Request for Qualifications: Sherbourne Water’s Edge Public Art, Waterfront Toronto


Aerial View of East Bayfront and Sherbourne Water’s Edge

Request for Qualifications: Sherbourne Water’s Edge Public Art
Waterfront Toronto


Waterfront Toronto invites professional artists to submit their credentials for consideration for a major public artwork on the shore of Lake Ontario. The artwork will be located on the water’s edge, in Toronto’s dynamic and fast-growing East Bayfront Precinct. It is envisaged as a landmark on the waterfront and a focal point for the city. This commission is an exceptional opportunity to propose a unique, site-specific work that will examine our relationship to the water by engaging with the boundary of land and lake.

The total art budget is $3.8 million CAD all-inclusive. This project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services.

This Request for Qualifications (RFQ) is the first stage of a competition, open to all artists or artist teams who have proven experience and expertise as practicing artists, relevant to the commissioning opportunity and objectives outlined in the Request for Qualifications document. Artists with a strong professional profile, a history of public exhibitions, experience in creating large-scale, technically complex works in the public realm, and who have successfully worked on collaborative projects, are encouraged to apply.

It is Waterfront Toronto’s intention, following this prequalification process, to invite approximately four (4) Proponents to proceed to the Request for Proposals (RFP) stage; however, Waterfront Toronto reserves the right to change this number at its sole discretion, which may be based on the number and quality of submissions received. Shortlisted artists will receive an honorarium to cover the expenses of the RFP stage, which includes a site visit. Following the RFP stage, Waterfront Toronto intends to identify one successful Proponent.

Note: Artwork concepts are NOT required at this RFQ stage.

General Submission Requirements

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

  • Artist statement
  • Artist CV
  • Images of recent work
  • References
  • Submission Form

Submissions will be reviewed by an independent jury convened for this process, comprised of prominent external individuals representing expertise in contemporary visual arts, public realm design and knowledge of local context.


The total commissioning artwork budget is CDN $3,800,000.00 CAD plus HST. This project budget includes all costs directly associated with the artwork: fees for design, fabrication, installation, engineering and professional services.

RFQ Timeline

Issue RFQ – March 18, 2020
Deadline for Questions – May 6, 2020
Submission Deadline – May 20, 2020
Shortlist Selection – June 2020
Issuance of RFP to Shortlisted Artists – June 2020

For more information about the opportunity, including detailed submission requirements, visit our website. Click on the “procurement” tab and scroll down to “current procurement opportunities”.

Submission deadline is May 20, 2020 at 4:00pm EST

Please direct all enquiries by email to:, to the attention of Marciana Boboc, and reference the Opportunity number (RFQ #2020-04) in your email. Responses to enquiries will be posted on our website.

Please note that we acknowledge the constantly evolving situation due to COVID-19. Waterfront Toronto will not schedule any site visit as part of the second stage Request for Proposal process unless it is safe to travel.

This page is a letter of introduction only. Please read in full the Waterfront Toronto Request for Qualifications document RFQ #2020-04, which contains instructions, evaluation criteria, submission requirements, site details, and terms and conditions.