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Winter Stations exhibition returns to Toronto waterfront until March 27


February 23, 2017
by Canadian Architect

Torontonians flocked to the beach on Family Day to experience the unveiling of eight brand new Winter Stations installations along the shoreline of Lake Ontario. Designs include an upended forest, a Japanese-inspired foot spa, a whale constructed out of empty water bottles, a collage of mirrored buoys and more. 

“It was wonderful to see so many people at the launch of Winter Stations enjoying and appreciating the talents of artists from around the world who through their creative talents have transformed lifeguard stations into works of art bringing life to Toronto’s east end beaches,” said Great Gulf President Christopher Wein. 

All eight installations are exhibited along Kew, Scarborough and Balmy Beaches in the heart of Toronto’s Beach community, broadly located south of Queen Street East, between Woodbine and Victoria Park Avenues.


North by studio PERCH. Montreal, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

North by studio PERCH. Montreal, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Using the poetic concept of the great “North”, this installation conjures a powerful and eternal image that transports visitors to an imagined forest. The work suspends 41 fir trees in midair creating an evocative and colour-saturated canopy that stands out against the white of winter. 


I See You Ashiyu by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela. Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

I See You Ashiyu by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela. Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

I See You Ashiyu by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela. Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

I See You Ashiyu by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela. Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

This installation uses the idea the Japanese hot spring and warm water to provide physical relief from the cold. By creating a landscape-based gathering space on the beach, this installation emphasizes the contrast in the seasons and recalls memories of a summer beach.


Collective Memory by Mario García, Barcelona, Spain, and Andrea Govi, Milan, Italy. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Collective Memory by Mario García, Barcelona, Spain, and Andrea Govi, Milan, Italy. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Inspired by the statistic that by 2031 nearly one-half of the Canadian population over the age of 15 will be foreign-born or the child of a migrant parent Collective Memory aims to be the catalyst of present and shared anecdotes. Constructed out of recycled bottles – the archetype for the lost message – two translucent walls will shield the existing lifeguard structure, creating a threshold between shore and city.


BuoyBuoyBuoy by Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota Wares-Tani, Julie Forand. Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

BuoyBuoyBuoy by Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota Wares-Tani, Julie Forand. Toronto, Canada. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Capturing the impression of a series of buoys moving in the waves, BuoyBuoyBuoy uses many small parts to create a whole. Each component is the silhouette of a buoy from afar creating a fog or a cloud around the lifeguard station like drops reflecting and refracting the light.


The Beacon, by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva, Porto, Portugal. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

The Beacon, by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva, Porto, Portugal. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

The concept translates into the archetypical lighthouse conical shape, reduced to its simplest expression and conformed to the lifeguard stand proportions and wrapped in aged wood. The Beacon will act as a temporary drop-off location for non-perishable items such as canned food or clothes.

Building upon last year’s participation from OCAD, Ryerson University and Laurentian University, 2017 sees teams from three schools submitting design concepts; University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology.


Flotsam and Jetsam by University of Waterloo, Ontario. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Flotsam and Jetsam by University of Waterloo, Ontario. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Project team: Nicola Augustin, NegarBehzad Jazi, Anne Cheung, Bryce Clayton, Catherine Cohen, Mona Dai, Sarah Donaldson, Parshan Fatehi,  Allegra Friesen, Golnaz Jamshidi, Carly Kandrack, Ryan Pagliaro, Elida Pletikapic, Alexandra Sermol, Kirsten Sheppard-Neuhofer, Eric Sviratchev, Joel Tremblay and Danny Wei.

As visitors approach from the vantage of the city the 20-foot high sculpture generates curiosity and invites a closer look. The installation reveals the realities of plastic consumption, resulting waste and its effects on the aquatic biodiversity of the planet we share.


The Illusory by Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology, Toronto, Ontario. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

The Illusory by Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology, Toronto, Ontario. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Creative Team: Jenessa Atkinson, Aaron Bavle, Jason Carreiro, Gabriela Merka-Derez, Kimberly Michelle Czornodolskyj, Karun Ramani, Trish Roque, Roxanne Van Dam, Qiao Wang, Project Faculty Advisors: Marcin Kedzior, Professor, School of Applied Technology.

From afar, the structure is incognito, reflecting the surrounding environment and fading into it. Entering the space, the explorer views misconstrued, mirroring illustrations of themselves and their surroundings.


Midwinter Fire by Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto, Ontario. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Midwinter Fire by Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto, Ontario. Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Creative Team: John Beeton, Herman Borrego, Anna Chen, Vikrant Dasoar, Michael DeGirolamo, Leonard Flot, Monika Gorgopa, James Kokotilo, Asuka Kono, Karima Peermohammad, Rachel Salmela, Christina Wilkinson, Julie Wong, Rotem Yaniv. Faculty Advisor: Pete North, Assistant Professor

Midwinter Fire provides visitors with the opportunity to engage with an augmented winter forest creating an immersive experience that reframes Southern Ontario’s vegetation in contrast with the exposed winter landscape of the beach. This installation uses the simple idea of reflectivity to expand the illusion of an urban forest and to make the project disappear into the surrounding landscape.


Winter Stations sponsors for 2017 include Great Gulf, Pomerleau, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), City of Toronto, Urban Capital, Demirov Fine Homes, Toronto Arts Council, Bridging Finance, Bousfields, Marlin Spring, Makita and Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), Devine Park LLP and Toronto Windsurfing Club. Partners include Ice Breakers, The Beach BIA, Design Xchange and Friends of the Beach.

All eight installations are open to the public until March 27, 2017.