nathan phillips square

Mysterious icebergs that just appeared at Nathan Phillips Square have people intrigued

If you're passing by Nathan Phillips Square in the coming days, you'll find it hard to ignore the peculiar icebergs that appear to be popping up from the fountain and the attraction's centre.

The popular landmark is certainly looking entirely different this week thanks to a new installation by homegrown artist John Notten, whose project Over Floe is really making a splash.

Constructed from salvaged foam, resin and paint, the stark-white items are meant to appear like chunks of ice in the water from certain angles and distances, but have the details of various buildings and vehicles typical of an urban scape upon closer inspection.

The strange angles of the objects and the fact that they move with the wind and fountain currents make the work all the more interesting, and people have been quick to snap photos of the exhibition, with some calling it "creepy."

Some may actually recognize the sight from Ontario Place, where it popped up last year in the lake.

Notten tells blogTO that he's thrilled that Over Floe haas "floated into such a visible location; icebergs, after all, by their very nature, move."

The goal of the work is to entice engagement, as from initial outward appearances, the objects are somewhat vague, unfamiliar and unknowable until one realizes what they truly represent.

"The fact that these iceberg-building hybrids are now strangely in such an unlikely urban setting refusing to melt adds to the foreboding message of the piece," he adds.

"With sea levels rising around the world due to dramatically changing climate, one is left to consider the impact of our actions within (and on) our major institutions."

Over Floe is part of ArtworxTO, the city's year-long celebration of public art, which runs until the fall.

Lead photo by


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