Torontonians will have a few reasons to crane their necks skyward this long weekend. Besides the Canadian International Air Show, Toronto's formative skyscraper complex is putting on a display of its own, with its signature black facade becoming a canvas for what's being called "the largest public art project of its kind undertaken anywhere in the world." 

The TD Centre, image by Marcus Mitanis

On Saturday, Sunday and Monday nights, Montreal-based artist Aude Moreau will systematically illuminate offices in the TD Centre to form a pixelated work of art that spells out "LESS IS MORE OR" in hundred-foot-tall glowing letters. The installation adds a twist to German-American architect Mies van der Rohe's influential and declarative statement on minimalism, inviting the observer to reframe the values of the architectural style and explore a "multiplicity of viewpoints." 

The audacious artwork is being presented by Cadillac Fairview and TD Bank Group as part of TD Centre's 50th anniversary celebrations, marking the inception of the original building in the now six-tower complex. Earlier this summer, a "50" sculpture was erected in the public plaza facing King Street, becoming an Instagrammable focal point of the milestone celebration. The TD Centre also made headlines last year when it achieved LEED Platinum Certification.

A rendering of the illumination spelling out Mies' signature phrase, image via Aude Moreau

"Fifty years on, these towers have left an indelible mark on our skyline and helped transform Toronto into the world-class city it is today," said David Hoffman, TD Centre General Manager. "This remarkable artistic endeavour reflects TD Centre's bold vision and ongoing leadership in design excellence, innovation and sustainability—none of which would have been possible without the collaboration and support of our tenants and the community."

Five electrical contractors—Guild, Ainsworth, Symtech, Plan and ACML—contributed in the clandestine operation to temporarily reconfigure the automated lighting systems. A dedicated team of building staff and volunteers will open the blinds on over 6,000 windows across the five black skyscrapers before showtime. The work will be visible each of the three nights beginning at 8:30 PM and ending at sunrise. Roundhouse Park has been recommended as an ideal viewing spot, but given the prominence of the landmark structures, there should be a diversity of photo opportunities across the downtown core.