Winter Stations Toronto is an annual outdoor art installation that isn’t to be missed.
Have you heard of the Winter Stations in Toronto?
It’s an international design competition that gives purpose to a space that’s underutilized during the winter. Designers create public, outdoor art around several lifeguard stands at Kew Beach in Toronto. These lifeguard stands are only used during the summer months and otherwise are vacant bits of metal.
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The result? Thought-provoking, inspiring, and even interactive works of art that everyone can enjoy. So, let me show you around this stretch of beach in the Beaches neighbourhood of Toronto to discover these outdoor art displays.
ABOUT WINTER STATIONS
In its fourth season, Winter Stations Toronto brings an exciting temporary art display to the Beaches neighbourhood, at Kew, Balmy, and Ashbridges Bay beaches. By developing the temporarily abandoned lifeguard stands on the beach, locals and visitors have a reason to visit this beach in the winter, too.
The lifeguard stands are the base for the art installations, which must be built to withstand the punishing winter weather of the city. This international competition is open to architects, designers, artists, and landscape architects.
This year, the theme is RIOT: “violent disturbance; uproar; outburst of uncontrolled feelings; a large or varied display.” As this past year has been one of conflict and upheaval, RIOT calls designers and architects to act out. Express your resistance through this art. This might be political, cultural, or environmental in nature. First and foremost, this project aims to evoke happiness and playfulness throughout our long, Canadian winters.
THE WINNING ART
Out of 270 submissions, here are the seven works of art that won the competition. These art installations in Toronto are bold, bright, and courageous. It’s art that imitates life, and makes us think about important issues around the world and in our daily lives.
Pussy Hut is created by
Revolution is the work of several students at OCAD University in Toronto. It’s the combination of 36 vertical modules of various heights. As people speak into these modules, their voices are amplified and carried out into the air. The breeze carries these words and ideas into the atmosphere to create a collective voice.
Rising Up is a concept by a team at the
NEST is a concept by a team at Ryerson University, which contrasts a space of comfort with a complex system of disarray. Asymmetrical woven webs symbolize the overwhelming nature of everyday life. While these patterns provide playful displays of shadow and light, the visitor can also find a peaceful reprieve from outdoor noise to view the world clearly.
Obstacle is made by . We all encounter obstacles in the world, and at first, they seem daunting. However, once we face these obstacles as a society, we can work together to overcome them. In this outdoor art installation, people must work together to maneuver through the columns in order to conquer our hardships.
Wind Station is art by Paul van den Berg and Joyce de Grauw of the Netherlands. This collection of hundreds of pinwheels looks like a nuclear cooling tower. It calls for the phase out of nuclear power, in favour of renewable wind energy.
This art installation raises the question of why we rely on dangerous forms of power when we have safer and cleaner alternatives available.
MAKE SOME NOISE!
Make Some Noise! is a work of art by . This public art is an instrument to “ring the alarm.” Just as Italian Futurist Luigi Rusollo’s ‘intonarumori’ caused an uproar in the classical music scene in 1914, this giant noise box comes to Toronto to do precisely that.
There are four cranks on each side of the box, which sound four sirens of varying pitches. This encourages visitors to get loud, make some noise, and break their usual patterns of behaviour. Unfortunately, we were unable to sound the alarms because there was a homeless individual sleeping at the base of this artwork, and we didn’t want to disturb him or her.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
Each lifeguard stand had an art display that was playful and thought provoking, so I was very impressed by Winter Stations Toronto. It’s something that’s out of the ordinary and brightens up Toronto’s winter waterfront.
The Winter Stations in Toronto run from Family Day (mid-February) until April 1st, so there’s still lots of time to get out there and see them for yourself.
Best of all, it’s public art that’s free to visit anytime.
Want to see more photos? Check out my entire travel photo album of the Winter Stations. You can also purchase prints, housewares, and more from any of my photographs directly from the album itself.
PIN this image to your Pinterest for future reference.
Thank you so much to Lindsay for taking every photo of me. It was also a delight to discover Winter Stations with you!
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