Call to Artists: City of Toronto

Commission Value: $200,000.00 (+ HST)
Deadline for Submissions: Thursday, 7 March 2019 by 4:00 p.m. EST


The City of Toronto’s Economic Development and Culture Division
(EDC) invites professional artists (including artist teams) to submit their
Expression of Interest to the first stage of a national open two-stage
public art competition for a permanent public artwork for the Don Mills
Trail Revitalization Project with a net budget of $200,000.00 (+ HST).
The project budget includes all costs directly associated with the
artwork: artist design fees, fabrication, engineering and any other
professional services, installation, insurance, travel and other incidental
It is envisioned that an engaging public artwork might be one element
or consist of a series of decentralized elements along this meandering
nature trail, perhaps signaling ideas of marking and way-finding within
the context of its surrounding natural elements of the overall Don Valley
Ravine system yet also reflective of the neighbourhoods that surround


EDC is working in collaboration with project leads, City of Toronto
Transportation Services and Toronto and Region Conservation
Authority (TRCA). The 300-metre long paved 4-metre wide multi-use
Don Mills Trail connection, which also includes surrounding enhanced
public realm landscaping, is on the east side of Don Mills Road
stretching south from the driveway of 701 Don Mills Road to the Lower
Don Trail. It will provide links to new cycling infrastructure and the
Citys natural heritage trail system. Construction with new and remedial
plantings will begin in Spring 2019 with the artwork installed before
March 2020.

Located near the neighbourhoods of Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon
Park in the City of Torontos Ward 16 ” Don Valley East, the area is rich
in green spaces but the current lack of infrastructure does not connect
or encourage its use. It also contains clusters of high-density high- rise
apartment buildings, which are home to many newcomer populations
from a wide range of countries. Of these seventy-seven percent self
describe as a visible minority. Besides English other languages spoken
are Arabic, Farsi, Gujarati, Mandarin, Slovak, Urdu and others.

The Don Mills Trail Revitalization Project is grounded on several years
of community member consultations, workshops and citizen forums,
which highlighted the importance to improve access to the nearby
green spaces. The Don Valley Trail is part of the Don River Valley, one
of Torontos most distinctive geographical features, which has
sustained human populations for over 12,000 years. This project seeks
to knit the communitys connection to the nature trail system and
identify it as an important recreational destination, for its surrounding
neighbourhoods and for all outdoors enthusiasts.

This is a national two-stage competition for professional artists. As per
the Canada Councils guidelines, a professional artist is defined as
someone who has specialized artistic training (not necessarily in
academic institutions); is recognized as a professional by their peers
(artists working in the same artistic tradition); has a history of public
exhibitions; and has produced an independent body of work. A
specially convened independent Selection Panel, composed of visual
arts professionals and community representatives has been
established for this competition.

Stage 1: Request for Expression of Interest
Artists are invited to submit their Expression of Interest (EOI), which
will be reviewed by the independent Selection Panel. The panel will
recommend a short-list of five (5) artists, based on artistic excellence
and perceived ability to create and execute an innovative public
artwork for this context.

Stage 2: Request for Concept Proposals
The short-listed artists will be notified in March 2019 and invited to
submit a detailed concept design. Short-listed artists will be paid a fee
for this stage. For background and preparation a specific Terms of
Reference document will be provided in advance that identifies
technical considerations including safety and maintenance guidelines.
Submission proposals will then undergo a technical review by City staff
in order to identify any technical issues and an Open House will be
held in the neighbourhood for public comment. The Selection Panel will
also take these into consideration. Short-listed artists will present their
proposals to the Selection Panel in May 2019. The panel will then
select a finalist whose vision for the site best suits the overall scope of
this project, and who has the ability or perceived ability to conceive and
realize a public artwork on this site.


The City of Toronto invites professional artists to respond to this EOI by
submitting a single
document in pdf form:
This document must be labeled with the name of the artist and project:
[surname], [first name]
Don Mills Trail, and include:
CV (artist teams, one for each team member)
Brief artist statement (maximum 1 page) outlining interest in this
project, showing
relevant experience, ability and general artistic approach. Do not
include proposals at
this stage.
Maximum ten (10) images of past work, captioned with title, materials,
location, and commissioning body (if applicable).
Deadline for submissions: Thursday, 7 March 2019 by 4:00 p.m. EST
Email submissions to:
Please use subject line: [surname], [first name] Don Mills Trail
Submissions must not exceed 20 MB total size
Incomplete or late submissions, or those not in a single pdf format will
not be accepted.
We thank all respondents for their submissions but only applicants
advancing to Stage 2 of the selection process will be contacted.

Clara Hargittay
Public Art Officer
(416) 392-4173