On top of Downsview Park’s tallest mound of earth, 16 square arches are arranged in a compass-like formation. Since fall of last year, this “Wind Rose” has hosted installations that celebrate the wind, local history, stories of making home, and the Indigenous connections to this place.
But what will these arches host next?
We’re calling students and young professionals across the GTA to propose new temporary installations on this structure. Emerging designers are welcome from all creative fields, including graphic, urban, and industrial design, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, fine arts, and more. Applications are encouraged from creative minds of all ages and all ranges of experience.
Teams will be guided by a mentor and given some support to identify materials and refine budgets by the XOXO team. Proposals will be blind judged by a panel of local and city-wide experts.
Three proposals will be selected and installed, each for 10 weeks of public display, with the support of the XOXO Downsview installation team, and funded by local landowners, Canada Lands Company and Northcrest Developments.
The budget for each successful installation is $6,000 (including all taxes). This will cover any and all expenses and fees for the installation works, including material, production, transportation, etc. Each winning team will also receive an honorarium of $2,000.
Deadline for team registration
Additional competition details emailed to teams
On-site orientation and Q&A (2-3:30pm)
Q&A notes posted online
Final digital submissions for jury consideration
due before 11:59pm, including:
Statement of design intent (100 words maximum)
Details of materials and construction and technical specifications (200 words maximum)
Budget, including breakdown of material and replacement costs if needed, to an upper limit of $6000, including all fees related to installation
Up to five renderings, drawings, photos of maquettes, or short videos (of no more than 30 seconds each) showing the proposal
N.B.: More detailed requirements and tech specs will be forwarded to registered teams by email on October 4th.
And if the suggested modes of application do not meet your access needs, feel free to email email@example.com and we will be happy to work with you to create alternate ways to share your idea with us.
Announcement of three winning teams
Installation of first winning design
Installation of second winning design
Installation of the third winning design
Frequently Asked Questions
This competition is an XOXO Downsview project funded by Canada Lands and Northcrest Developments — landowners who are engaging in the redevelopment of about 520 acres of land adjacent to Downsview Park, including the Downsview airfield.
XOXO Downsview is a celebration of public art, culture, and local heritage launched in 2021 in coordination with Toronto's Year of Public Art. It involves dynamic installations, murals, multimedia works, and an audio walking tour on the Downsview Lands and in Downsview Park. The projects aim to bring people together while highlighting local artists and the history and potential of Downsview as a destination and generator of cultural works. In Downsview, there’s a lot to love! Learn more at id8downsview.ca/xoxo
THE DOWNSVIEW REDEVELOPMENT
Next to Downsview Park, lands are being reimagined as complete communities in collaboration with locals, Indigenous rights holders, and the City of Toronto. Arts and culture will be a big part of the future of this place, both in the final neighbourhoods and while planning is underway. Landowners Northcrest and Canada Lands are committed to amplifying the rich local arts scene and exploring how equity and diversity will guide opportunities here over decades to come. You can learn more about the redevelopment at id8downsview.ca
THE DOWNSVIEW WIND ROSE
On top of Downsview Park’s largest mound is the Downsview Wind Rose, created by Future Simple Studio. The structure’s circle of 16 square arches resembles a huge wind rose. A wind rose is a time-honoured tool invented by meteorologists that maps the direction, speed, and frequency of the wind in a specific location. The wind rose for Downsview is specific to the Downsview airport (YZD) and shows the local area’s prevailing northwest winds. Learn more at id8downsview.ca/xoxo-windrose
These arches host a range of installations. The first featured bright blue flags and a couple designed by Chris and Greg Mitchell, Mi'kmaq artists who lead the design studio Born in the North. The work, called “The Turtle and the Traveller,” was based on the history of these lands as an important route for trade and travel. Positioned at the installation’s northwest, one was white, representing north on the medicine wheel, and one black, representing the west.
In August 2022, “Fabric of Community” was installed on the mound. Led by Paola Gomez in partnership with North York Arts, this installation uses fibres and fabrics to share stories of journeys, arrivals, and legacy. It embraces and amplifies the stories and experiences of community members who have migratory experience and settled in North York. The project has two components: crocheted mandalas created by Latina women living in North York and hundreds of colourful ribbons drawn and written on by locals tied to the fence beside the wind rose.
Panels highlighting Downsview stories also feature on the Wind Rose and show the diverse history of this place. Explore Downsview Stories at id8downsview.ca/stories
Participants will be encouraged to visit the site, and get to know XOXO Downsview, id8 Downsview, and this area of North West Toronto. Proposals will be judged in part following the Guiding Principles outlined in the XOXO Workplan found here. Check it out!
Questions about this competition can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please put “Wind Rose Competition” in the subject line.