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October 16, 2006
Public art competition invites Torontonians to design new utility hole covers for streets in Regent Park
The City of Toronto’s Culture division has launched the Grounds For Art public art competition, inviting Torontonians to submit designs for new custom-made utility hole covers that will decorate the streets of Regent Park. A new street system is being laid as part of the revitalization of Regent Park and Toronto Culture is using the opportunity to enhance and enliven our public spaces.

“Grounds For Arts reminds us that there is room for beauty and creativity in all places, including underfoot,” said Rita Davies, Executive Director of Toronto Culture.

Amateur, aspiring or professional artists and designers are invited to submit designs to distinguish the sanitary, storm sewer and the water valve covers. Applicants can submit proposals for one, two or three of the utility hole cover types. An independent selection panel will select a short list of 30 designs. From this short list, three winning designs (one for each utility cover type) will be selected and fabricated as a master template, which will be used to cast the covers for utility holes throughout the Regent Park redevelopment, beginning in spring 2007. Each of the winning designers will receive a cash prize of $1,800.

Toronto’s streets are adorned with thousands of iron disks that go largely unnoticed but are an essential part of a functioning city - discrete portals between the city we live and work in, and the working city. Custom-designed utility hole covers will transform these functional covers into public works of art, enhancing the character and vibrancy of public spaces for both people who live and work in the city.

Toronto Culture seeks to commission innovative public art works that are of the highest quality, are relevant to the community, urban design and architecture, and enrich the experience of Toronto residents and visitors. The City aims to carry out this ambition through a variety of opportunities for artists, and equitable and objective selection processes with valuable input from community members and guidance from relevant professionals. Toronto Culture staff develop public art projects with the advice of the Art Committee for Public Places. Grounds For Art was developed in consultation with Regent Park Neighbourhood Initiative and will be implemented in co-operation with Toronto Community Housing.

For more information about the Grounds For Art public art competition, and to download an application form, visit The deadline for submissions is Monday, November 27 at 4 p.m.

Media contact:
Toronto Culture Media Hotline, 416-560-8726



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