Toronto City Council approves master plan for public art in Scarborough Centre – first of its kind for Toronto

Toronto City Council has approved the Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan. The master plan will serve as an important and proactive guide in prioritizing public art sites (both publicly and privately owned) that offer the most potential and the greatest impact for public art opportunities in Scarborough Centre.

“This master plan recognizes the regional importance of Scarborough Centre and incorporates the aspirations of the local community,” said 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.”

The Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan is a tool to be used by city planners to assist in the identification of opportunities that engage with the private sector. The implementation of these opportunities will be secured through the planning process, following the Percent for Public Art Guidelines.

Toronto’s City Planning division has secured several public art master plans in the past – produced by the private sector – as part of the development approval process.

“The Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan is the first City-led public art master plan for the City of Toronto,” said Gregg Lintern, Toronto’s 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.”

In 2012, City Council endorsed the Scarborough Centre Public Space and Streetscape Master Plan, a vision for the area known as Scarborough Centre (the area bounded by the 401, Markham Road, Ellesmere Road and Midland Avenue). That plan identified the need for a Scarborough Centre Public Art Plan that would inform the selection method, quality and location of new public art.

In 2016, the City Planning division engaged consultants and began the work to produce this public art master plan. City Planning worked with the Economic Development and Culture division and the local community to oversee its completion.

“The master plan identifies several priority sites, and ensures that public art will be an integral component of public spaces, facilities, transit areas, and open spaces, contributing to the future success of this area,” said Mike Williams, General Manager, Economic Development and Culture.

With its approval today, City Council approves the Scarborough Centre Public Art Master Plan for circulation to all City divisions, Boards, Agencies and Commissions to be used to enhance public space with high quality art.

The master plan outlines various budget ranges, commissioning strategies and an implementation, maintenance and conservation strategy. As noted in the document, this public art master plan should be reviewed every five years for updates that reflect policy changes and take advantage of all new opportunities.

The master plan is available at

This news release is also available on the City’s website:

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