Toronto’s public art policy working surprisingly well

Toronto’s public art policy working surprisingly well

Canoe Landing Park at Cityplace (Image: Alfred Ng from the Flickr pool)

Remember back in 2007, when the city implemented the Percent for Public Art policy, which requires large construction projects to devote one per cent of their budget to public art? (Don’t worry. Neither did we.) Incredibly, it’s actually working, according to arts critic Leah Sandals, who compiled for the Star a list of the best LED light installations that have been built thanks to the program.

It’s an impressive group of twinkly pieces that aid the CN Tower in lighting up the downtown core on these cold winter nights. And a surprising number of the artists that have been commissioned to create these works are big names in the art world: James Turrell, David Rokeby and Douglas Coupland all have pieces adorning our snowy streets. The price tags on the pieces range from $40,000 to $2.8 million, with most running upwards of a few hundred thousand dollars.

It’s a list that shows someone else’s dollars hard at work making our city more culturally rich. Sounds like an arts policy Rob Ford might support.

City of Lights: Public artwork illuminates Toronto [Toronto Star]