Call to Artists: Temporary Floating Public Art for Summer 2022, Waterfront Toronto


Jay Havens, The Peacemaker’s Canoe, 2021. Photo: Celene Tang

Call to Artists: Temporary Floating Public Art
Harbour Square Park Basin, Toronto


Waterfront Toronto is seeking to commission a professional artist or artist team to create a temporary floating artwork for Harbour Square Park Basin. Artists are asked to submit proposals for installation during summer 2022. The artwork will activate the basin by engaging with the local community and visitors to the waterfront. This Call is open to all interested Canadian artists and artist teams with relevant experience as practicing professional artists.

Harbour Square Park is located on the shore of Lake Ontario, one of the five Great Lakes of North America. Containing one-fifth of all surface freshwater on Earth, the lakes are a vital source of drinking water and food. Throughout history these interconnected bodies of water have been critically important for trade, human settlement and migration. They are sacred to the First Peoples, who have inhabited the shores and fished in their waters since time immemorial. The lakes’ unique ecosystems are host to a diverse array of plants and animals, and their shores and waters provide recreation for millions of people.

Today, multipoint pollution, climate change, over-extraction, invasive species, and wetland loss are all taking a toll on their watersheds. Water scarcity, often perpetuated by climate change, is one of the most pressing global challenges today, particularly in its relationship to migration. It is imperative we remain engaged with the importance of these waters and with the challenges they face.

With this broad context in mind, artists are asked to develop work that explores water as a connector. They should consider the histories and importance of these waterways and their role as geographical, ecological, political, economic, social, and spiritual connectors.

General Submission Requirements

Waterfront Toronto is inviting practicing professional artists to include in their submission:

  • Artist statement
  • Images of proposed artwork
  • Proposed budget breakdown and schedule
  • Images of previous and relevant work
  • Artist CV
  • References

This is a one-stage competition. Submissions will be reviewed by an independent evaluation panel convened for this project. Waterfront Toronto intends to identify one successful Artist or Artist Team to undertake this project.


The total commissioning budget is $60,000 CAD +HST. This includes all artist fees, design costs, materials, shipping, installation and removal, insurance and permits.


Issue Call – October 13, 2021
Deadline for Questions – November 30, 2021
Submission Deadline – December 10, 2021 at 2pm EST
Artist Selection – Early January 2022
Contract Issued – Mid-January 2022
Fabrication – January-June 2022
Installation – Early July 2022
Artwork removal – Mid to late September 2022

For more information about the opportunity, including detailed submission requirements, visit the Waterfront Toronto website, on the Public Art page, and scroll down to the Temporary Art Opportunities to download the PDF.

Submission deadline is December 10, 2021 at 2:00pm EST

Please direct all enquiries by email to:, and reference the opportunity title, Temporary Floating Public Art Harbour Square Park Basin in your email.

This page is a letter of introduction only. Please read in full the Waterfront Toronto Call for Proposals document which contains instructions, evaluation criteria, submission requirements, site details and technical requirements, and terms and conditions.