Call to Artists: Public Artwork for DUKE Heights BIA, Keele/Finch Landmark in Toronto


Issued May 2020



Situated at the northernmost part of the city of Toronto, DUKE Heights is one of the highest points of the city. Nestled between Downsview Park and York University, the area has great potential and is home to a wide variety of uses from residences through to an innovative mix of businesses. With the TTC, GO transit, the under-construction Finch West LRT and various highways surrounding the BIA, the community is better positioned than any other business area for strategic and planned growth.

DUKE Heights BIA began as the Dufferin Finch BIA in 2014. This newly created Business Improvement Area elected a group of business leaders who had a new vision for the area. A vision of change. Of opportunities and untapped potential. The DUKE Heights BIA is Ontario’s second largest BIA with over 2500 businesses employing over 32 000 people.

The DUKE Heights BIA’s primary objective is to promote the potential of the area, provide support to businesses in the area and inject new resources to tap into the potential of the community.

These goals will be expressed in physical form through a permanent work of art to be placed in the substantial median at one of the busiest and most important intersections in Toronto at Keele Street and Finch Ave. The site has been identified and is governed by specific requirements for placement, loading and public safety.

The DUKE Heights BIA is issuing this Call to Artists as the first stage of a two-stage competition process that will result in the installation of an artwork that symbolizes the vision for DUKE Heights. The completed commission will be part of the daily experience for commuters and area residents and workers and will be experienced by a vast audience. It will symbolize the dynamism of the DUKE Heights BIA.

Above all, it is expected to:

  • Engage the community at large in the urban and employment neighborhood
  • Serve as a memorable and welcoming landmark
  • Serve as a source of pride for the community

Art is a powerful form of story‐telling – sharing, learning, giving pleasure – an instinct and practice as old as humanity.

To be eligible, you must be a professional artist with a history of public exhibition as an artist, training or experience as an artist and peer recognition as an artist. You should have completed at least one public art commission valued at $100,000. or more or have equivalent experience by way of a museum or public gallery project.

To secure the “Call to Artists” package of information and submission forms or to ask questions please email:
Only inquiries in writing will be accepted.

Closing Date for Submissions is June 15, 2020: not later than 11:00PM Eastern Time

This program is directed only to artists who were born or are resident in Ontario. To apply, you must secure the Call to Artists Information Brief and follow the instructions for submission.