Art Walking Tour

Approximate distance: 5 km

Approximate time to complete:

  • Walking: 2 hours
  • Cycling: 1 hour
  • Driving: 30 minutes

Most of the grounds are paved or have sidewalks, making access possible by foot, bicycle, wheelchair or vehicle.

1. Princes’ Gates – Winged Victory (1927), Artist: Charles D. McKechnie (1865-1935)
This iconic sculpture topping the triumphal arch of the Princes’ Gates was originally constructed of ‘artificial stone’ made from cement. In 1987, it was replaced with a resin copy due to the severe damage and weathering sustained by the original. The Winged Victory holds a laurel wreath, or ‘hero’s crown’, in her uplifted right hand and a single maple in leaf in her left, a symbol of Canadian independence. She is guarded by four sea horses and flanked by figures representing Exhibition Place’s commitment to progress through industry, education, and the arts.
2. Enercare Centre – Shoreline (1996), Artist: Jerry Clapsaddle (1941-present)
This walkway at the southeast corner of the Enercare Centre consists of 135,000 individually laid paving stones and was commissioned for the newly built National Trade Centre. The best view is from the top of the stairs, looking down and up Princes’ Boulevard. From this vantage point, you can see the expanding and compressing wave made up of six different coloured stones, a metaphor for the lakeshore and the flow of trade on both the lake and through Exhibition Place.
3. Enercare Centre – Hall of Names (1997), Artist: Micah Lexier (1960-present)
Visible through the windows of the Enercare Galleria, but even more spectacular inside, this work is made up of 1000 laser-cut stainless steel names hanging from the ceiling. Each name was chosen through a ‘call for names’ campaign and represent the people who visit the building. Next time you visit, look up! You may spot your own name there. Micah Lexier’s work can also be seen at Metro Hall and Leslie subway station.
4. Heritage Court – Livestock Roundels (1926), Artist: unknown
Made of cast stone, these five roundels and two decorative plaques were originally located on the outside of the Coliseum complex, and were moved to their current location when it was partially demolished between 1995 and 1997. Another livestock roundel from the Coliseum complex - as well as three rams heads keystones – are located in the north-east hallway of the Enercare Centre.
5. BMO Field – Arc of Nations (2007) & Benches (2007), Artist: Stephen Cruise (1949-present)
This two-sided glass mosaic, located over the north entrance to BMO Field, is made up of over 200 tiny FIFA flags representing the international sport of soccer. This artwork, along with 14 granite benches, was commissioned by Exhibition Place to mark the opening of the soccer stadium. The benches are scattered around the perimeters of the soccer venue and feature the artist’s designs (based on the sporting and architectural history of Exhibition Place) laser cut into the granite. An additional 4 were commissioned by Exhibition Place and are installed on the north and south sides of the Beanfield Centre.
6. Food Building (west side) – Fish (1961), Artist: Jean Horne (1914-2007)
Commissioned for the newly constructed Food Building, this group of five flying fish was originally part of a system of pools and waterfalls on the building’s exterior, along with a second set of fish at the south entrance. Jean Horne was a Toronto artist and the first female artist in Canada to use steel welding in sculpture as a part of her body of work. She only created a few public works – most of her work was private – so enjoy this rare experience!
7. BMO Field (west side) – Face Off (1961), Artist: Ronald Satok (1932-2018)
A hockey painting in a soccer stadium?  Some might question this juxtaposition but the painting Face Off is not just about hockey – it’s the epitome of so many sports.  Two teams or two players facing off in the heat of competition – this moment is captured in Ron Satok’s painting inside BMO Field Gate 5 entrance. It was originally located inside the main entrance of the Hockey and Sports Hall of Fame at Exhibition Place, demolished in 2006. Satok also created the glass and tile mosaic Painter’s Eye, located in the north entrance of the Better Living Centre.
8. Queen Elizabeth Theatre (south façade) – Mother & Children (1957), Artist: Frances Loring (1887-1968)
Originally from the Idaho, Frances Loring moved to Toronto in 1912 and shared a studio with another female artist, Florence Wyle. This relief sculpture was created for the newly constructed women’s building, later named the Queen Elizabeth Building. It was cast in polystyrene, a relatively new plastic material at the time which proved to be more permanent and weather resistant than bronze.
9. Better Living Centre (north entrance) – Man above Matter (1963), Artist: Arthur Donald Price (1918-2008)
This 25-foot cast bronze sculpture originally stood in front of the Coliseum’s entrance and was moved to the Better Living Centre in 1997. A committee of City of Toronto and CNE officials and the architects of the new Coliseum façade selected Price’s design from seven submissions. It consists of 300 separate mold pieces and features banners with objects representing the activities held within the Coliseum, including a horse, cob of corn, and cowboy hat.
10. Better Living Centre (west side) – 83 Sculpture (1968), Artist: Ronald Baird (1940-present)
This steel sculpture was built on site by sculptor Ron Baird who was commissioned by the House of Seagram for the 1968 CNE.  The 26-foot high sculpture was originally built in front of the Art Gallery and at a later date relocated to the west side of the Better Living Centre. It is titled 83 after Seagram’s 83 Canadian Whiskey, the most popular brand of whiskey in 1968.
11. Rose Garden – Shriners’ Peace Memorial (1930), Artist: Charles Keck (1875-1951)
The Shriners' Peace Memorial was dedicated in June 1930 during a convention of the Ancient Arabic Order of the Nobles of the Mystic Shrine (Shriners) to commemorate nearly a century of peaceful relations between Canada and the United States.  Located on the site where it was believed American troops landed during the War of 1812, the winged figure, the Goddess of Peace, stands with her arms upraised and holds aloft two olive branches, facing the mouth of the Niagara River.