Toronto's Winter Stations and Ice Breakers

By Kate Nelischer / Published by Kate Nelischer
Recommended by
Toronto's temporary Winter Stations installations animate the frozen Lake Ontario shoreline for a third year.

Winter in Toronto is tough. Months of grey skies, frigid temperatures, and snowy sidewalks can deter both locals and visitors from exploring all the city has to offer. The waterfront can seem particularly unattractive, as punishing winds swirl off Lake Ontario. But for the past three years, Torontonians have been coaxed out into the cold to explore the annual Winter Stations exhibit.

"I See You Ashiyu" installation by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela from Toronto.

"I See You Ashiyu" installation by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela from Toronto.

Image by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela

Founded in 2015 by local architecture and design firms RAW Design, Ferris + Associates, and Curio, the Winter Stations Design Competition invites applicants to propose temporary transformations of the lifeguard stations that dot Toronto's eastern beach. Modeled after a similar art installation program in Winnipeg, Winter Stations draws submissions from Toronto and abroad and features work from both students and established professionals. 

"The Beacon" installation by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva from Porto, Portugal.

"The Beacon" installation by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva from Porto, Portugal.

Image by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva

This year's theme is Catalyst, and applicants were encouraged to think of their proposals as catalysts for change. The successful submissions include a modern take on a traditional Japanese onsen, an inverted forest of fir trees, an interactive wall of messages in bottles, and a reinterpretation of a traditional lighthouse, among others. The installations will be on display until March 27th.

"Flotsam and Jetsam" installation by a team from the University of Waterloo.

"Flotsam and Jetsam" installation by a team from the University of Waterloo.

Image by Flotsam and Jetsam University of Waterloo team
"Tailored Twins" installation by Ferris + Associates installation is part of the Ice Breakers festival, located at the Peter Street Basin in Toronto.

"Tailored Twins" installation by Ferris + Associates installation is part of the Ice Breakers festival, located at the Peter Street Basin in Toronto.

Image by Ferris + Associates 

2017 saw the expansion of the program through a partnership with The Waterfront Business Improvement Association. Ice Breakers is a similar exhibit of temporary art installations along Toronto's central downtown waterfront. The program ran from January to February and featured five installations in various parks and public spaces. 

"Leeward Fleed" installation by RAW, part of Ice Breakers, located at Canada Square in Toronto.

"Leeward Fleed" installation by RAW, part of Ice Breakers, located at Canada Square in Toronto.

Image by RAW Design

Kate Nelischer

@katenelischer

Kate is a community engagement facilitator in Toronto. With a background in landscape architecture and writing, she is currently completing a PhD in Planning.

Comments
Everybody loves feedback. Be the first to add a comment.
The author will be notified whenever new comments are added.