Put this on your TO DO list
Toronto Design Offsite Festival’s (TO DO) first ever foray to Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue happens this month.
A giant piñata stuffed full of design promise and whimsy is coming to a midtown office lobby this month as part of Toronto Design Offsite Festival’s (TO DO) first ever foray to Yonge Street and St. Clair Avenue.
A week’s worth of art and festival programming will be anchored by three immersive installations designed by leading architecture and design firms Gensler, IBI Group and Superkül. There will also be an exhibition by the Canadian National Institute for the Blind exploring the latest assistive technology for those who are visually impaired.
Rounding out the programming will be two interactive sessions. The first is a talk called “Undo Toronto” where speakers from each of the participating design firms are bestowed the power to go back in time and undo one thing about Toronto, while proposing an alternative vision. The second is a tour of the area led by three of the city’s leading public art experts, Ilana Altman of The Bentway, Patricio Davila from OCAD University and Anjuli Solanki from the STEPS Initiative.
The TO DO Festival programming at Yonge and St. Clair is led by festival organizers with the support of Slate Asset Management.
“We’re committed to re-establishing Yonge and St. Clair as a destination address in the city,” says Brandon Donnelly of Slate Asset Management and the host of the Undo Toronto talk. “That commitment goes beyond the development and revitalization of buildings in the area. We want to support the infusion of arts and culture, and provide opportunities for community engagement.”
Slate is in a unique position to contribute to the ongoing revitalization of Yonge and St. Clair, having acquired 10 properties in the area, including all four corners, over the last four years. Since 2016, Slate has introduced a new eight-storey mural by international street artist Phlegm, and ushered in a series of public space improvements, including a Ravine Bench designed by participating design firm Gensler.
“#ohdear” by Gensler
At 2 St. Clair Avenue West. Inspired by the history of Deer Park, a giant deer piñata will be set up in the lobby and each evening during the week the piñata will be lowered, leading up to the final night when people can reach its belly and open the piñata.
“Second Life” by Superkül
At 40 St. Clair Avenue West. Through a series of curated images, this installation considers and presents architectural and construction waste reframed as an opportunity.
“The Space Between” by IBI Group
At 55 St. Clair Avenue West. This evolving interactive lobby installation will incorporate both digital and analog elements that layer dynamic GPS mapping data with interactive analog components. Visitors and residents of the area are empowered to contribute their points of view as to how they interact with the public environment in the area they call “home.”
The Toronto Design Offsite Festival (TO DO) is Canada’s largest cultural celebration of design with over 100 exhibitions and events forming Toronto’s design week, January 15-21. Going into its eighth year, TO DO transforms Toronto into a hub for creativity, taking design and art out of the studio and into the urban sphere, bringing people together to celebrate contemporary culture.
Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 6 to 8 p.m.
You are bestowed the power to go back in time and undo one thing about Toronto, what would it be? Once undone, what action would you take in its place? This year marks the 225th anniversary of the Town of York and the 20th anniversary of Toronto’s amalgamation into a mega-city. Both occasions offer the perfect opportunity to reflect on our history. Listen as leading architecture firms Gensler, IBI Group, and Superkül take their turn pressing Ctrl Z on Toronto, making a case for change, one civic moment at a time. At 55 St. Clair Avenue West.
Smashing Barriers, Creating Vision
Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 6 to 8 p.m.
An interactive exhibition showcasing the cutting-edge technology and accessible design that helps smash societal barriers for blind Canadians. Find out how CNIB made Yonge and St. Clair the most accessible neighbourhood in Canada with live demonstrations of beacon navigation technology. At 1525 Yonge Street.
Creating Communities Through Art
Saturday, January 20, 11 a.m. to noon
Join a group of public art experts for a thought-provoking walking tour at the intersection of Yonge and St. Clair. Ilana Altman (The Artful City/Pavillion Project/The Bentway), Patricio Davila (OCAD), and Anjuli Solanki (STEPS Initiative) will provide their own perspectives on the architect-designed installations, give insight into their experience in public art and raise questions about art in the urban realm. The tour will start in the lobby of 2 St. Clair Avenue West.