Conversation Pieces: Totem Poles
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Conversation Pieces: Totem Poles

Photo by Brian McLachlan.

Toronto is home to a cornucopia of public art. Some of the pieces acknowledge an individual’s greatness or are inspired by their surroundings; others are installed when developers want to exceed the height or density for which their building is zoned—the public art is a trade-off for being allowed a site-specific change in the rules. In each installment of Conversation Pieces we’ll look at several artworks devoted to the same theme, and consider what makes public art succeed or fail.

Today: totem poles. Click on the image above to go on a tour of some of the major ones in Toronto.

CORRECTION: October 14, 10:45 p.m. This post originally misspelled the name of artist Charles Heit (Ya’Ya Axgagoodiit). The correct name now appears.