In photos: Ice Breakers winter art exhibition on the waterfront

Five installations have taken over Queens Quay West, including one designed by a group of architecture students from Ryerson University


In the winter months, no one wants to go outside, especially after the polar vortex cold snap hit Toronto so hard.

In an effort to draw people out of the house and down to the waterfront, art installation competition Winter Stations, the Waterfront Business Improvement Area and Ports­Toronto have joined forces to present Ice Breakers, an interactive winter art exhibit.

This year’s exhibition features five installations – four winners from an international design competition and one by a student team. Teams from Hamburg, Germany, and Athens, Greece, and two teams from Toronto exhibit alongside a team comprising Ryerson University architectural science students Tatiana Estrina, Thomas Gomez Ospina, Vivian Kinuthia, Zeenah Mohammed Ali, Florencio IV Tameta and Gloria Zhou.

The challenge asked designers to respond to the theme Signal Transmission.

“Signal Transmission may be approached as an exploration of data, digital and analog communication, including the various modes and codes involved,” says Justin Ridgeway, a Winter Station co-founder who is responsible for the competition brief each year. “It may also veer into the realm of biology, ecology and sociology. Simply, Signal Transmission is about how humans and other species speak – to each other and to our selves, internally.”  

The Ryerson team’s response is the installation Tripix, which examines how people transmit signals through social media.

“As architecture students we acknowledge that much of architecture is no longer experienced in person, but rather through various forms of social media,” the team said in an email statement. “Therefore we designed Tripix not only to invite visitors to engage with its spatial properties but to interact with the sculpture in the virtual realm.”

At first glance Tripix may blend in with the waterfront, but if you take “a closer look you realize it’s quite intricate and complex.”

In the inside of the installation, visitors see themselves superimposed on the Toronto landmarks visible on reflective panels at the very top.

“It almost asks viewers to slow down and take a closer look, in hopes of brightening their day,” the team said. “[Maybe we can] draw more people outside to enjoy the city despite the seasonal sadness we might be feeling during this cold, cold winter!”

Ice Breakers runs until February 24 at HTO Park (339 Queens Quay West). Check out more photos below.

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Samuel Engelking

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Samuel Engelking

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Samuel Engelking

Stellar Spectra by Rob Shostak and Dionisios Vriniotis (Toronto, Canada)

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Samuel Engelking

Chroma Key Protest by Andrew Edmundson of Solve Architects Inc. (Toronto, Canada)

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Samuel Engelking

Connector by Alexandra Griess and Jorel Heid (Hamburg, Germany)

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