This environmental art project, facilitated by local designer Andrew Chiu has resulted in the installation of a functional sculpture that makes use of salvaged material that was unveiled in Thorncliffe’s RV Burgess Park in the spring of 2015.

Youth participants have led conversation with residents of all ages in the Thorncliffe and Flemingdon Park communities, areas plagued by litter and a lack of public gathering spaces, to identify places where the community feels unsafe or unwelcome. This project is one way they have determined to draw people into the spaces, by installing a combination of seating and way-finding sculptures that make use of salvaged materials from the community.

The design that has unanimously supported by group members is a permanent covered structure with seating underneath. The young residents who have been involved in informing the designs are passionate about environmentalism, and are thrilled that this art piece not only provides shelter and beauty to the neighbourhood, but also fosters dialogue about recycling while evoking community pride.

This is a youth-led project, being developed in collaboration with the Toronto Emerging ARTivists (STEPS’ award-winning youth group). It has been supported by the Toronto Arts Council, Ontario Arts Council, ArtReach Toronto and the Kiwanis Foundation of Toronto, as well as partnerships with the TD Canada Trust, Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, Design by Nature, Diasporic Genius, Trashswag, North Arrow and the Toronto Tool Library.