This should be invisible

winter stations toronto

Toronto is getting a staircase to nowhere by the waterfront

Winter is an undoubtedly drab time of year that can make going out seem like a chore. Thankfully, things like the Toronto Light FestivalIcebreakers and now Winter Stations are all back to pepper in some colour around the city.

The annual international design competition returns to the waterfront this winter with a series of larger-than-life art installations. 

This year's theme centres on 'migration' with the winning designs looking to capture the human tendency for movement with interactive works meant to evoke refection on the subject.

Included is Above the Wall by American artists Joshua Carel and Adelle York. The design focuses on the idea of connecting people by ascending a flight of staircases situated over a wall below.

Another is The Forest of Butterflies by Mexican designer Luis Enrique-Hernandez. It's made up of oversized cutouts of butterfly wings that patrons can enter into and explore.

winter stations toronto

The Forest of Butterflies is modelled after the 4,000-kilometre migration of the Monarch butterfly from Mexico to Canada each year. Image courtesy of Winter Stations.

From Polish artists Tomasz Piotrowaski and Łukasz Chaberka comes Mind Station, a giant hat box that doubles as a life sized game of whack-a-mole in what would be a shy person's worst nightmare.

winter stations toronto

The work is actually meant to bring people together to share thoughts and connect on raised platforms that make for both a physical and mental experience. Image courtesy of Winter Stations.

The question of what attracts humans to certain destinations is captured by Toronto artists John Nguyen, Victor Perez-Amado, Anton Skorishchenko, Abubaker Bajaman and Stephen Seungwon Baik in Cavalcade.

winter stations toronto

The installation "reflects the collective spirit of the human movement and transversal... [It] depicts people migrating toward something better." Image courtesy of Winter Stations.

Designed by students at Sheridan College in Mississauga, Inuit multiplies the existing lifeguard station to emulate community and "reimagines the lifeguard station as a migratory species."

winter stations toronto

Visitors are prohibited from climbing on the piece. Image courtesy of Winter Stations.

And from Humber design students comes Ground2, which can be climbed on, as it's meant to engage patrons in "the ever-shifting human and environmental landscape" and have them experience migration for themselves. 

winter stations toronto

Ground2 also looks to send a message about the changing climate by having viewers "assess their reformed surroundings" from the various landings. Image courtesy of Winter Stations.

Winter Stations is on from February 18 to April 1 between Ashbridges Bay and Balmy Beach.

Lead photo by

Winter Stations

Latest Videos

Join the conversation Load comments

Latest in Arts

Toronto is getting a tribute to its most famous dead raccoon

Prince Harry's 'Spare' just became Indigo's fastest-selling non-fiction book ever

One Night Only is putting a much-needed spotlight on Toronto's emerging arts scene

People in Toronto really don't like the depressing art at Union Station

Reese Witherspoon is a fan of this NY Times bestselling author who is also a Toronto resident

Local bars take over Toronto contemporary art museum on free Friday nights

Toronto woman's Christmas charcuterie tree is the toast of the internet

How to find cheap theatre tickets in Toronto