Saying “If one wishes to have a profound and lasting impact on the wellbeing and happiness of Torontonians, the waterfront offers a multitude of philanthropic opportunities,” Pierre Lassonde CM OQ of the Pierre Lassonde Family Foundation, today announced a donation of $25 Million to the City of Toronto towards the creation of a new waterfront public art trail located along the banks of the new mouth of the Don River in Toronto’s Port Lands.

The donation includes $10 million is being used to commission two pieces of permanent landmark artwork – one by a leading Canadian artist, and another by an international artist – which will anchor the trail. A rotating cycle of contemporary installations from local, national, and international artists will also be featured along the free, open-air route.

Stephen Diamond, Chair of Waterfront Toronto which is overseeing the design and construction of the park, said “Toronto’s revitalized waterfront is becoming an art destination in itself. This gift is transformational for Toronto’s waterfront and will contribute to making Villiers Island a major destination for all.”

Artist impression of the proposed art trail on Villiers Island, image by NORM LI

The remaining $15 million is to be used to establish a non-profit organization that will manage the art trail, with the intention of raising matching funds to sustain the organization over the long term. An international competition will be launched to commission the two anchoring pieces of art in partnership with the non-profit organization, the City, and Waterfront Toronto. 

"I want to thank the Lassonde family for this generous donation to our city’s waterfront and for providing funding that will help us continue our vision for an accessible, beautiful and unique waterfront. A new waterfront public art trail will not only attract residents and visitors to Toronto’s waterfront, but provide an opportunity for people to experience art and much more for free. With the two new permanent art works as its centrepiece, the art trail, envisioned as part of the revitalization of the Port Lands, will serve as a free, accessible outdoor museum for visitors and residents alike – all of which play a big role in bringing art to public spaces in our city,” said Mayor John Tory.

UrbanToronto will continue to follow updates for this development, but in the meantime, you can learn more from our Database file for the project, linked below. If you'd like, you can join in on the conversation in the associated Project Forum thread, or leave a comment in the space provided on this page.

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