Call to Artists: Public Artworks for the Western North York Community and Child Care Centre, Toronto

Exterior view of the proposed Western North York Community Centre and Child Care Centre with community members enjoying the public realm in the foreground.

Rendering of the Western North York Community and Child Care Centre. Courtesy of MJMA.

Ward 7: Humber River-Black Creek

Deadline: Monday, December 20, 2021 by 5:00pm

The City of Toronto invites practicing artists (including artist teams) to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a competition for public art for the new Western North York Community and Child Care Centre (WNYCC).

Up to three artists will be selected for three sites, through an open, two-stage competition for artists residing in Canada.


The WNYCC is a project by the City’s Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division and Children’s Services, and is being designed by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects (MJMA) as the prime consultant and landscape designer, and architectural sub-consultant Bortolotto. The WNYCC will provide residents with a state-of-the-art community and recreation facility, a licensed daycare and a new park. It will include an aquatic centre, a gymnasium with a walking track, and a fitness centre. It will be a place for the community to gather and socialize; a place that cultivates creativity, health and well-being, inclusivity and accessibility for all ages.


The site of the new WNYCC is in the Humber River-Black Creek ward, an area defined by its waterways. It is located just east of the ecological corridor of the Humber ravine and river. The Humber River and valley also formed part of the Toronto Carrying Place Trail, an important navigational route used for thousands of years by Indigenous people making the journey to and from Lake Ontario.

Thematically, artists are asked to broadly consider the history and ecology of the area and the surrounding community. Community engagement will be a requirement for the selected artist, and artists should outline their interest in and experience with community engagement in their submission.

There will also be a paid mentorship opportunity, with details to be provided to the short-listed artists.



Opportunity 1:
Site A: Promenade
Estimated Budget: $200,000.00 (+HST)

Running from Bob Yuill Drive in the north to Starview Lane in the south, the promenade formalizes a path through the site which the community already uses to move through the neighbourhood.

The promenade also runs along the parking lot, a point of arrival for many visitors to the Centre.

Specific artwork locations are not yet defined, but a series of three-dimensional works would be appropriate for this linear site, which many visitors will experience sequentially.

Opportunity 2:
Site B: Pool Terrace (Proposed location. Final location to be confirmed for Stage 2)
Estimated Budget: $250,000 CAD (+HST)

The intention for Site B, an outdoor terrace connected to the interior Aquatic Hall by sliding doors, is to commission a work which incorporates water.

The finalists for Opportunities 1 and 2 will be awarded a design-build contract, with project budgets which include all costs directly associated with the artwork: design fees, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services, insurance, travel and other incidental expenses.

Artist may apply for one or both of these opportunities.


Opportunity 3:
Site C: Indoor Walking Track
Artist Design Fee: $20,000.00 (+HST)
Production budget to be confirmed for Stage 2.

A 240m walking track encircles the perimeter of the Centre’s second floor, which provides users with views of the surrounding park as well as interior views of Centre activities. This site is for two-dimensional work on the walls around the track.

The finalist for Site C will be awarded a design contract and will be paid a fee of $20,000.00 (+HST), for design and consultation services, working closely with relevant project partners and stakeholders to refine their concept proposal and complete the project.


This is a two-stage, open, competition for practicing artists residing in Canada.
The City of Toronto’s Public Art Strategy outlines the City’s commitment to public art created for, and with the input of, Toronto communities, and to create opportunities for artists of diverse backgrounds, experience and practice. We welcome submissions from Indigenous, Black, and racialized artists, and artists with relevant experience who may not have previously worked in the public realm.

A specially convened Selection Panel, composed of arts professionals and community members, will be established for this competition.

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest: 6 weeks (November – December)

An internal panel, consisting of design team members, City staff, and external advisors, as required, will review all submissions and identify a long-list of qualified artists, based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute an innovative, engaging public artwork.

The long-listed artists’ submissions will be reviewed by the external selection panel to short-list to 4 artists for each opportunity.

Stage 2: Request for Proposals: 2 months (January – March)

The short-listed artists will be notified in late January 2022, and invited to create a proposal. A detailed Terms of Reference document will be provided to guide short-listed artists in the preparation of their proposals.

Short-listed artists for Opportunities 1 and 2 will be paid a fee of $3,000.00 (+HST) for this stage.

Short-listed artists for Opportunity 3 will be paid a fee of $1,000.00 (+HST) for this stage.

Full submission requirements, competition schedule, and additional details are at the City of Toronto website.

The City of Toronto acknowledges that we are on the traditional territory of many nations, including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The City also acknowledges that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.

Catherine Dean
Public Art Officer
(647) 458-5657