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Toronto condos are investing in art

Trend allows Canadian artists to showcase their work and leave a lasting impression on the city.

Canadian-born artist Ben Johnston puts the finishing touches on the his mural entitled Hustle, at the Liberty Village Market.

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Canadian-born artist Ben Johnston puts the finishing touches on the his mural entitled Hustle, at the Liberty Village Market.

It’s been a busy month for public art unveilings in the city. Toronto condo developers lead the way by engaging their communities through the commissioning of public art. It’s an emerging trend that allows Canadian artists to showcase their work and leave a lasting impression on the city.

In a ceremony at Concord CityPlace last week, three of Toronto’s latest public art pieces by homegrown talent were unveiled. Variegation, the second piece at CityPlace by Canadian artist Pierre Poussin is inspired by local indigenous flowers.

In Gardiner Streams, Katharine Harvey depicts the movement of the Gardiner Expressway. The artist photographed the nearby highway at night using a digital camera on low shutter speed.

With Drift, artist Adrian Göllner enhances the visual dynamic between Concord’s Quartz and Spectrum towers. Glazed sections at the top of each building are aglow with slowly evolving cycles of blue, green and magenta illumination. “Our investment in public art is an important part of our commitment to bringing together elements that shape a modern, complete neighbourhood,” says Concord VP, Gabriel Leung.

Stargate, an evocative, traffic-stopping scene created by Toronto-based art collective Blue Republic, will soon land in Toronto’s midtown neighbourhood. It’s part of the 150 Redpath and 155 Redpath condominium developments by Freed Developments and Capital Developments.

Capital VP, Matt Young was one of the judges that chose the winning design from six different groups. “Some were local, some were from other parts of Canada. It was great to see all the different options and this one definitely stood out above the rest. It was a unanimous decision.” he says.

Emerging from two portals at the base of the two towers, the winning contemporary art installation by Anna Passakas and Radoslaw Kudlinski will animate the neighbourhood with a crew of intergalactic 3D characters, weighing thousands of pounds and standing at 15-feet and 12-feet tall.

“For us, the public art program is an amazing way to engage the community.” says Young. “These two pieces are going to create excitement and engagement.”

And in Liberty Village last week, Lifetime Developments, builders of the Liberty Market Lofts, held an unveiling ceremony last week showcasing two large-scale murals painted by Canadian-born, self-taught artist Ben Johnston. The pieces, titled LoveLiberty and Hustle, adorn the sides of the Liberty Market Building, and capture the vibrancy and culture of the community.

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