Pub­lic art on Bathurst sparks de­bate

North Toronto Post - - News - Joe Mi­hevc Ward 21 Coun­cil­lor

A new art in­stal­la­tion has turned the lit­tle traf­fic is­land at Vaughan Road and Bathurst Street from a for­get­table strip of real es­tate into a colour­ful point of in­ter­est. Three

Points Where Two Lines Meet is the work of na­tional de­sign con­test win­ners Daniel Young and Chris­tian Giroux.

The se­lec­tion of this in­stal­la­tion was in the hands of a highly qual­i­fied panel. In 2013, City of Toronto, Eco­nomic De­vel­op­ment & Cul­ture con­vened a jury of five Toronto artists and de­sign­ers to re­view the con­tend­ing pro­pos­als. In 2013 and 2014, open houses pro­vided the pub­lic with op­por­tu­ni­ties for feed­back. The TTC, Trans­porta­tion Ser­vices, and Toronto Hy­dro eval­u­ated the de­sign for safety and clear sight­lines.

The artists’ bold vi­sion for the streetscape ex­pands our phys­i­cal and psy­cho­log­i­cal in­ter­pre­ta­tions of pub­lic space with thick beams that seem to float just over­head. It also nods to his­tor­i­cal and con­tem­po­rary tran­sit routes con­verg­ing in this re­gion. Vaughan Road has its ori­gins along Toronto’s often forgotten wa­ter routes: the Hum­ber River, Gar­ri­son and Tad­dle­wood creeks and the west­ern Don.

My of­fice has re­ceived let­ters of com­men­da­tion for its cre­ativ­ity, while oth­ers have been more crit­i­cal. All per­spec­tives are valid, and be­speak the na­ture of pub­lic art.

On a safety note, with the new condo at Bathurst and St. Clair Av­enue West, I have asked city staff to re-eval­u­ate pedes­trian safety in­fra­struc­ture in the area. As our com­mu­nity grows up and out, our pub­lic realm must be func­tional and safe, but it can also be beau­ti­ful and in­spir­ing.

Coun­cil­lor Joe Mi­hevc (right) with the artists at the project’s un­veil­ing

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