An invigorating climb to the summit of Downsview Park’s largest mound of earth will be rewarded! On top you’ll find the Downsview Wind Rose: a structure that hosts a changing series of dynamic installations.
Created by Future Simple Studio, the Downsview Wind Rose is a radial network of 32 square arches arranged in a compass-like formation. 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 shown here is specific to the Downsview airport and shows the local area’s prevailing northwest winds.
The square arches provide great potential for installations and have hosted two since the structure was installed in fall 2021. The installations have celebrated the wind, local history, stories of making home, and the Indigenous connections to this place. And more are coming!
The Wind Rose Design Competition
In fall 2022, we called on students and early-career professionals across the GTA to propose new temporary installations for the Downsview Wind Rose. We received proposals from a wide range of ages and creative fields, including graphic, urban, and industrial design, architecture, engineering, landscape architecture, fine arts, and more. During the competition, all teams were offered a site visit, the support of a mentor, and technical guidance from the XOXO team.
Ultimately three winning proposals were selected by a panel of eight jury members.
The winning proposals are:
by Fion Kong, Georgia Sa, & Natalie Ko, University of Toronto
Landing, Take Off celebrates the industrial heritage and biodiversity of Downsview. The forms — 16 panels stretched between the square arches in different shapes and angles — were inspired by the flight of the red tailed hawk and its adaptations to the howling wind.
by Sherri Gallowitz, emerging artist
See You Around celebrates the diverse local community and Downsview Park as a gathering place. It is composed of large-scale photographs of individuals, friends, and families and a series of rainbow flags.
by Zishuo Li & Yifu Ding, OCAD University
Wind Blessing in Red harnesses the power of the wind. The installation is created with long strips of fabric on which wishes are written by community members in a multitude of local languages. It is a celebration of Downsview’s multicultural community and a blessing to all beings around us.