The application deadline for the Lawrence Heights Triangle Park Competition has been extended to March 1.

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

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: 5 p.m., March 1 (extended)

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 labeled 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: 5 p.m., February 22 (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 labeled 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: 5 p.m., February 8 (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 labeled 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

Winning Proposal by Quentin VerCetty

Toronto-based artist Quentin VerCetty has been selected as the winner of a public art competition designed to honor Joshua Glover, a man who escaped American slavery in 1852 and made his way to Canada assisted by the Underground Railroad. In 1854 Glover found work and shelter in the community of Etobicoke where a new park is currently under construction as part of the Kingsway by the River development in Etobicoke.

The creation of the Joshua Glover Park and Public Art Memorial aligns with the City’s Confronting Anti-Black Racism Action Plan and specifically the recommendation to increase the visibility of Black history in Toronto.

VerCetty’s sculpture bust draws on composite events of Joshua Glovers’ life imagined through the lens of Afrofuturism. The artist depicts Glover as a charismatic Victorian dandy gazing confidently into the future while throwing off the chains of slavery with his mutilated cyborg arm. He clutches books to his chest suggesting that knowledge will set him free.

VerCetty's sculpture bust of Joshua Glover
Credit: Quentin VerCetty

The winning proposal was selected unanimously by a panel comprised of artist David Chinyama, Julie Crooks (Associate Curator of Photography at the Art Gallery of Ontario), Neil Park (Etobicoke Historical Society), Gaëtane Verna (Director of the Power Plant), and Tim Whiten (artist and Professor Emeritus at York University).

VerCetty is an award-winning visual storyteller, art educator and graduate of Ontario College of Art and Design University. His work uses speculative narratives, such as Afrofuturism, to address issues of representation, immigration and decolonization and has been featured in countries such as Mexico, Haiti, Peru, Australia, United Arab Empire and Germany.

The Joshua Glover Public Art Memorial will be installed in 2021, as part of the City’s ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, a year-long celebration of art and community in 2021. It will highlight Toronto’s collection of public art and the artists behind it, provide opportunities for artists to develop new public art projects, and encourage people to connect and engage with public art.

Project Overview

Joshua Glover escaped slavery in 1852, and made his way from St. Louis, Missouri into Canada assisted by the Underground Railroad. In 1854 he found work and shelter in the community of Etobicoke. His story was important to the abolitionist movement, and in general to Canada as well.

Fittingly, the project is to be located in the new Joshua Glover Park (4208 Dundas Street West, Etobicoke) in the Lambton Mills area where Glover settled after arriving in Canada. Naming the small park after Joshua Glover was decided by participants of a survey organized in 2015 by the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division in consultation with the local Ward Councillor out of three possible names that according to new city policy was shortlisted and brought forward.

For much of his life Glover lived in a small house in Lambton Mills, owned by Thomas Montgomery the proprietor of Montgomery’s Inn where Glover found long time employment. He married twice, both times to settler Irish women, which marked two of the earliest inter-racial marriages in Etobicoke. Glover died in an Old Age home in Newmarket at the age of 74, after having been embraced by the community of Etobicoke throughout his life.

No photograph or drawing has ever been found in the historical records of Joshua Glover. To this effect, Arts and Culture Services and the Etobicoke Historical Society aim to add a symbolic sculptural tribute rather than an imagined likeness to Joshua Glover’s memory. Through a one stage public art competition the design concept submissions by professional visual artists or artist led teams will be judged on the strength of their ideas. Artists with lived experience as Canadians of African Descent and artists with lived experience of the African-Canadian diaspora were strongly encouraged to apply.

Historical Background

The first enslaved African recorded on Canadian soil was brought to these shores at the beginning of the 17th century, in 1628. It was only after large uprisings by enslaved Africans in the United States of America and the Caribbean that in 1833 abolitionists managed to successfully convince British law-makers to render slavery illegal on lands now claimed by Canada. This law took effect on August 1, 1834, when approximately 1 million enslaved Africans in British colonies (including what is now Canada) were freed under the British Parliament’s Slavery Abolition Act, (1833). Joshua Glover is important today, as his life story exemplifies one of Canada’s under-explored examples of people of African descent historically working to re-shape Canadian society into one that is more welcoming and respectful to immigrants and refugees.

Joshua Glover Park, aerial view, no text

Joshua Glover’s story also resonates with the citizens of Racine and Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In Milwaukee at the intersection of Glover Avenue and Booth Street there is a large plaque that recounts the dramatic “Rescue of Joshua Glover”. After escaping St. Louis, Glover was recaptured and incarcerated in a jail in Milwaukee. Led by local newspaper owner and anti-slavery activist Sherman Booth, 5000 people stormed the jail, set Glover free and facilitated his journey through safe houses along the Underground Railroad to freedom in Canada. The public outcry surrounding the Glover case and the legal prosecution of Booth after the rescue advanced the cause of the abolition of slavery in the United States.

Joshua Glover’s story has captured the creative imagination of many; it produced books, a play, an opera, and a one man show which had its recent debut at the Montgomery’s Inn museum this past summer. While this visual art commission initiated by the Etobicoke Historical Society is dedicated to the memory of one black man, it carries the burden of history rich in symbolism and will be a fitting addition to the growing cultural production inspired by his life.