King Street is one of the main streets running east-west in downtown Toronto. It cuts through the Financial District, the Entertainment District, and the Fashion District of the city. The King streetcar route is the busiest surface transit route in the city, with about 65,000+ riders per day.
Earlier this year, Toronto launched a competition called Everyone is King to seek out design ideas to create attractive public spaces on King Street for everyone to enjoy. Twelve winners were announced and the winning art projects were installed in the spring. They are all available in time for the nice summer weather.
Here's a closer look at the 12 art creations that visitors can explore along King Street:
1. #WouldYouRatherTO invites physical and digital interactions that bring people together through friendly banter. Answer a "would you rather" question by spinning one of the two-coloured buoys to the colour of your choice. Snap a photo and share your own question with the hashtag #WouldYouRatherTO for a chance to be featured.
2. The Spark invites users to pedal together to light the Spark. Only when all four bikes are in use will the full effect be revealed.
3. The Present Moment includes an eye-catching road mural and country chairs. It invites passers-by to stop and relax in the midst of a bustling city, to observe the lively street and to reflect on the beauty and tranquillity that can be found wherever we seek them.
4. King Street Causeway is comprised of interlocking hexagonal modules at varying heights. During the day, it's a place for pedestrians to sit and relax, By sundown, the illuminated crystals reflect and transmit an infinite colour spectrum catering to Toronto's vibrant nightlife.
5. Ziggy - This painted zigzag tubular steel frame is simple and playful. It hopes to connect and bring people together as the structure allows people to lean on and hang out.
6. Woggle Jungle - Colourful foam noodles are clustered together to create a cheerful environment for rest and play, for adults and children alike.
7. Everyone is (A) Kid aims to engage the child in all of us to rediscover King Street. The bright yellow milk crates create a cheery moment in the daytime, and are softly filtered by the street lights in the evenings.
8. Watch Your Step! is an abstract geometric road mural composed of brightly coloured triangles. The use of colour creates a sense of movement and visual depth.
9. The King \ St exhibits the city's first modular urban green park. It showcases a unique material made from recycled automotive textile waste and enables real grass to grow. When viewed from above, the design spells out "KING ST". At ground level, the letters act as 'rooms' with seating and benches of various heights. Users can also charge their phones while enjoy using Canada's first smart bench.
10. King's Buried Treasure is a road mural that depicts a stream, edged with rocks, pebbles, mud, and brush, resurrecting the lost creeks of King Street. Animal footprints are painted onto the road using a super hydrophobic solution. This animated feature is invisible in dry weather and visible when it rains.
11. Face To Face or Tête à Tête is shaped like boomerangs, in striking blue and orange, one table angles toward the street, and one toward the side walk. It invites users to watch the passers-by or to gather for conversations.
12. Asphalt Poetry is a ground mural. The poem The City by Ronna Bloom is presented on the ground. To see the entire poem and how it looks on King Street, please click here as I didn't get a good photo with my camera. If I'm able to take a good picture later on, I'll update this post to include it.
We've just finished our 2.5 km walk. Do a return trip and we'd get 5K done, no problem! If you don't feel like walking back, hop on the streetcar and rest your feet. This type of discovery walk gets high scores from me for fitness, entertainment, art, social, and travel if you haven't visited King Street recently. I hope you enjoy it.