I am intrigued by the appearances of some sculpture and public artwork around Burlington. Some, I am familiar with while others seemed to pop out of nowhere. I’ve come across one at the Orchard Community Park. What is it I wonder?
So, I made a mission to explore these spaces – to get to know the artwork, enjoy and appreciate it’s unique beauty. So if you are looking for a scavenger hunt activity, why not search for Burlington’s Public Art? It may be a fun activity for you and your family! If you do, make sure to start early!
Here’s a list of a toolkit that I created for your exploration activity.
My recommendation is to start with a location that is closest to you. If you live North of Queen Elizabeth highway in Burlington, why not start with Norton Community Park and Haber Recreation Centre. For those that live west of Burlington, start with the King Road Underpass. Save the south of Burlington as the last destination as it will be worth your while to sit on the “Louise” bench while enjoying the lake view.
Part one – your trip begins with a visit to the King Rd. Underpass and ends at Palladium Park.
1. King Road Underpass – approximate 1135 King Rd.
Title: Escarpment Evolution
This place is an underpass below the train track. There is no parking hereabouts, but my suggestion is to park at the Ikea Burlington Furniture Pick up Centre. Walk down the ramp on the side street or just enjoy it from far. Next, drive South King Rd. towards Plains Rd. E.
2. Freeman Station – 1285 Fairview St.
Title: Freeman Station
The art is a big black and white mural on the Freeman Station located East of the Burlington Fire Headquarters. At the moment, the old station is undergoing restoration and the public art is behind a fence. Visit the Freeman Station website if you wish to learn more about the old one of a kind train station.
Title: Furled Fronds
Your next destination is Amherst Park, nestled in the middle of the housing area and featuring a community garden. You can see this little park thriving in the Summer months. The artwork is stained glass, epoxy, and a copper mural on the fences. Why not take a picture?
4. Mountainside Recreation Centre – 2205 Mount Forest Dr.
Mountainside Recreation Centre is an arena in the winter and will turn into a hockey floor facility in the summer. It is also an outdoor pool in the Summer. Parking is aplenty here at the back of the building. Depending the time of year, you can whip out the bathing suit or skating shoes that you brought along. Just outside the entrance, you will see round circles stuck on the wall. Hmm, guess what is it? Take a closer look.
5. Ireland Park – 2315 Headon Forest Dr.
Title: Active Living in Burlington
Active Living in Burlington is the theme and title of this next art. It is an acrylic painting on a panel featuring four different landscape of activities of Burlingtonian. While you are at the park, take your baseball glove and ball and play at the diamond field.
The next art is a huge replica of three, 6-metre tall bronze of Orchid sculptures right before the underpass on Upper Middle Road. Due to its location, be sure to park across 4300 Upper Middle Rd. where private business establishments are. 7. Palladium Park – 4130 Palladium Park
Title: Palladium Park Benches
This location marked the end of the first half of your quest. Get some refreshment and snack that you bring along and sit on the designed benches in the park. Take a closer look at the motif on those benches.
Part two – starting from North Burlington, Haber Recreation Community and end your journey at the Spencer Smith Park.
1. Haber Recreation Centre and Norton Community Park – 3040 Tim Dobbie Dr.
Title: Olympia and Walking into the Unknown Tupiq
Haber Recreation Centre first open to the public in 2013. It features eight regional and provincial-level sports facility. Just inside, next to the Sports Square is a red clay brick artwork. Observe the relief and can you tell how many sports type carved on it? As you walk outside towards the parking lot, you may notice a massive colourful mural. Take a step closer and examine it. Which colour do you like and why?
Title: Abundant Joy
The next destination is called Abundant Joy and it is an acrylic mural on a panel with photo transfer. This art is one of my favourites. Take a closer look and tell me what you see on the apples. 3. Nelson Park – 4183 New St.
Artist duo, Hannah and Liam created this watercolour art. It’s printed on vinyl and located at the Port Nelson Park. This small park overlooks the lake Ontario. Plenty of parking here.
4. The labyrinth – approximate 560 Guelph Line (opposite Rotary Youth Centre)
Title: Central Park Labyrinth
Park your car behind the Rotary Youth Centre and walk across to the Labyrinth. A family was already there when I arrived at the location and enjoying the little maze without a wall. Follow the path from beginning till end. Walk slowly, meditatively. Challenge your little one to follow the path without straying. Perhaps a piece of chocolate at the end of the path as an incentive?
Title: Magic Light, Landscape Watchers, The Benevolent Angel and Winged Man
The Central library housed four of the next public art. The first two is in the lobby area, and the other two is on the second floor. Why not take a quiet half hour break here and do some reading?
6. City Hall – 426 Brant St.
Title: Downtown bike racks, Burlington War Memorial, Peace Memorial Statue
By now you are probably exhausted but this will be the last area. Park your car around City Hall. Just behind, North of City Hall building, a WWII statue stood steadfastly. The annual Remembrance Day usually takes place here. I walked by this statue every day. Enter City Hall and head down to the lower lobby where the Peace Memorial Statue stands. As you exit the building, walk west towards Locust St. Oh! Keep an eye on the bike racks too!
7. Burlington Performing Arts Centre – 440 Locust St.
Title: Spiral Stela
Soon enough you will see a spiral sculpture just in front of the Burlington Performing Arts Centre. What does it remind you of? Does it remind you of an obelisk?
Title: Louise, Naval Memorial Monument and The Lady of the Lake.
After saying goodbye to Spiral Stela, walk South towards the lake. Spot the Lady of the Lake. Is the fountain beneath her running? Nor far you will see the Naval Memorial Monument – a bronze statue of a Canadian seaman. Find Louise, while you are near it.
Now that’s a wrap! Reflect back on your day as you sit on “Louise,” enjoying the sunset over the Skyway Bridge and the view of Lake Ontario. Think about your adventure. Think about what arts and culture mean to you. Did you enjoy your hunt? Do you think the public art are beautiful? Did you have fun with your scavenger hunt? So did I!
Share your experience with me. I like to hear what you did differently and if there is anything that I miss. Enjoy your exploration, scavenger hunt or whatever you may call it.