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St. Clair West public art installation raises concerns for some residents

Some neighbourhood residents are complaining that the piece, by Toronto art duo Christian Giroux and Daniel Young, is obstructing drivers’ views on Vaughan Rd.

May 3, 2018
Claire Floody


An elevated art installation at Vaughan Rd. and Bathurst St. set to be unveiled this weekend is already raising concerns in the St. Clair West (Cedarvale) community.

Named “Three Points Where Two Lines Meet,” the piece by Toronto art duo Christian Giroux and Daniel Young was commissioned in 2014.

According to a press release, the art piece, an elevated structure of triangular shapes made from powder-coated aluminum that will be lit up with LED lights, is meant to “animate and enhance” the similarly shaped intersection. It was selected from a national competition judged by a panel of Toronto artists.

In a private Facebook group for members of the St. Clair West area, many residents posted comments mocking the installation. And some even had safety concerns that it would obstruct views for drivers.

One member wrote, “I saw it today for the first time and had no idea it was there ... and nearly rear-ended someone. Total wasteful distraction.”

Heather Mackay, a resident of the St. Clair West area, said she doesn’t mind the art piece, as something was needed to fill the space, but she said it has made it more difficult for drivers to see when heading east on Vaughan Rd. and merging with traffic going southbound on Bathurst St.

In the Facebook group, many people commented on the design of the piece, saying it’s “an ugly eyesore” and are calling on Councillor Joe Mihevc (Ward 21, St. Paul’s West) for answers.

“UGLY ... Fix the pot holes Joe,” one member said. Another member wasn’t so forgiving, “Joe Mihevc needs to go.”

Mihevc responded directly in the Facebook group defending the installation and assured it went through the proper safety procedures before being built.

“I can say that our Transportation Department, the TTC and Toronto Hydro reviewed the plan and signed off as not having any sight line concerns. It was deemed porous enough for sight line purposes.”

Mihevc told the Star he is hoping people will keep an open mind and feel differently about it in a few years’ time.

“Now is not the time to pass judgment, but to invite people to look at it and find a way to have it into the community,” Mihevc said. “Art sometimes challenges, and the installation makes a statement, that’s for sure.”

He urged residents to keep in mind that the piece is still being constructed. It is set to be finished this weekend, with the official unveiling at 10 a.m. Saturday. It was originally anticipated to be installed by fall of 2015.

With files from Clare Rayment