A Year-long Celebration of Art and Community

The Year of Public Art (YPA) for 2021 is the kick-off to the new Public Art Strategy signalling the City of Toronto’s renewed commitment to public art. The Year of Public Art will celebrate Toronto’s incredible collection of public art and the artists behind it, provide opportunities for artists to play leading roles in the development of public art projects within the city, underscore a commitment to the arts sector as an essential component of a vibrant city, and create more opportunities for the public to connect and engage with the work.

The Year of Public Art will provide new opportunities for Toronto artists and their international counterparts to scale their artistic visions with new works in Toronto’s public realm. The program will work closely with Toronto’s key arts institutions to deliver major public art projects for 2021.

The Year of Public Art will also focus on improving public accessibility and engagement with public art across the breadth of the city and be reflective of Toronto’s diversity.

Key components will include:

  • Support for Toronto’s artists – the Arts Council Grants will introduce new funding opportunities for artist-led public art projects.
  • Partnerships – working collaboratively with key institutional partners to assist in realization and promotion of exceptional art projects in the public realm.
  • City Commissions – the City will work to commission new work, especially outside of the downtown core.
  • Legacy –  the Year of Public Art will leave a legacy of new works as well as create sustainable opportunities for Toronto’s artists seeking to work in public beyond 2021.

The Year of Public Art External Advisory Committee will play a crucial role in ensuring that the project is communicated and implemented in ways that resonate with Torontonians, maximize the event’s impact, and leave a lasting legacy. Each member on the Committee brings an essential and critical perspective to the development of the project and will be a champion of the Year of Public Art within their respective communities and networks.


Toronto is enriched by the many significant arts institutions in the city active in the creation and promotion of public art. Through the Year of Public Art in 2021 and in recognition of the many arts institutions and cultural hubs across the city that have made Toronto a centre of public art, the Year of Public Art will be delivered in close collaboration with a range of partners. Including, to date:

  • Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
  • The Bentway
  • OCAD University
  • Osminton – Union Station
  • Luminato
  • Toronto Biennial of Art
  • Onsite Gallery
  • Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA)
  • Harbourfront Centre
  • The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery
  • Local Arts Service Organizations
  • Art Toronto
  • Toronto Arts Council