Cool public art and architecture is a drawing point for many travellers, an educational tool for young visitors and their families. It’s a wonderful way to learn about the world.
Here are some fun artistic and architectural attractions to check out in cities across Canada:
Digital Orca, Vancouver
Douglas Coupland’s Digital Orca is a giant pixelated three-dimensional orca sculpture that makes a lot of people think of Lego. Made from stainless steel and aluminium, the outdoor sculpture of the breaching killer whale was installed in 2009 beside the Vancouver Convention Centre. This is a popular piece of artwork to take a selfie with when you’re visiting Vancouver – equally worthwhile, are the superb views that serve as a backdrop.
Peace Bridge, Calgary
The City of Calgary’s iconic Peace Bridge, spanning 130 metres north-south over the Bow River, connects the northwest Sunnyside neighbourhood with the city’s downtown. Designed by award-winning Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava, the Peace Bridge opened in 2012 and now sees approximately 6,000 users a day. Locals and tourists alike stopping by to have their picture taken in front of the steel bridge, which has quickly become one of Calgary’s most well-known symbols.
Terwillegar Park Footbridge & Royden Mills Sculptures, Edmonton
Edmonton artist Royden Mills has created three new sculptures that have been installed along the Terwillegar Park pathway in Edmonton. The sculptures — Potential, Resonant Point and Beyond Listening – were designed as interactive public artwork that amplifies the natural sounds you’ll hear in the park. Collectively known as Resonant Progression, the sculptures invite people to slow down and listen to nature all around them.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Winnipeg
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights, designed by American architect Antoine Predock, is the first museum dedicated to the evolution, celebration and future of human rights. The first national museum to built outside Canada’s national capital region, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a place for human rights education and discussion, with galleries, guided tours, interactive experiences and programs.
The Canadian Museum for Human Rights is located at The Forks, Winnipeg’s No. 1 tourism destination, situated at the junction of the Red and Assiniboine Rivers, and an absolute must-see to visit when you’re in Winnipeg.
Berczy Park Dog Fountain; and Large Two Forms, Toronto
A really fun new piece of artwork, located in Toronto’s Berczy Park, is the redesigned Berczy Park fountain by Montreal landscape architect Claude Cormier. Located near the St. Lawrence Market behind the historic Gooderham Building on Front Street, the Berczy Park dog fountain features 27 dog sculptures, a giant golden bone, and a cat. Made from cast iron, the three-tier fountain is shaped like a collar and weighs 26,000 pounds. The redesigned fountain is part of a $7.2 makeover of the park, which also includes benches and trees.
And a longtime Toronto favorite is Large Two Forms, a late-Modern bronze sculpture by English artist Henry Moore at the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) downtown. Newly relocated to Grange Park on the museum’s south side, Large Two Forms – an eight-ton classic that kids love climbing on – gives visitors a taste of what’s still to be discovered inside the museum. The AGO has an international reputation for its collection of Henry Moore artwork, with more than 900 sculptures and works on paper.
The relocation of Large Two Forms is part of a $12-million revitalization of Grange Park, which includes an expanded playground with splash pad, an off-leash area, pathways, seating, lighting, fountains, and the planting of 60 trees.