City Planning (community planners and urban designers) administers this program and works with the private sector to secure public art contributions through development review, Official Plan amendments and re-zonings.
The governing principle for the Percent for Public Art Program is that art is a public benefit to be enjoyed and experienced by residents and visitors throughout the city. The Program requires that the artwork must be clearly visible at all times from publicly accessible areas.
Download a copy for Public Art Program Guidelines
When making a percent for public art contribution, a developer has three options:
1. 'Off-site' () - the contribution is collected by the City in a Public Art Reserve Fund and used with other similar contributions to commission public art for a City-initiative in the local ward. When public art is commissioned by the City, the process is administered by Toronto Culture.
2. 'On-site' () - the contribution is used by the developer to commission a public artwork located on or immediately adjacent to the development property. In some cases, the developer commissions art as part of the design for an open space or a park that will later become a City-owned amenity.
3. 'On-site' and 'Off-site' - any combination of the above two options.
When the public art program is 'On-site' a City Council approved Public Art Plan is required. With the assistance of City Planning staff and the Toronto Public Art Commission - a citizen advisory group, the Public Art Plan ensures that the developer identifies appropriate public art opportunities on the site; a feasible budget and project schedule; and a fair and professional method for art/artist selection.
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