Public art installations are all over the city and sometimes we’re so busy and on-the-go, that we forget to stop for a moment and appreciate it. From bold, eye-catching structures, to statues and paintings, there’s so much that we can absorb from Toronto’s art culture.
The Toronto Downtown West BIA in collaboration with MASSIVart recently launched an online network tool that pinpoints all the free public art installations around the city. This makes it WAY easier to see the many massive art pieces. So, get your best friends and spend a day in the city scavenging through all of Toronto’s public art installations!
10 Public Art Installations Around The City You Have To Check Out
See the full interactive map here.
Location: 56 Blue Jays Way, Bisha Hotel and Residences, Toronto
Artist: Jun Kaneko
About The Artwork: The heads are designed to elevate the person in and amongst the towering brick, glass, and steel structures of the city. Kaneko has said of his works, “I hope… that [they] will give off enough visual energy to shake the air around [them].”
Location: 50 St Joseph St, Toronto (Clover Hill Park)
Artist: Myfanwy MacLeod
About The Artwork: Primrose is inspired by real baby donkey who was born prematurely in 2012 in Shropshire, England. Primrose’s underdeveloped bones led to permanently bowed legs and vets put some custom pink casts on her to straighten them out. MacLeod called the sculpture a “parody of the equestrian monument”, also citing references like Jesus riding a donkey and the “valorization” of the working donkey.
Location: 200 Front Street West, Simcoe Park, Toronto
Artist: Anish Kapoor
About The Artwork: In the enclosed space represents the courtyard, surrounded by fir trees and confronted to the urban architecture of the various adjacent buildings. Mountain creates a natural space to take a breath and experience a moment while being surrounded by the buzzing pulse of the city. The art installation possesses an imposing air of grandeur, an awe-inspiring evocation of seismic forces and tectonic movement.
Location: 188 University Avenue, Toronto
Artist: Zhang Huan
About The Artwork: The polished stainless-steel sculpture consists of countless doves, the international symbol of world peace, and a twisted tree branch that resembles the body of a dragon. The sculpture draws an analogy to the fragile conditions facing our planet. Zhang Huan seeks to convey the message that humans can exist in harmony with nature, and that, if this delicate balance is struck, our cities will become better places to live.
5. SPEECH BUBBLE
Location: 106 John Street, Toronto
Artist: Jennifer Marman
About The Artwork: This work plays heavily on the idea of things left unsaid. It also provides a focal point in the urban plaza in downtown Toronto. Cantilevered atop an inverted triangle that forms the neck of the speech bubble, the screen becomes part of an animated sculpture: its unique structure unifying form with function.
6. SPIRAL FOUNTAIN
Location: 45 Peter Street, Rogers Centre, Toronto
Artist: Judith Schwarz
About The Artwork: From the top, water cascades down the spiral column, deflecting across the disk, and continues downward into the large gently tilted basin on the ground. The piece depicts the connection of the three elements: sky, water, and earth. The disk adds an unexpected, disruptive dimension to the spiral and flow of water, showing that the relations of natural elements are not simple.
Location: 120 Bremner Blvd, Toronto
Artist: Douglas Coupland
About The Artwork: A harmony of blues, greens, and greys, this graphic work pays homage to the famous painting entitled North Shore, Lake Superior, 1926 by Group of Seven artist, Lawren Harris.
8. THE ETERNAL FLAME OF HOPE
Location: 55 John Street, Metro Hall, Toronto
Artist: The Canadian Foundation for Physically Disabled Persons
About The Artwork: Inspired by the perseverance of Canadians with disabilities, this art installation serves as a reminder that, as a society, we must be all-inclusive. For more than seven years, the Eternal Flame of Hope has burned brightly at Metro Hall in downtown Toronto.
9. THINGS END
Location: 80 John Street, Festival Tower, Toronto
Artist: James Carl
About The Artwork: While the predominant feel of the piece is communicated through its relaxed stance, the work nevertheless suggests a little mischief with the tension suggested in its twists and turns, and it reminds the viewer of the tactile pleasures of snapping elastic bands.
10. TURTLE POND
Location: 223 Bremner Boulevard, MTCC South Building, Toronto
About The Artwork: The key elements of the work aim to create something that is visually striking for the entrance by day and night. Furthermore, there is a strong desired to be site responsible, integrating iconography and promote cohesive cultural narratives.