Tall sculp­ture for li­brary

20-foot sculp­ture for li­brary par­kette evokes im­age of book cover twist­ing in the wind


A new 20-foot-tall sculp­ture, made of Corten steel and de­signed to evoke a book cover twist­ing in the wind, will soon be in­stalled in the new par­kette out­side the Peter­bor­ough Public Li­brary.

Toronto ar­chi­tect Pa­trick Li de­signed the piece, called Your Story. It was selected by a vol­un­teer jury from 20 sub­mis­sions.

The se­lec­tion was ap­proved Thursday night by the city’s arts, cul­ture and her­itage ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee at a meet­ing at the com­mu­nity ser­vices of­fices on Wolfe St.

The piece will be in­stalled at the south­west cor­ner of Aylmer and Sim­coe streets in what will soon be a land­scaped par­kette.

Both the par­kette and the sculp­ture are ex­pected done by au­tumn.

The sculp­ture will fea­ture un­du­lat­ing col­umns that are meant to bring to mind the pages or cover of a book caught in the wind.

“It responds to the site beau­ti­fully,” said city public art co­or­di­na­tor Wendy Trusler at the meet­ing.

Coun. Les­ley Par­nell, a mem­ber of the arts, cul­ture and her­itage ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee, said she thinks it will look ter­rific lit up at night.

“With up­light­ing – and re­ally cool shad­ows – it will be gor­geous,” she said.

Li, 44, spent the early part of his life in Hong Kong be­fore go­ing to univer­sity first in North­ern Ire­land and later in Cal­gary.

He later stud­ied ar­chi­tec­ture at the Univer­sity of Toronto. Li has worked for ar­chi­tec­tural firms such as Sturgess Ar­chi­tec­ture in Cal­gary, Zei­dler Ar­chi­tects in Toronto and Kohn Ped­er­son and Fox in New York City.

The city put out a call for sub­mis­sions in the sum­mer. Artists from all across On­tario were in­vited to offer a de­sign.

Trusler said the jury nar­rowed down the 20 sub­mis­sions to a short­list of three.

The short­listed artists were asked to come to Peter­bor­ough to give a pre­sen­ta­tion to the jury in De­cem­ber, where­upon Li’s de­sign was cho­sen.

The bud­get for the sculp­ture is $50,000; the city and lo­cal law firm LLF are shar­ing the cost.

In 2016, the city bought two prop­er­ties next door to the li­brary to leave room for fu­ture ex­pan­sion (per­haps 20 years from now).

In the mean­time, coun­cil de­cided to cre­ate a par­kette and add ac­ces­si­ble parking for the li­brary on the cor­ner of Aylmer and Sim­coe St.

City staff en­vi­sioned a piece of public art in the par­kette; they bud­geted $30,000 for that.

But later, staff de­ter­mined that wouldn’t be enough: they’d need $50,000 for a piece of art.

LLF then of­fered the ad­di­tional $20,000 for the art­work, plus $80,000 more to be paid over the next 19 years to help main­tain the par­kette.

In ex­change, LLF will name the park. The name will stick for 20 years be­fore LLF has the op­tion to re­new the ar­range­ment for an­other decade.

But the par­kette won’t be named LLF Park. The name, which has yet to be an­nounced, will suit the par­kette and take into con­sid­er­a­tion the art­work, the li­brary and LLF’s role in the com­mu­nity.

Trusler said the new name is ex­pected to be un­veiled to the public soon.


A model of the sculp­ture called Your Story, by ar­chi­tect Pa­trick Li.

Pa­trick Li


The city’s arts, cul­ture and her­itage ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee ap­proved a jury’s se­lec­tion for a sculp­ture that will be cre­ated and in­stalled on the south­west cor­ner of Aylmer and Sim­coe St., out­side the li­brary (model seen here). The sculp­ture is by Toronto ar­chi­tect Pa­trick Li. Left to right are ad­vi­sory com­mit­tee mem­bers Coun. Les­ley Par­nell, Dirk Ver­hulst, Dennis Carter-Ed­wards and city public art co-or­di­na­tor Wendy Trusler.

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