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Bringing Arts and Culture to Our New Waterfront Neighbourhoods

Apr 20, 2016

Christof Migone’s Hit installed on Queens Quay. Photo by Connie Tsang.

Building on the success of Nuit Blanche 2015 and our recent Sugar Beach Sugar Shack event, we’re doing even more to help Torontonians revisit and reimagine their waterfront. (Image: Christof Migone’s Hit installed on Queens Quay. Photo by Connie Tsang.)

By Christopher McKinnon

We’re leading the revitalization of our city’s waterfront with high-quality parks and signature public realm. That’s why places like Canada’s Sugar Beach (one of the city’s most requested parks for event permits) and Corktown Common (only a few years old and already a favourite in Toronto’s east end) were finished before residents began to move in to our new neighbourhoods. Now, with the West Don Lands reopened and new residents moving in, our thoughts are increasingly turning to how events can really bring these spaces to life.

This summer, we’ll build on these efforts with our new Animating Our Waterfront program. It’s a pilot project that will award up to $5,000 to artists or arts organizations who want to present arts and cultural programming in waterfront public spaces.

Our goal is to host arts and cultural programming that celebrates these new public spaces and invites Torontonians and visitors to enjoy them. We’re looking forward to a summer of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, performance, literary and media arts, and maybe some combinations of any of the above.


Do you know an artist or arts organization who would like to participate in this program? Share this blog post or download the program application guidelines.

Download 2016 Program Application Guidelines



Wondering how arts and cultural events can help transform our city? Check out our video recap of curator Christine Shaw’s exhibition, The Work of the Wind. Last October, it brought thirteen temporary art installations to Queens Quay spanning from Parliament Street to Harbourfront Centre.

Watch this video on YouTube: https://youtu.be/YVBune9fwag

During Nuit Blanche, tens of thousands of visitors experienced the waterfront in a completely new way – and in the process they had a chance to imagine how programming like this can transform the way we think about public space. You can see even more in our Facebook photo album from the night. It was truly an exciting prelude to what lies ahead.

Tell us what events you’d like to see on Toronto’s waterfront. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter – and join the conversation using the #TOtheWaterfront hashtag.



post contributor

  • Christopher McKinnon

    Christopher McKinnon was previously a communications and public engagement Manager at Waterfront Toronto. He’s passionate about art, cycling in the city, public transit and building really amazing parks.