Use your construction hoarding as public art – with amazing results


By Emmy Cao

Construction hoarding is a critical asset – it’s a key piece of real estate that supports the project’s brand but also communicates your corporate philosophy.

It’s time to think strategically about this very public statement.

At Greenland’s Lakeside Residences development in Toronto’s East Bayfront, we had the opportunity to reimagine hoarding as a public art piece, with amazing results.

We partnered with PATCH, a social enterprise initiative to join public art projects with city development, which connected Greenland with Toronto muralist and designer Pam Lostracco to design the hoarding at Lakeshore Blvd. E. and Lower Sherbourne.

Reflections of the past

Our partnership with PATCH was a natural extension to Greenland’s commitment to supporting local arts and culture. Greenland has also been building on a legacy of art with the mural hoarding installation at our King Blue site. It was an easy decision to continue our pledge to public art with the installation of the Lakeside Residences hoarding in this emerging eastside neighbourhood.

The mural, Reflections, tells the story and history of the Toronto waterfront area while offering a glimpse of the neighbourhood’s future. The inclusion of the historic Redpath Sugar Factory pays homage to Toronto’s industrial past, while the mural gives passersby a window into what the skyline will look like once construction is complete.

Visual hoardings can bring positive attention to a development, minimizing the negative stigma that sometimes comes with ongoing construction, especially in large urban centres. Murals and art can add vibrancy to the site, turning an eyesore into an attraction, and even creating anticipation for what’s to come.

Strategic thinking

Throughout the process, we learned that when contemplating a mural or visual hoarding for a space, ensure that the chosen design is appropriate year-round, to accommodate changing seasons for an ever-evolving site. A beach scene may seem like a great idea when the hoarding is slated to be removed by September but will be out of place if it remains into the winter. Installation costs make it challenging to change the display multiple times, so it’s important to invest strategic thinking in choosing the right message and image.

Keep the weather in mind, too. Reflections is printed on aluminum, allowing snow and rain to run off the hoarding. Those in a more moderate climates might consider an alternative material, better suited for the conditions.

Ensuring that the artist and your team are aware of all legal protocols is also crucial. For example, hoarding and signage permits need to be obtained and public art vision and signage permits need to be approved from the ward counsel. In addition, marketing content should not exceed 50 per cent of the entire hoarding.

Greenland’s artistic hoarding at Lakeside Residences involved some additional thought, but the end result was absolutely worth it. We consider Reflections to be a gift to purchasers, the community and city as a whole, and we wholeheartedly encourage our peers to find creative ways to contribute to the urban landscape by improving construction hoarding across the GTA.

Reflections can be seen at the preconstruction site of the Lakeside Residences, a multi-tower, Hariri Pontarini Architects-designed condo development, at 215 Lakeshore Blvd. E. For more information call 416-968- 9196 or visit

Emmy Cao is Assistant Manager, Sales and Marketing, Greenland.