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Yorkville Plaza construction site becomes a place for artists to shine

A new installation from artists Daniel Borins and Jennifer Marman has dramatically changed the walk down Avenue Road in Toronto's Yorkville neighbourhood.

Their new artwork was unveiled Wednesday morning on Avenue Road and Cumberland Street, inspired by prominent art movements in history: landscape painting, 1960s abstract and contemporary Day-Glo. It wraps around the future site of Yorkville Plaza, expected to be completed in 2014.

A 2011 campaign by Kristyn Wong-Tam, Toronto Centre-Rosedale city councillor, resulted in a requirement that condo developers put public art on hoarding boards around building sites. Developers must agree to do this, at their own expense, before their application is accepted.

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David Feldman of Camrost-Felcorp Inc., the development company behind the Yorkville Plaza, said the approximate payment from the company to the artists and those involved in the installation's fabrication was between $15,000 and $30,000.

The installation is almost 34 feet long by 8 feet tall and was worked on for almost three months by Mr. Borins and Ms. Marman. Mr. Borins said one of his favourite things about it is that it offers different views; it jumps out from across the street but shows detail up close. He said he and Ms. Marman have fond memories of visiting art galleries in the area as children and inspiration for the project was drawn from the neighbourhood itself.

"We were thinking about all the remarkable transformations that are happening in Toronto and this city that's energetic and vibrant," he said.

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