Immersive experience showcases over 70 outdoor public art pieces in downtown Toronto
ArtWalk 2.0, launched by Toronto Downtown West BIA, features more than 70 artworks and six augmented reality experiences.
Toronto Downtown West BIA, which is home to the Entertainment District, recently publicly launched ArtWalk 2.0— an initiative combining art and technology meant to create an exploration of the area’s pieces of outdoor public art.
ArtWalk 2.0 builds upon the original online map and self-guided walking tour introduced in 2021. It now includes an audio feature for over 70 artworks and introduces six augmented reality experiences. These experiences encompass iconic downtown Toronto artworks and structures, such as the CN Tower, created by diverse artists from Canada and beyond.
ArtWalk 2.0 is open to both art enthusiasts and newcomers to art exploration, and it’s completely free. It offers an immersive and multi-sensory journey that introduces a fresh dimension to the city’s art scene.
“ArtWalk 2.0 creates an experience where residents and visitors alike can connect with the district’s rich concentration of art and history. It encourages dialogue, ignites curiosity, and transforms Toronto’s downtown into an interactive cultural playground,” said Dana Duncanson, director, marketing & communications, Toronto Downtown West BIA. “With support from our partners at Exar Studios and funding from the Government of Canada’s Tourism Relief Fund, ArtWalk represents our commitment to promote, improve and preserve art and culture initiatives in the city.”
“Artwalk 2.0 showcases Toronto’s commitment to celebrating public art, fostering cultural dialogue, and using technology positively to connect more deeply to our communities,” said Ausma Malik, first deputy mayor and councillor, Spadina-Fort York, Ward 10. “Public art shapes every neighbourhood’s character and sparks reflection, conversation, and appreciation among residents and visitors alike.”
ArtWalk 2.0 is designed to offer an immersive and informative experience that enhances one’s appreciation of the art pieces scattered throughout Toronto’s Downtown West.
Those who are interested in the experience may download the Engage Art app on an iPhone or Android smartphone from YourExperienceAwaits.ca/arts or the app store.
Once the app is downloaded, users may explore six distinct ArtWalk “outings” specially curated to showcase the art in unique ways. After selecting the desired outing, plug in earphones and begin the walking adventure.
The audio tour provided by the app goes beyond just describing the art. It also offers insights into the artists behind the creations and delves into the historical and cultural context surrounding each work of art.
These outings are aptly named after the augmented reality pieces featured within each route. When reaching the designated locations of these art pieces or buildings, users may open the Engage Art app, and hold up their phones. They will then be treated to augmented reality visual overlays that bring new life into the artworks and merge art and technology.
Five of the six augmented reality stops are currently available, and they include the CN Tower, featuring the Butterfly mural by artist Jo Lalonde (the ChalkChick) located at 290 Bremner Boulevard, Dream House, created by artists Vong Phaophanit and Claire Oboussier Situated at 14 York Street, ÏCE Condominiums at York Centre, Glenn, a work by artist Ruth Abernethy Found at 250 Front Street West, in front of the CBC building. The Poet, The Fever Hospital, by artist Bernie Miller Located at 215 King Street West, David Pecaut Square an Triad, created by artist Ted Bieler Situated at 123 Front Street West.
Additionally, one final augmented reality experience will be launched on September 23 as part of Toronto’s Nuit Blanche celebrations. This addition will be featured at 401 Richmond Street West.
For more information on the ArtWalk experience, click here.