The Bentway Brings Waterfront Sites to Life with New Art Project

September 28, 2020

Erika DeFreitas, a composition for an elegy to what once was and all that remains; or, a score for the past, the present, the future tenses, video still, 2020. Image courtesy of the artist.

The Bentway commissions three Toronto-based artists for The Essentials, a public art project that asks us to examine what is essential for our urban future

September 28, 2020 – [Toronto, ON] – The Bentway travels beyond the Gardiner Expressway this fall with The Essentials, a series of art projects along the Waterfront that reflect on what we as a community collectively value as “essential” during this period of change, recovery and rebuilding.

From September to November, three Toronto-based artists will explore that which is essential now, reaffirming priorities and commitments for a post-COVID Toronto, told through novel projection-based artworks. The Essentials works to imagine and project an urban future that thrives on fundamentals, all the while asserting art’s own essential role in that evolution. Each projection is approximately 10-15 minutes in length and will be looped.

Echoing The Bentway’s relationship with the Gardiner Expressway, the exhibit will be presented across three sites of industry, leisure and infrastructure, with access generously facilitated by the City of Toronto and Canada Post. Here, The Bentway works to re-imagine spaces along the Waterfront, suggesting ways we can further multi-purpose our civic assets and find connection with our surroundings. Passers-by are asked to stop and contemplate (safely) while enjoying the works.

Photos by (clockwise from top left): Daryl Bruvelaitis, Chris Johnston, Jack Landau (x3)


@ the Canada Malting Silos

WHERE: The foot of Bathurst, near Billy Bishop Airport, next to Ireland Park – viewable from west side

WHEN: Wednesday, September 30 to Saturday, October 3 – 8 p.m. to 11 p.m. nightly 

In her piece, Scarborough artist Erika DeFreitas’ fingers caringly trace the architectural lines and wounded cracks of the city’s many structures, including the Canada Malting Silos, suggesting a much-needed tenderness and tactility during this period of distancing.

@ the Donald D. Summerville Olympic Pools

WHERE: The foot of Woodbine, at Lake Shore – viewable from south side

WHEN: Wednesday, October 21 to Saturday, October 24 – 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. nightly

In Alvin Luong’s Life Preserver, a leisurely walk along the water leads to the discovery of a bundle of food that has been washed ashore. The bundle appears purposeful in its assembly, yet its function is unknown. The artwork is inspired by the essentials of food, shelter, and mobility; and the pursuit of these essentials by people across geographies, histories, and nations.

@ Canada Post’s South-Central Letter Processing Plant

WHERE: 969 Eastern Ave, just south of Greenwood – viewable from the north side

WHEN: Wednesday, November 18 to Saturday, November 21 – 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. nightly

Interchanges, by Winnie Truong, takes inspiration from the postal network that keep us connected while we’re apart, and reveals the paralleled complexity in seed dispersion among local urban flora. By making a connection between planting and mail distribution this work reveals how these overlooked systems are essential to meaningful connections to nature and each other.

To learn more about The Essentials read the complete press release here. >>