Wind Rose

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. 

PXL_20210921_163359133c.jpg
 
Windrose print_20210908_web.png

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!

Learn about the 2022
XOXO Wind Rose Competition!

IMG_0980.jpg

In August 2022, Fabric of Community was installed on the Wind Rose. This textile-art-based community engagement project and public art installation features crocheted mandalas and over 500 ribbons that embrace and amplify stories and experiences of journeys, arrivals, and legacy. These works have been made by community members who have migratory experience and have settled in North York. 

This project has two components. A total of 136 mandalas were crocheted by eight Latina women living in North York. These individually and collectively produced creations represent the makers’ stories. Also community members were invited to reflect on their experiences of making a home here by drawing, writing, and illustrating colourful ribbons that are tied to the fence. Together they make the phrase “I am right here,” reflecting their individual journey and arrival narratives as part of the collective story of North York. 

 

The project, co-presented by North York Arts, was led by Paola Gomez, with creative co-facilitator, Daniela Arango. The talented crocheters, or “tejedoras,” are: Gladys Agudelo, Margarita Andrade, Daniela Arango, Sandra Cordero, Enny Johana Giraldo, Paola Gomez, Vilma E. Requena, and Blanca Restrepo. Learn more about Community Arts Facilitator, trained human rights lawyer, community organizer, public speaker, writer, and refugee, Paola Gomez here.

BornintheNorth_IMG_5624.gif

The first installation on the Wind Rose featured a set of flags 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 and the local area. Because the flags were positioned at the installation’s northwest, one was white, representing north on the medicine wheel, and one was the black, representing the west. 

 

The white flag depicted a traveller to honour Indigenous people's historic use of this place as an important route for trade and travel. The turtle on the black flag represented the land—Turtle Island—as well as the local wildlife. Its shell referenced a medicine wheel to highlight traditional teachings. The style is reminiscent of petroglyphs from the Eastern Woodlands people.

Learn more about the creators on our Collaborators page and hear from some of them directly on the audio tour.