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Call for Submissions

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Call to Artists for Expression of Interest (EOI)
Permanent Public Art Work


The current Lawrence Heights redevelopment project is part of a new wave of change taking place in Toronto, with the central suburbs assuming exciting new roles based on changing demands, and the absorption of new urban density. Slated to take place over the next two decades, the revitalization will transform the 100-acre site into a vibrant mixed-income, mixed-use neighbourhood just north of Toronto’s downtown core.

Phase 1 of the redevelopment introduces new urban forms to the area including pedestrian mews, laneways, urban streets and blocks, and linear parks to either side of the Allen Expressway. Each element is designed to reflect a new sensibility for the area that is fundamentally urban and social – geared towards enhanced physical & social connectivity, promoting mixed uses of space, modes of transportation, and wealth of choice for movement.


Heights Development Inc. is calling for socially engaged artists and artist teams with proven track records and ongoing practices of engaging diverse communities to submit their Expressions of Interest. They will be commissioned to produce Public Art that enhances the quality of the public realm in Lawrence Heights, while facilitating the expression of cultural diversity and community pride. The commissioned Public Art will be of durable materials and construction, and subject to the maintenance requirements of public artwork on city property. It will be carefully sited to enhance important views and announce the first new gateway into a revitalized neighbourhood.

The budget for this project is approximately $641,000. This will include all artists’ fees, costs of fabrication, costs of installation, any associated engineering, permits and project development, as well as any site-specific costs. A portion of this budget, up to 5%, should be dedicated to resident engagement, which will be defined as a fundamental part of the successful artist’s or team’s artistic process. Artists will be compensated for community engagement and outreach activities.


Primary Site (A1): Acting as a gateway or trailhead to the new redevelopment 1B, this city-owned ‘east greenway’ begins at the south side of Ranee Avenue adjacent the Allen Expressway underpass and Yorkdale Subway Station entrance. Running south from the trailhead, a new 56m long concrete retaining wall will be built to hold back the load-bearing earth that stabilizes the Allen, while creating a barrier-free ramping entrance into the new public multipurpose trail. This pathway will eventually be used by pedestrians and cyclists connecting to Lawrence Ave W. and beyond.

Secondary Site (A2) – The pedestrian underpass on the north and south sides of the Ranee Ave right of way, under the Allen Expressway, is the alternative location for the Public Art work. The artist(s) may propose to utilize walls, columns, sidewalk, and/or soffit as part of the proposal, but cannot restrict visibility to either of the TTC entrances.

A1+A2 – The artist may choose to work exclusively in either site, or design a work that connects both sites.

* As sites are on public property, proposals will be subject to technical review by Parks, Forestry, and Recreation and any other associated City of Toronto departments.



Professional artists/teams will be selected through a two-stage adjudication process.

As per the Canada Council’s guidelines, a professional artist is defined as someone who:

  • has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in academic institutions)
  • is recognized as a professional by his or her peers (artists working in the same artistic tradition)
  • has a history of public exhibitions
  • has produced an independent body of work

Stage 1: February-March 2017 – The Jury will review submissions and a short list of 5 of artists/artist teams will be selected to develop their proposals. Selection will be based on artists’ track record of producing innovative socially engaged public art and large-scale projects; interdisciplinary experience working with landscape architects / engineers; demonstrated understanding of socio/cultural conditions of community housing.

Stage 2: March-September 2017 – The short-listed artists will develop a project proposal based on a Terms of Reference document provided to them. They will develop their projects over a period of three months, which will include extensive outreach and development with the Lawrence Heights community. There will be community outreach activities, and an exhibition of final proposals in Lawrence Heights. A budget will be provided to artists and teams to carry out work during Stage 2.

The contract will be awarded in Fall 2017.


For this first stage of the Lawrence Heights Public Art Opportunity 1 competition, we are inviting artists, teams and collectives to respond to this Call by submitting the following:

  1. Artist(s) statement indicating interest in the opportunity and experience (1 page max);
  2. Detailed Curriculum Vitae outlining past experience carrying out large scale, complex, community engaged projects on public sites;
  3. 10 digital images (jpeg) of the artist’s or team’s recent and relevant work, or video documentation (no longer than 5 minutes) of past projects or media work; or a combination of 5 images and 3 minutes of video documentation or media work.
  4. For each sample of work, please provide a contextual statement (25-30 words) that details: artist(s) name, title, date, medium, dimensions. Please be sure the number on the list matches the number of the jpeg image.

Applicants are asked to demonstrate:

  • A track record of producing innovative socially engaged public art;
  • Interdisciplinary experience working with landscape architects / engineers;
  • A history of successfully completing large scale and complex projects;
  • A sensitivity to the socio/cultural conditions of community housing.

Submissions should be sent by email to Janine Marchessault at by February 15, 2017, 5:00pm EST.

Please note: Artists are NOT to submit proposals at this first stage of the competition.