artworxto jorian charlton

A stunning 70-foot-tall portrait now towers over the heart of Toronto

A construction scaffold is one of the last things you'd expect people to take notice of, just another layer of visual white noise in the background of Toronto's hustle and bustle.

But something different has appeared in the Financial District, a towering 70-foot-tall art installation bringing a vibrant jolt to a construction site, using its exterior scaffold at 330 Bay St. as a prominent yet unconventional canvas.

Untitled, a piece by portrait photographer Jorian Charlton, is soon to be unveiled as part of ArtworxTO: Toronto's Year of Public Art 2021–2022. The gargantuan installation is the program's most extensive to date, stretching 3,000 square feet across the scaffold's netting.

artworxto jorian charlton

A view of the still-incomplete installation as of Friday afternoon. The world will be completed in time for its Saturday unveiling. Photo courtesy of Dream.

The piece will be on display through next spring as building owner Dream works on a modernization and re-cladding of the office tower, turning typically messy-looking exterior work platforms into something visually arresting.

A news release states that Charlton's work puts a spotlight on "Jamaican-Canadian culture through her personal experiences, highlighting beauty and style when it comes to contemporary modes of Black representation."

The release continues to say that the artwork "will inspire and spark wonder in the city, as well as highlight and empower local, emerging BIPOC artists."

The installation will get its big reveal tomorrow afternoon, with the artist and mayor John Tory both in attendance.

As for what the building will look like when the art comes down next year, Dream has released renderings showing the tower's 1980s-era facade replaced with a glittering new skin.

artworxto jorian charlton

A new exterior will transform the look of 330 Bay Street. Rendering by Dream.

That project is part of the developer's broader revitalization of a group of Financial District properties.

Lead photo by


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