News Release
January 9, 2023

Mayor John Tory and the City of Toronto are celebrating the conclusion of ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022, which officially wraps up this month with a total of $11 million committed to public art and Toronto’s arts community.

As the first Toronto-wide program from the City’s 10-Year Public Art Strategy, ArtworxTO was launched by Mayor Tory to signal the City’s renewed commitment to public art by improving accessibility to Toronto’s public art collection and the creative community behind it, giving life to the City’s new Public Art Strategy. ArtworxTO prioritized equity and inclusion by allocating 85 per cent of grant funding to BIPOC artists, with projects that aimed to advance truth and reconciliation and confront racism.

From September 2021 to October 2022, the City, through ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art, has:

  • Invested $11 million in artists and projects that engaged millions of people across the City of Toronto
  • Provided financial support to more than 1,400 artists
  • Helped fund or produce more than 350 new public murals, installations, exhibitions, art events, performances and productions, reaching all of Toronto’s 25 wards
  • Developed 86 formal partnerships with cultural institutions, Business Improvement Areas and community organizations
  • Raised $3.5 million via the private sector and corporate funding, as well through local, provincial and federal grants
  • Opened seven free Cultural Community Hubs that featured over 16 exhibitions, 30 programs, nine curators and more than 250 artists/partners, with attendance totalling more than 245,000 visitors

ArtworxTO: Toronto’s Year of Public Art 2021-2022 will leave a lasting impact with 18 new long-term artworks and $1.6 million in funding allocated towards legacy projects, including the ArtworxTO Artist in Residence Legacy Program (AiR) and Kwame Delfish’s Backbone Slide artwork and park concept. AiR is an ongoing program that embeds a professional contemporary artist within a City department to develop a collaborative, public-facing project.

ArtworxTO also implemented a new consolidated interactive webpage featuring a city-wide interactive map that aggregates information on all of Toronto’s public art pieces, increasing awareness and improving access to the City’s existing public art collection.

With the arts sector being an essential component of a vibrant city, ArtworxTO played a key role in supporting Toronto’s economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Toronto’s Year of Public Art supported the careers of numerous emerging artists and curators by providing valuable exposure for their work, adding material to their professional portfolios, and helping them receive new commissions.

Residents can also visit the City’s Public Art Map to find art in their neighbourhood.


“I’m proud to have promised and delivered ArtworxTO. The arts and the ability to appreciate it in all its forms, is what makes our City stand out in Canada and around the world, as an incredible place to live. This was an incredible year for public art in our city with more than 1,400 artists supported and over 350 new murals, installations, exhibitions, art events, performances and productions created thanks to ArtworxTO. Art is an essential component of any vibrant city and I’m thrilled by the success that The Year of Public Art has brought to Toronto.”
– Mayor John Tory

“The Year of Public Art has showcased the City’s renewed commitment to our vibrant art scene here in Toronto. By improving accessibility to both Toronto’s impressive public art collection and the talented creative community behind it, this great initiative has helped more Toronto residents truly enjoy all that our city has to offer.”
– Councillor Shelley Carroll (Don Valley North), Chair of the Economic and Community Development Committee

“What you have unleashed is not to be underestimated. This includes producing a world class exhibition and the positive impact it will have. To see the Carnival arts presented that way is so encouraging. I hope it will be seen by many people and provide inspiration for others involved in presenting the Carnival arts.”
– Jenny Baboolal, participating artist, Carnival Portal curated by Dwayne Dixon

“A city’s public art expresses its diverse identities, its vibrant neighbourhoods, and its recognition that arts and culture is fundamental to its economic and social health.  ArtworxTO has fulfilled this mandate, supported artists through the COVID crisis and opened the doors to a future rich with public art. Thank you Mayor Tory and the City of Toronto for the opportunity to bring the Year of Public Art to life.”
– Sara Diamond, Co-Chair, Mayor’s ArtworxTO External Advisory Committee

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media Relations