waterfront patio Toronto

Toronto's waterfront skating rink transformed into beautiful outdoor oasis

An area on Toronto's waterfront is currently one of the city's most Instagrammable thanks to large-scale patterns that make it look like a giant child was playing with a Spirograph.

Rendezviews has decked out their patio in rainbows this year, but the transformed outdoor rink at Harbourfront might be even more aesthetically appealing. 

In the area where the skating rink usually is during the winter, there's a huge mural on the ground by Amanda McCavour based on her "Spirograph" art, consisting of joyful circular repeating patterns.

McCavour's work typically consists of sewing large-scale embroidery installations using water soluble fabric. The water soluble fabric allows her to build stitched "drawings" on a temporary surface that dissolves away to reveal delicate embroidered pieces.

The artist often includes repeating motifs evocative of florals and nature in bright colours, and also creates wearable embroidered art like earrings.

"For the past year or so, we have been using our outdoor site as a canvas for artists' work and so we decided that while the rink/pond is not currently functioning and before construction hoarding is installed, we wanted to offer the area to an artist to create a work," Harbourfront Centre chief programming officer Iris Nemani tells blogTO.

The rink/pond area at Harbourfront where the work is currently installed wasn't able to be used this past winter for the first time since its construction due to infrastructure issues. Construction on a new rink design is starting in September.

"We invited Amanda McCavour, one of our Artist-in-Residence alumni from our Craft & Design Studio and commissioned her to create a temporary work for the pond floor," says Nemani.

"The result is Spirograph: beautiful, colourful, circular images that we then had painted onto the pond floor. We added picnic benches for the public to be able to sit, physically distanced, and enjoy the view.  The area is accessible to all to enjoy."

The Slip, a restaurant with its own patio, is right next door, though of course you could get takeout from there or anywhere else in the area to eat with a pretty mural underfoot.

The giant pink and purple starbursts dotted with picnic tables should be on view until Sept. 1, 2021.

Lead photo by


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