New Public Artwork Commemorates Toronto’s Shoreline

Shoreline Commemorative by Paul Raff Studio

Located in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence neighbourhood, The Berczy, a boutique collection of urban residences, unveils its new public artwork on Wednesday, December 10th, 2014. Artist and architect Paul Raff will join developers Concert Properties, Ward 28 Councillor Pam McConnell, and The Berczy residents to celebrate the new Shoreline Commemorative.

The artwork’s location, south of Front Street on the west side of Church Street, was the site of Lake Ontario’s shoreline for thousands of years. The artwork has a sculpted limestone base evoking the original topography of the city’s edge. Its focus is a glowing glass orb set on a bronze tripod, which acts as a dense glass rendition of the line separating sky and water. The tripod reminds passerbys of the surveyors’ instrumentation of the line of sight, an important tool in creating the city. The brick wall to the south is inscribed with the text: “For 10,000 years this was the location of Lake Ontario’s shoreline. This brick wall stands where water and land met, with a vista horizon.” These elements, as an ensemble, present a summary of the experience of being on the shoreline with the horizon view open to open water, an experience formerly available at this exact location.

Artist Paul Raff describes, Shoreline Commemorative as “a special addition to the city, a landmark and unique situation for pedestrians to discover in the urban landscape.”

Other noteworthy public artworks by Paul Raff and his studio include Mirage, a large scale mirror-like artwork suspended overhead of pedestrians at Underpass Park, and Regina Gateway, a monumental sculptural public artwork that acts as a gateway into the City of Regina (in collaboration with Jyhling Lee).