Toronto City Council has approved a master plan to guide the planning of new public art installations in Scarborough Centre, the area bounded by Highway 401, Markham Road, Ellesmere Road, and Midland Avenue. The Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan will be a key tool for City planning staff to prioritize public art sites, as well as those in Privately Owned Publicly accessible Spaces, to ensure well thought out installations in accordance with the city's Percent for Public Art Guidelines.

Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan, TorontoSites identified in the Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan, image via City of Toronto

The Planning Department has secured numerous privately-produced public art master plans through the development approval process, though the newly approved master plan marks the first instance of a public art master plan being led by the City. 

"The Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan is the first City-led public art master plan for the City of Toronto," reads a statement from Gregg Lintern, Toronto's new Chief Planner. "It is my goal that we use this Scarborough model as an example and that we develop more of these master plans to address public art strategically in other areas of the city." 

Dovetailing with the controversial Scarborough subway extension and the Scarborough Centre Transportation Master Plan, the new Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan identifies specific public art opportunities along the extension. One such example is for art within the proposed redesign of the Borough Drive Approaches at Ellesmere Road and the future subway station and bus terminal.

"This master plan recognizes the regional importance of Scarborough Centre and incorporates the aspirations of the local community," reads a statement issued by Mayor John Tory. "With the anticipated growth coming to this area of the city as we expand transit, we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create a vision for the highest quality urban community and public art is a huge part of that vision."

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