Wilson Avenue just east of the Spadina line subway station is seeing a renewal. The area, kitty corner across the 401 from Yorkdale Mall, has been in need of reinvestment as of late as industry has been decamping from the light industry buildings of the area for greener pastures in the 905. Even the TTC has declared a parking lot in the area as surplus since the opening of the Spadina line to Downsview.
Malibu Investments was the developer to take notice of the undervalued brownfield land here, and after six years of planning, selling, and building, their first project at the site, Gramercy Park Condos, is now finished. The project, named after a famous private garden in New York City, forms a quadrangle around its own internal garden. The various wings of the building range in height from 2 to 12 storeys and contain the amenities and 512 residential suites.
Marking the completion recently was an event celebrating the installation of Light Containers, three perforated stainless steel cones designed by Montreal-based Linda Covit. More than 150 residents, community members and special guests gathered to mark the official unveiling of the dynamic sculptural installation.
Two of the works grace Wilson Avenue near the development’s ‘breezeway’ into the garden, while the third conical sculpture stands proudly at the corner of Wilson Avenue and Tippet Road. While each component varies a bit in size, all three are fabricated in 9.5 mm stainless steeel, and have been perforated with thousands of circular holes cut by water jets. The diameter of the holes create the image effect on the surface. When touched by direct sunlight in the day, or from specially designed LED lighting at night, light streams through the cones’ perforations, casting flower-shaped patterns on the surfaces surrounding the sculptures.
Malibu’s President Rony Hirsch spoke at the gathering about the art and artist. “Linda’s vision for the art was inspired by the fruit orchards that used to grow around the site. It was her insight into the area’s history, artistic talents and unique understanding of the value and impact of large public art pieces in condo developments—not just for residents, but for the surrounding community—that made her the right choice for this esteemed commission.”
Mailbu have not shied away from thought provoking works of art and sculpture; their Harbourfront condominium near Fort York features a distinctive piece by Douglas Coupland where two giant toy soldiers recall the area's militsry history, while Tableau, their upcoming development with UrbanCapital and ALIT in Toronto’s Entertainment District, will include an impactful sculpture by celebrated artist Shayne Dark.
Hirsch concluded his remarks at the celebration, saying “We are thrilled to add a public art component to our condominium communities. The addition of Linda’s 'Light Containers' makes an amazing development even better, and we’re grateful to her for her vision, to our residents who have supported the project and the sculptures, and to the local Ward 10 councillor, James Pasternak, who encouraged us to do something special in his ward.”
While Gramercy Park is sold out, plans for another phase are in the works. In the meantime, Tableau is now under construction Downtown. UrbanToronto has much more on Gramercy Park and Tableau condominiums in our dataBase entries for the projects, linked below. Several more images of Linda Covit's lit up at night can be found by choosing the associated Projects & Construction Forum thread link. You can get in on the discussion of any of the buildings by choosing from the associated links, or you can leave a comment in the space provided on this page.