The Living City

Check out the official Living City Exhibition website here

 ‘The Living City’ is a project developed in partnership with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA), Crazy Dames and Evergreen. We invited emerging, mid-career and established artists or artist collectives to work collaboratively with TRCA environmental experts to create new artworks focusing on themes identified in The Living City Report Card - carbon, air quality, water, waste, land use, biodiversity and collaboration. The report card is a progress report on environmental sustainability in the Toronto region and aims to answer three important questions: How are we doing? Where have we excelled? On what issues do we need to work even harder?

This interdisciplinary exhibition is intended to foster dialogue about the issues and potential solutions outlined in The Living City Report Card, inspire innovative and creative thinking about environmental issues and provide an opportunity for artists and environmentalists working within the Toronto region to collaborate.

 ‘The Living City’ exhibition opened November 23rd and ran until December 31st, 2017 at Evergreen Brickworks. It will be heading to Kortright Centre for Conservation, Woodbridge later this spring.

Check out our videos that document the process and purpose here.

Participating Artists

Gustavo Cerquera Benjumea

Air Quality

Bad Air

Gustavo has created an animation that maps out active areas of 'hot spots' of bad air throughout the GTA, which come to life as ghost-like parasitical entities.

Expert partners: 

Christopher Morgan, Air Quality Project Manager City of Toronto

Kevin Behan, Deputy Director, Clean Air Partnership

1:1 Collaborative 

(Astrid Greaves, Carla Lipkin, Lisa Gregory, Sarry Klein)


Aqua Circulus

1:1 created three audio installations spread across Evergreen Brick Works that are representative of Toronto's hidden water systems.

Expert partners:

Angela Wallace, Project Manager, Watershed Reporting, Toronto Region and Conservation Authority

Rehana Rajabli, Senior Engineer, Flood Risk and Communications Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Vivian Wong


Salmo salar: Theonce and future Fish

Vivian hosted workshops with the public and local schools, creating a series of leaping salmon made from reclaimed sail cloth that represent the power of collaboration.

Expert partner:

Ryan Ness, SeniorManager, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Cole Swanson

Land Use


Cole has created an immersive sound installation that aims to embody the complex issue of land use, population growth, and species cohabitation.

Expert partners:

Phinjo Gombu,Director of Project Strategies, The Neptis Foundation

Quentin Hanchard, Associate Director Planning and Development, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority

Gail Fraser, Associate Professor Environmental Biology, York University

Lisa Vanin


Toronto Biotope

Lisa's work is a multi-paneled painting (using acrylic on wood) that asks us to look at our city not as as pace for humans, but as a shared and diverse urban landscape for many lifeforms, raising awareness of our coexistence.

Expert partners:

Dave Ireland, Managing Director of the Centre of Discovery in Biodiversity, Royal OntarioMuseum (ROM)

The biodiversity team at the ROM

Paul Chartrand


Here one day, and the next, and the next...

Paul's sculptural works (made out of found clothing, cement and live flax plants)appear as fossilized textile waste, mysteriously being used to grow flax, which may, in turn, be used to create new, more sustainable clothing.

Expert partner:

Catherine Leighton, Waste Management Coordinator, Partners in Project Green, Toronto Region andConservation Authority

Cat Bluemke


Carbon Connection

Cat asks viewers to interact with her Augmented Reality sculpture to examine various forms of carbon accumulation.

Expert partner:

Ian Klesmer, Policy Advisor The Atmospheric Fund 

Using Format