Call to Black Artists & Designers: Public Artwork for 254 King Street East Park, Toronto

Preliminary Park concept created by Janet Rosenberg & Studio (JRS) for the City of Toronto.

City of Toronto
Call to Black Artists and Designers for Expression of Interest (EOI)
Public Artwork for 254 King Street East Park

Artist/Designer Design Fee: $65,000.00 (+HST)
Maximum Budget for Artwork (including all material and fabrication costs): $225,000.00 (+HST), 10% of the projected park budget.

The City of Toronto invites practicing Black artists and/or designers (including teams) that live or work in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area to submit their Expression of Interest to the first stage of a public art competition.

The artist(s)/designer(s) will be selected through an open, two-stage competition. The finalist will be awarded a contract and paid a fee of $65,000.00 (+HST) for an individual artist or split between a design team, for design and consultation services (including contract administration, project management, travel and other incidental expenses). If a team applies, the majority of the team must be Black. Working closely with City staff; the project landscape architect; Indigenous design advisor; developer; and other community partners; the winning artist(s)/designer(s) will refine their concept proposal to the requirements of the site and other conditions for project realization.

Park context map created by the City of Toronto.

Purpose of the Artist/Designer Call

The landscape architect has developed a preliminary park concept based on visioning feedback from the community. The selected Black artist(s)/designer(s) will be responsible for leading the integration of artwork into the park design. The landscape architect will be the overall project lead, and will collaborate with the Black artist(s)/designer(s) from project award to implementation. The preliminary concept will evolve and be influenced by the Black artist’s/designer’s input.

The artist is invited to design an intervention that celebrates/commemorates the history, presence, diversity, and future of the Black community in the Moss Park neighbourhood. The artist(s)/designer(s) are encouraged to take a comprehensive approach to integrate artwork into the park in different/multiple ways including, but not limited to, the central water feature, paving design, seating, and/or other standalone elements. The proposals could include two- and three-dimensional components, and a combination of materials.

Project Background

During early engagement, a Black Communities Advisory Group (BCAG) was formed given the community’s higher than average Black population. The BCAG acts as an advisory body at key decision points during the park design process to ensure the perspective of Black community members is reflected in the design. Feedback from the BCAG noted that representation matters, and that the Black community should feel welcomed and reflected in the space. All applicants should consult the full summary of community engagement on the project website.

Selected artist’s/designer’s scope:

  • Develop integrated artwork from concept stage to construction.
  • Collaborate with the landscape architect to evolve the landscape design.
  • Produce materials, as required, for the meetings noted in the supplementary material, and coordinate this material with the landscape architect.
  • Engagement will be led by the City of Toronto, but the artist/designer will be responsible for speaking to their artwork in engagement meetings.
  • Refine the concept to address feedback from engagement.
  • Refine the concept based on comments from City staff to address maintenance concerns and functionality.
  • Monitor artwork budget and provide input on artwork materials budget to landscape architect.
  • Coordinate design and construction integration of the artwork with the landscape architect (see supplementary information for details).

Preliminary Park concept plan created by JRS for the City of Toronto.

Two-Stage Competition

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest: March-May 2023

A selection panel has been created by City staff, made up of Black artists and community members. They will evaluate the submissions, based on artistic excellence and demonstrated or perceived ability to create and execute innovative, engaging artwork that will be complementary to the overall design and community context. Higher points will be awarded to those with experience working in public space.

The submissions will be reviewed by the panel to select a 5-artist/designer shortlist to proceed to the second stage.

Stage 2: Request for Proposals: May 2023 – August 2023

The short-listed artists/designers will be invited to create a design proposal for the artwork that will direct and inspire their overall collaborative approach for the greater park design if selected. A detailed Terms of Reference document will be provided to guide short-listed artists.

Short-listed artists/designers will be paid a fee of $1500.00 (+HST) for this stage.

Short-listed artist(’s)/designer(’s) presentations will be held virtually.

The selection panel will choose a finalist whose proposal responds best to the site, both conceptually and technically, and who has the perceived ability to execute the artwork on site.

Proposed Competition Timeline:

March 30, 2023: EOI issued
April 28, 2023: EOI submissions due
May 15th – 19th, 2023: Selection panel meeting: 5 artists short-listed
Week of May 22nd: Short-listed artists notified
Week of May 29th: Project Background meeting
Week of June 26th: Presentation to the BCAG at 50% Design
Week of July 31st: Stage 2 Proposals Due
Week of Aug 7th: Presentation to the BCAG at 100% Design
Week of Aug 14th – Aug 18th 2023 (date TBC): Artist interviews and selection

Park Built Context Plan created by Turner Fleischer Architects Inc. and JRS for the City of Toronto.


The selected artist/designer will enter into a contract and be paid by Fitzrovia (developer).

Submission Requirements

You are invited to submit a single pdf document. The pdf must be labeled as follows (Last Name First Name_ 254 King) and include:

  • CV (one for each team member, if applicable)
  • Brief artist/designer statement outlining interest in project, showing relevant experience, ability, and general artistic approach.
  • Maximum ten (10) images of work, with caption including title, materials, dimensions, location, and commissioning body (if applicable).
  • Names and contact information for two references (preferably from recent projects).

Submissions must be received by 9am Friday April 28, 2023.
Email submissions and questions to: and

  • Please use subject line: [last name], [first name]_ 254 King park
  • Submissions must not exceed 20 MB size

Please contact or call 647-462-5093 for important supplementary material.