Connecting People To Public Spaces Through Art

In addition to creating places to live, work and shop, these Toronto developers are enriching public spaces and adding culture to daily life

THE CITY OF TORONTO is filled with public spaces that people visit, gather and pass through each day, whether they’re rushing to work or simply out for a stroll. But some of these spaces are certainly more welcoming than others, as they possess something special that attracts attention, intrigues audiences and becomes part of the identity of the area.

Toronto developers understand the value of creating public spaces that connect people to their neighbourhood and their city, and enrich their daily experience. These forward-thinking developers have been working with talented local visionaries to bring accessible artwork and installations to the streets of Toronto.

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Freed Developments and Capital Developments — In the City at Art Shoppe Lofts + Condos

This initiative is driven by ‘the art of change’ — a core value so intertwined with Freed and Capital Developments’ iconic Art Shoppe Lofts + Condos project.

The developers partnered with The Patch Project — a charitable community art agency that transforms underdeveloped spaces across the City into ongoing curated exhibitions — to prominently feature a six-piece, mixed-media art exhibit. The colourful panels span across approximately 3,300 sq. ft. of construction hoarding at the Art Shoppe Lofts + Condos development site at Yonge and Eglinton, which is The Patch Project’s largest hoarding art installation to date.

Created by local and internationally-renowned artist Chikonzero Chazunguza, the artwork pays homage to the act of standing motionlessly, which Chazunguza perceives as “a significant act of fortitude.” No doubt this colourful art piece, as well as the iconic, design-driven 28-storey Art Shoppe Lofts + Condos itself, will encourage passersby to pause in their day and take it all in.

Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments — Frieze and Sconces at INDX Condos

The core feature of the design of INDX Condos’ new frieze is a carved ribbon element that runs impressively unbroken along the full length of the building’s 277-ft. art site.

Designed by Canadian company 4 Point Chisel Inc. with artists Carl Taçon & Lyn Carter — who were selected by Lifetime Developments and CentreCourt Developments to create the art through a competition — the frieze’s ribbon imagery is meant to mimic hand written script. Rather than singling out any specific language, the “writing” implies the shapes and forms of multiple languages; a fitting concept for a city so full and embracing of diversity.

The ribbon element is carved in Indiana limestone and backed by a horizontal stripe that’s inspired by the carved background stripes in the decorative details of the Bell Telephone Building across the road. Nineteen bronzecast light sconces also adorn the INDX podium and echo the ribbon imagery used in the frieze, all of which adds a stunning new feature to Toronto’s Temperance Street near Yonge and Richmond streets.

Menkes Developments — ‘Wired’ as part of The Brain Project at One York

The Brain Project is an initiative that’s raising awareness for brain health and aging, as well as collecting funds to benefit Alzheimer’s and dementia research at Baycrest Health Sciences.

High-profile individuals, sports teams, large corporations and artists from across the city and around the world were asked to put their creative minds to work and design 100 3D brain-shaped sculptures, to be placed as art installations in 50 public locations around Toronto.

Drawn to the cause, Menkes Development became a sponsor of a brain by Toronto artist Ken Gangbar entitled ‘Wired,’ which is now featured in the PATH at the base of the developer’s new One York office tower.

The sculpture draws the attention of tenants, locals and visitors alike, and gets them talking, which aligns perfectly with the objective of this mental-health-focused Toronto initiative.

Camrost Felcorp – York Wilson ‘The Story of Oil’ Mural at Imperial Plaza

While the York Wilson’s Story of Oil mural isn’t new, developer Camrost Felcorp made the preservation and presentation of this iconic art piece a priority at its Avenue and St. Clair Imperial Plaza site.

The mural consists of two panels, each 32 ft. long and 21 ft. in height. As its title suggests, the subject is the story of oil. It begins with its formation in prehistory and ends with its subsequent discovery and use for purposes of industry and recreation.

The mural is a strong focal point in the development’s polish Headquarters building — one of this country’s greatest modernists buildings, says Camrost President and CEO, David Feldman — that will now continue into the future.

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