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Shangri La Toronto's 'Rising' Will Make You Stop In Your Tracks
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You may have noticed some striking sculptures and artwork as you stroll the streets of Toronto. What many don’t know, however, is that many of these public art installations are courtesy of local homebuilders. Taking effect in August 2010, the City of Toronto’s Percent for Public Art initiative recommends that a minimum of one per cent of the gross construction cost of each significant development be contributed to public art. The results add colour and creativity to the concrete jungle. Here are eight cool public art installations that you have to see:

Living Shangri-La Toronto, developed by Westbank and the Peterson Group, is home to an exotic sculpture titled Rising, by Shanghai-based artist Zhang Huan. If you’ve walked by this hotel and condo on University Avenue, you’ve likely stopped in your tracks to ponder the flock of birds with a life of their own. The sculpture takes shape in two parts – the exterior portion measuring 21.98 by 19.8 by 4.8 metres, and the interior piece measuring 4.27 by 16.85 by 14.88 metres, extending into the lobby. 

The Motisis Courtyard by biochemist turned designer Pierre Poussin is a fixture at Concord CityPlace by Concord Adex Developments, just south of Front Street near Spadina. The artist’s bio background is evident in this work – a collection of two-dozen blue-and-white columns featuring backlit circular patterns inspired by cell division. 

Lanterra’s Burano condo on Bay Street features a massive abstract fresco by Italian artist Sandro Martini in its atrium, visible from the street. Martini painted 30 panels and etched six sheets of glass in his Milan studio, which were later assembled on site, measuring 28 by eight metres. 

The Red Canoe by Canadian iconoclast Douglas Coupland is a classic piece of Canadiana in Canoe Landing Park, a 3.1-hectare park near Spadina Avenue and Lake Shore Boulevard West at the Concord CityPlace community by Concord Adex Developments. The life-sized canoe is large enough for people to sit in and look out over Lake Ontario. 

“Back to Front” by UK-based artist Jason Bruges stands at Tridel’s 300 Front in the heart of the Entertainment District. This interactive artwork features a trio of large granite blocks, which filter natural light and shadows to reveal silhouettes on the other side. “When treated as an important element of a condominium, a public art installation can be a transformative experience helping to define a community. That’s what is happening in the park at 300 Front,” says Jim Ritchie, Tridel’s senior vice-president of sales and marketing. 

Great Gulf’s Charlie Condos is home to Ballast, a five-metre tall bronze sculpture by Canadian artist Jed Lind. Which appears to break through the ground of the public courtyard. “I wanted to make a work that looks at the transformation of this King Street corridor from a once productive commercial / industrial corridor to the dynamic cultural hub it is today,” said Lind. “In this transformed neighbourhood, highrise buildings like the Charlie condos where Ballast stands are the homes of this new creative class.”

Shift by artist Carl Tacon is featured at One St. Thomas Condominium, developed by Lee Development Group. The 136-ft. sculpture features 20 individually carved sections of Vermont Mountain White Marble, which appear to be softly draped along the property line of One St. Thomas Street. 

Lanterra’s Murano condo on Bay Street celebrates its namesake with a glass art installation by artist Barbara Astman, which literally puts a rose-coloured tint on the everyday – not to mention blue, and green, and purple… The glass panels, dubbed Trees of the Murano, are embedded in the podium wall, bringing a little colour to the street while washing interiors in a variety of hues.  

Read the full article at New Home & Condo Guide.