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All Aboard!: A new installation to celebrate Toronto’s waterways

Jackie Wei-Green Jackie Wei Green Senior Communications Leader,Los Angeles
25 July 2019

The City of Toronto recently unveiled All Aboard!, a public art installation created by a team of architects and engineers from Arup’s Toronto office. A winner of the 2019 King Street Design Build Competition, the installation will further enrich the city’s two-year old King Street Transit Priority Corridor by contributing to the vibrant streetscape and fostering community engagement, on view through December 2019. 

The evocative design of All Aboard! features a rowboat sitting on a deck that appears to be part of the pavement. Jutting up through the deck, as if through cracks in the concrete, are native wildflowers, grasses and logs for seating. The timeless and universal symbol of a docked boat invites viewers to contemplate the powerful role water has played in the development of Toronto’s culture and economy, and the ways the city might be reshaped by climate change. Over 80% of the installation’s components are repurposed from other sources, reflecting Arup’s commitment to embracing and promoting circular design principles. 

All Aboard Toronto outdoor installation with boat on sidewalk All Aboard Toronto outdoor installation with boat on sidewalk
The All Aboard! installation features a rowboat sitting on a deck. The timeless and universal symbol of a docked boat invites viewers to contemplate the powerful role water has played in the development of Toronto’s culture and economy.

All Aboard! is Arup’s second installation for the King Street Transit Priority Corridor. The firm’s interactive lighting installation, The Spark, which won last year’s competition, enabled bicyclists to generate enough energy to illuminate a sculpture erected on the street. The timber used for the base of The Spark is one of the main elements to be given a new lease of life in All Aboard!.

The King Street Transit Priority Corridor strongly aligns with Arup’s dedication to making the cities and communities we work in more sustainable and human-focused. We were thrilled to be given another opportunity this year to create a design that helps to activate the corridor and promote a meaningful community engagement. ”

Alexander Flash Designer