reference document will be provided to guide shortlisted artists.
Shortlisted artists/designers will be paid a fee of $1,500 (+HST) for this stage.
Shortlisted artist(’s)/designer(’s) presentations will be held virtually.
The selection panel will choose a finalist whose proposal responds best to the site, both conceptually and technically, and who has the perceived ability to execute the artwork on site.
March 30, 2023: EOI issued
April 28, 2023: EOI submissions due
May 15 to 19, 2023: Selection panel meeting; five artists shortlisted
Week of May 22: Shortlisted artists notified
Week of May 29: Project Background meeting
Week of June 26: Presentation to the BCAG at 50 per cent design
Week of July 31: Stage 2 proposals due
Week of August 7: Presentation to the BCAG at 100 per cent design
Week of August 14 (date TBC): Artist interviews and selection
The selected artist/designer will enter into a contract and be paid by Fitzrovia (developer).
You are invited to submit a single pdf document. The pdf must be labeled as follows (Last Name First Name_ 254 King) and include:
Please use subject line: [last name], [first name]_ 254 King park.
Submissions must not exceed 20 MB size.
Please contact Laurel.Christie@toronto.ca or call 647-462-5093 for important supplementary material.
The following artists have been shortlisted for the opportunity:
The eastern segment of Overlea Boulevard from Don Mills Road to Thorncliffe Park Drive is planned for upcoming road work. This includes the Charles H. Hiscott Bridge (“Overlea Bridge”), Don Mills Road/Gateway Boulevard intersection and Thorncliffe Park Drive East intersection. The bridge and sidewalks will be widened and redesigned to address concerns about personal safety.
The Overlea Bridge superstructure is planned for replacement in the next five years. This level of construction hasn’t happened since the 1960s when Don Mills Road was last reconstructed and the Overlea Bridge was first built. This part of Overlea Boulevard is a key link between Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park neighbourhoods.
Led by the City’s Transportation Services and Engineering & Construction Services Divisions, the Overlea Boulevard and Bridge Renewal is located across two of the City’s 31 Neighbourhood Improvement Areas (identified in the Toronto Strong Neighbourhoods Strategy 2020), where the City works with residents, businesses and agencies to make the changes the neighbourhood needs so that it works well for all its residents. The area is densely populated and home to a high number of residents born outside of Canada who speak Farsi, Urdu, Mandarin, Arabic, and Slovak.
The Flemingdon Park and Thorncliffe Park neighbourhoods, while characterized by clusters of high-density high-rise apartment buildings, are also rich in open urban and green spaces. The bridge is adjacent to the Marc Garneau Collegiate Institute and Valley Park Middle Schools, and therefore many students cross the bridge on foot at least twice per day. Over the past several years, professional public consultations, workshops and Pop-up Citizen Forums seeking input from the community for desired design interventions, resulted in building successful partnerships with residents. The Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park Neighbourhood Plan that emerged from this process contains a series of recommendations grounded in the ideas of community members, with strategies to work towards implementation. Residents support several enhancements to make the infrastructure safer for pedestrians, cyclists, and promote a sense of neighbourhood identity. This would include interventions at Overlea and Thorncliffe Park Drive West to widen sidewalks, protect vulnerable road users, add vegetation, and incorporate beauty and identity through public art and streetscape design.
The bridge design is currently underway, led by the City’s Engineering and Construction Services Division. It is anticipated to be completed by Q2 2024 and tendered in Q3 2024. The roadworks design competition is currently ongoing. Construction under one contract (both road and bridge) is planned for 2024-2026. Public art funding is provided by the City of Toronto’s City Planning-Urban Design and Transportation Services divisions.
The communities of the Williams Treaty First Nations, Mississaugas of the Credit First Nation, the Huron-Wendat, Six Nations of the Grand River Territory, Kawartha Nishnawbe First Nation, and the Metis Nation of Ontario all have connections to this territory.
Additional information on Renewing Overlea Boulevard.
Deadline has passed, submissions are closed.
Value of the Awarded Commission: Approximately $600,000 (+HST) CAD
In fall 2022, a specially convened selection panel composed of arts professionals and community members met to evaluate the applications. Of the submissions, the panel determined a shortlist of six artists to proceed to the second stage of the competition. The selected artists will have their proposals evaluated in winter/spring 2023.
The shortlisted artists are:
The Etobicoke Civic Centre (ECC) is a new civic centre in the former suburb of Etobicoke 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.
Locally known as the Westwood Theatre Lands and “spaghetti junction,” the notoriously complicated “Six Point Interchange” where Kipling Avenue, Bloor Street and Dundas Street intersect is currently undergoing a major reconfiguration. Situated at the heart of the new community being built, the ECC will replace the existing municipal buildings at 399 The West Mall and incorporate a new civic hub and a civic square.
Following an international 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 winter of 2027/2028.
Four public art commissions are in design development having been awarded to Indigenous artists.
Conceived as an “integrated civic hub” this mixed-use development will feature municipal offices, a Council Chamber, civic offices and a citizen services centre, multi-purpose meeting rooms, 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. CreateTO, in collaboration with the City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture division and the Indigenous Affairs Office initiated the Public Art Program as an integral component in the design and development of the new ECC. The project is now being implemented by Corporate Real Estate Management of the City of Toronto, with the assistance of advisors Karen Mills and Rebecca Baird.
