Public Art

Enhancing the cultural vibrancy of the waterfront is at the heart of Waterfront Toronto’s mission. We have a record of commissioning art that quickly becomes quintessential to the community.

We also commission temporary art projects, creating dynamic cultural experiences by the lake and animating public spaces in transition. This work draws visitors from across the region to the waterfront all year round.​​​​​​​

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Peacemakers Canoe

The Peacemaker's Canoe by Jay Havens

Open Art Opportunities

 

Please check back here for information
on open art opportunities

Permanent Public Art

 

We are committed to making public art a part of everyday life in our new neighbourhoods. Over the next few years, we will be adding to the waterfront collection, commissioning more public art to keep the waterfront lively in all seasons for residents and visitors to enjoy. We also work with partners and philanthropists to bring more art and programming to the water’s edge.

 

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The Water Guardians public art on Front Street Promenade

The Water Guardians by Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins 

Upcoming Projects

 

Indigenous Artwork

In collaboration with an Indigenous Public Art Curator, we’re commissioning two permanent public art pieces by Indigenous artists in waterfront neighbourhoods. One will be located at the triangular parcel of land at the junction of King Street, Queen Street and River Street. The other will be sited at the Indigenous Hub, a proposed mixed-use area in the West Don Lands that will include residential buildings, an Indigenous Community Health Centre run by Anishnawbe Health Toronto and a centre for Miziwe Biik, an Indigenous training and employment organization.
 

Installation at Sherbourne Common
In 2019–2020, more than 80 national and international applications responded to our call for proposals for the most ambitious work of public art ever created for the waterfront. After travel delays caused by COVID-19, the five shortlisted artists will finish their site visits in spring 2022, exploring the landscape where the work will be installed. We expect to receive their final proposals by summer 2022 and to select the successful artwork in fall 2022.

Temporary Public Art


Waterfront Toronto’s temporary art program activates public spaces along the water’s edge and brings people to the shoreline time and again. The rapidly changing landscape of our waterfront creates a backdrop of contrast, transition, and growth for art projects to foster healthy public dialogue on timely issues.
 

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an artist on a scaffold painting a bright and colourful mural on a building

The Birth of Light, by Jacquie Comrie

Waterfront Artists in Residence

In 2020, we launched the first-ever waterfront artists in residence, in partnership with the Waterfront BIA. The 12-month residency program provides artists the opportunity to engage with current projects led by the BIA and Waterfront Toronto, as well as connect with members of the local community, in order to develop innovative and compelling art projects that are relevant to Toronto’s waterfront. 

The aim of this residency is to create meaningful, experiential encounters with the community, to activate underutilized spaces along the lake, and draw new audiences to the waterfront. This opportunity is open to all professional artists or artist teams in the Greater Toronto Area who have experience in art presented in the public realm and community-engaged art. 

Public Art Master Plans

During the beginning of the precinct planning process, we create a public art strategy and select locations for permanent public artwork in each waterfront district. Once complete, each artwork becomes part of the City of Toronto’s Public Art and Monuments Collection.

Download the West Don Lands Public Art Strategy
Download the East Bayfront Public Art Master Plan

Public Art Image Gallery