So the long weekend arrived and the kids wanted to know what we were going to do. The answer was obvious. We’re going to the beach.
To the beach? In FEBRUARY?
Yup! Winter Stations 2017 is up and running and wonderful fun in the sand. I recommend going for a visit, particularly if we continue to enjoy the balmy weather we’ve been experiencing over the last few days. Starting at Woodbine Beach and moving east along the boardwalk towards Kew and Balmy Beach, the exhibit is composed of eight art installations, each making use one lifeguard tower as part of its design.
The Winter Stations design competition was launched in 2014, with its first set of winners exhibiting in February 2015. The competition was conceived by RAW Designs, Ferris + Associates, and Curio as a way to reimage Toronto’s most underrated winter attraction, the beach. The inaugural competition saw 5 winners chosen from almost 200 entries originating from 36 countries. This year’s competition saw eight winners pulled from a field of over 350 submissions by Canadian and international designers. In order to qualify, the designs had to make use of a lifeguard stand as an integral part of the structure, be easily buildable and had a construction budget of no more than $10,000. The fun part was that participants didn’t have to be a professional designer or architect to participate, although this year three of the installations were reserved for entries from various design faculties. Some entries have even come from children.
This year’s theme is CATALYST, the substance that facilitates the change of one substance into another. This is particularly fitting as we face the uncertainties that come with the political, social and ecological upheaval that we’ve seen over the past year. Each installation was required to incorporate the concept of transformation into the piece. Whether it is changing Canadian demographics or pollution that fills our lakes and rivers, Winter Stations aims to transform our perceptions much as it aims to transform our hibernating waterfront.
Winter Stations runs from February 20th to March 27th, 2017. Follow the boardwalk east starting at Woodbine beach.