Ward 3: Etobicoke-Lakeshore
In fall 2022, artist Karen Roberts was awarded the contract for the 610 Bay Street public art. The winning artwork, entitled ‘The Road Travelled’ was selected by a specially convened selection panel composed of arts professionals and community members.
Karen Roberts is a Toronto-based, multidisciplinary artist working in acrylic, latex and aerosol paints; digital photography, digital design, animation, augmented reality and upcycled materials. She often exhibits her work in the public realm as painted murals on walls, roads, utility boxes, sheds, pillars, and windows, as well as digital illustrations or photographs applied to a variety of surfaces. She often finds inspiration in ecology, the environment, and site-specific surroundings.
“The Road Travelled” features a roadway into a distant sunrise, referencing the former use of 610 Bay St. as Toronto’s main bus depot. The designs show roadways to various parts of the country, the Rocky Mountains, the Prairies, the far North to see the Aurora Borealis, and the lakes of Ontario. The designs have an Art Deco feel to them, to blend with the architecture and style popular when the building was built.
The City of Toronto invites professional artists to submit proposals for a public artwork as part of the renovation of 610 Bay Street. The heritage building and former bus terminal will be repurposed as an interim Toronto Paramedic Services station.
The building renovation scope includes: conversion of the existing bus bays garage into ambulance bays garage; renovation of the two-storey Dispatch building at Edward Street and Elizabeth Street into staff areas; and renovation of select interior areas within the historic bus terminal building into staff areas. Heritage details of the existing building, including the facades, pillars and canopies, will be kept intact.
The existing open bus bays facing Edward Street to the north and Elizabeth Street to the west will be infilled with new metal wall panels in order to create a secure and enclosed garage environment for paramedic vehicular parking.
As an upcoming development will likely change the function of the site, the artwork will be installed for a temporary period of approximately five to 10 years, though the piece may have the potential to be adapted to future locations.
This project is a collaboration between the City’s Economic Development & Culture Division, Toronto Paramedic Services, uoai architects, and a general contractor with the aim of completion by December 2022.
Ward 11 – University-Rosedale
Please direct questions to Katriina Campitelli (she/her), Public Art Officer at Katriina.Campitelli@toronto.ca.
The City of Toronto is pleased to announce that artist Kellen Hatanaka has been selected for the Davisville Community & Aquatic Centre public art competition! Kellen is an artist, designer and illustrator based out of Stratford, Ontario. The forthcoming Davisville CAC will include indoor swimming pools and multi-purpose rooms to serve various community needs, particularly supporting students from nearby schools. The commission will include a new public artwork in the two-story atrium and custom mosaics throughout the building’s stairwells.
The Davisville CAC is a capital project of the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division (PFR), in partnership with the Toronto District School Board (TDSB). The new City facility is located on the Davisville Junior P.S. site and will share space with the new school. The school will have access to the City swimming pools and the City will have access to the school’s gymnasium and underground parking garage.
The new City aquatic centre will be located in the Davisville Village neighbourhood, near the intersection of Yonge Street and Davisville Avenue. Designed by CS&P Architects, the centre will provide residents with a three-storey recreational aquatic facility, including a 6-lane, 25-metre lane pool, a leisure/tot pool with gender neutral washrooms and change rooms, multi-purpose spaces, and an active roof.
It will be a valued community space, inclusive and accessible to multi-generational residents that encourages health and well-being through its sports and recreational programming, informed by community consultation to date.
The City of Toronto intends to design and construct a Net Zero Energy Building to attain Net Zero Energy operations through incorporating strategies to deliver Energy, Water and Waste reduction.
Public Art Officer
In fall 2022, a specially convened selection panel composed of arts professionals and community members met to evaluate the shortlisted applications. Three artists/artist teams have been selected for this project and will be announced shortly.
The WNYCC is a project by the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division and Children’s Services, and is being designed by the collaborative team of Maclennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) as the prime consultant and landscape designer, and architectural sub-consultant Bortolotto, responsible for the Child Care Centre. The new WNYCC will provide residents with a state-of-the-art community and recreation facility, a licensed daycare and a new park. It will include an aquatic centre, a gymnasium with a walking track, a fitness centre with dance and aerobic studios and flexible multi-purpose rooms. It will be a place for the community to gather and socialize ; a place that cultivates creativity, health and well-being, inclusivity and accessibility for all ages.
The City of Toronto intends to design and construct a Net Zero Energy Building to attain Net Zero Energy operations through incorporating strategies to deliver energy, water and waste reduction.
The site is in close proximity to the Humber River and the project aims to make connections with the surrounding neighbourhoods and parks, including the Humber River Trail.
Ward 7 – Humber River-Black Creek
In spring 2022, a specially convened selection panel composed of arts professionals and community members met to evaluate the shortlisted applications. Five artists have been selected for this project and will be announced shortly.
The George Street Revitalization Project (GSRP) 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
In March 2021, a specially convened selection panel composed of arts professionals and community members met to evaluate the applications. Of the submissions, the panel determined a shortlist of 4 artists/artist teams to proceed to the second stage of the competition. The selected artists will have their proposals evaluated in spring 2023:
The shortlisted artists are:
The competition for a public artwork or artworks along the newly redesigned Humber Bay Shores Trail is currently underway. 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.
Ward: Etobicoke – Lakeshore
Public Art Officer