On or about March 21 every year, news anchors tell us that Spring has arrived. We never really quite believe it though as Spring's most vital element has never appeared by then; that would be the Spring blossoms. It's that time of year, as Toronto artist James Lahey notes—maybe only ten days long—where the city's copious flowering trees burst forth and turn the landscape truly beautiful, and it's that time that Lahey is extolling in his artwork at the Tango condominium complex at Concord Park Place in North York. The work, which is manifested in many locations at the 30+storey tower, was unveiled yesterday before a crowd eager to celebrate its installation.

James Lahey addresses those gathered to celebrate the arrival of 'Spring'James Lahey addresses those gathered to celebrate the arrival of 'Spring', image by Craig White

In a video by Sarah Keenlyside of Inkblot Media, with some segments as recent as yesterday's festivities, Lahey explains his inspiration and what he wanted to capture, while Ben Mills of Public Art Management gives us a look at how the work was carried out. Gabriel Leung of Concord Adex welcomes the work to the growing collection of public art at Concord Park Place, while local City Councillor David Shiner underlines the work's importance in helping to create a sense of place in this new neighbourhood. 

'Spring' is a product of Toronto's Percent for Public Art Program which requires that developers spend at least 1% of the total cost of each major project in the city on artworks to beautify the development and engage those who visit it. With the volume of development in the city, Toronto is quickly amassing an impressive inventory of large-scale works by Canadian and world-wide artists working in many media.  

'Spring' rises as a spine up the faces of Tango at Concord Park Place, Toronto'Spring' rises as a spine up the north and south faces of Tango at Concord Park Place, image by Craig White

Spring's most easily seen components are the spine of "modern stained glass" window images meticulously chosen by Lahey for the end of each hallway at Tango. The south end is particularly prominent where there are a pair of art windows installed at 90° to each other at every level. During daylight hours the windows reflect most of the sun's rays while allowing some light to filter through into the hallways, but at night it's the glow from inside that makes the work's presence known from greater distances.

'Spring' glows by night on the faces of Tango at Concord Park Place, Toronto'Spring' glows by night on the north and south faces of Tango at Concord Park Place, image by Gabriel Leung

While the windows at the end of the hallways are not easy to see from a  distance in the daytime, from the 401 and other local thoroughfares you can see Spring's signature on the skyline in the form of a highly pixelated blossom, making virtue of Tango's mechanical penthouse.

Seen from the 401, Spring includes a highly pixelated blossom on the skylineSeen from the 401, Spring includes a highly pixelated blossom on the skyline, image by Craig White

Close-up again and just above the lobby entrance to Tango, the hallway images make a substantial impression on the exterior…

Close-up on Spring's panels, south side, in Tango at Concord Park PlaceClose-up on Spring's panels, south side, in Tango at Concord Park Place, image by Craig White

…while the interior effect is softer and more abstract.

Light filters into the north and south ends of the hallways at Tango condos.Light filters into the north and south ends of the hallways at Tango, image by Craig White

Our quick video will give you a fuller idea of the effect.

Lahey's work was also ultimately chosen to grace some of the common areas at Tango, including reveals in the ceiling at every elevator lobby, and as seen in the backdrop of the party room below at the end of the celebration yesterday. Flanking the artist below are Karen Mills of Public Art Management, Councillor David Shiner representing the City of Toronto, and Gabriel Leung, Vice President of Development at Concord Adex.

Karen Mills, James Lahey, David Shiner, Gabriel LeungKaren Mills of Public Art Management, Artist James Lahey, Councillor David Shiner, Gabriel Leung of Concord Adex, image by Craig White

Want to know more about Tango? You'll find more information and renderings in our dataBase file for the project, linked below. Want to see more images of Spring? Choose the associated Projects & Construction Forum thread file where you can also get in on the discussion on the work. Of course, you may also leave a comment in the space provided on this page.