The Leslie Nymark Public Art Project is a public art competition. We invite Ontario based artists and artist collectives with experience in exterior pubic art installation and community engagement to submit proposals for a Public Art Project for the revitalized Leslie Nymark community.

If you are interested in sharing your artistic vision with a community undergoing change yet remains “rich in history” we would love to hear your plans through the Request for Artist Qualifications (RFQ) for the Leslie Nymark Public Art Project. In collaboration with the Leslie Nymark community, known best as “Villaways” by residents, the selected artist or artist collective will design a public art installation that will be installed within the revitalized community by approximately Summer 2021.

Background on the Community and the Project

This project is led through a collaboration between Art Starts and the STEPS Initiative (STEPS): two innovators in public and community art in Toronto. This project is made possible through the generous commissioning of Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) and Tridel, who have invited STEPS and Art Starts to ensure that the public art process offers authentic engagement opportunities for the Leslie Nymark community.

In 2007, Art Starts began working with the Villaways community after receiving an invitation from residents and local agencies. For 10 years, Art Starts ran weekly art programs at a TCHC townhouse which was converted into an active art studio.

In 2017, a revitalization of the Villaways neighbourhood began and residents were relocated for the new Leslie Nymark development to begin. Art Starts has continued to support residents post-relocation through a variety of art-based reunion activities and events, providing a platform for residents to express themselves and connect with each other, reducing isolation and supporting residents during this challenging time. Currently, former Villaways residents await the completion of the construction project for their eventual return in early 2021.

STEPS has been invited to collaborate with Art Starts to present this Request for Qualifications and co-facilitate with Arts Starts the jury process and artist selection. STEPS will project manage production, and installation of this Public Art Project.

Art Starts and STEPS encourage applications from individuals that represent the full diversity of communities in Canada, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, age, class, gender, race and sexual orientation. We thank all applicants for their time and interest in this call.

Budget: $ 152, 428 CAD (inclusive)

Estimated time of installation: Summer 2021* subject to change

Deadline: Friday, March 27th, 2020 at 2:00 PM

For any other questions, contact Parul Pandya at Art Starts, 416-656-9994 or


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