Land Acknowledgement
The City of Toronto acknowledges that what we now call Toronto is on the traditional territory of many nations including the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Anishnabeg, the Chippewa, the Haudenosaunee and the Wendat peoples and is now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit and Métis peoples. The City also acknowledges that Toronto is covered by Treaty 13 signed with the Mississaugas of the Credit, and the Williams Treaties signed with multiple Mississaugas and Chippewa bands.

Call to Artists
The City of Toronto, StreetARToronto invites artists to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) to participate in The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project, one of several projects to celebrate Toronto’s 2021 Year of Public Art on the theme Knowledge Sharing Across Communities. The goal of this Request for Expression of Interest (REOI) is to obtain a roster of artists, from which a group will be selected and compensated to create a detailed design concept for the Lansdowne Underpass Art Project.

StreetARToronto (StART) is a suite of innovative programs intentionally designed to showcase, celebrate and support street, mural and graffiti artists and art throughout Toronto, create a more welcoming environment and a greater sense of belonging for residents and visitors, and reinforce Toronto's reputation as a global centre of creativity and innovation.

StART programs and projects are rooted in a set of values that demonstrate the positive and powerful impacts of diversity and inclusion, foster community engagement and civic pride, add colour and vitality to neighbourhoods, encourage active transportation, showcase Toronto artists and contribute to their skills development, mentor emerging talent, and create opportunities for positive engagement among diverse communities, residents, business owners and operators, artists and arts organizations.

StreetARToronto is committed to creating value through art with meaning, from artists' entry onto the street art scene with access to micro-grants and small canvases, all the way to large scale local and international commissions and so much more. StreetARToronto is an initiative of the City of Toronto, Transportation Services Division.

We encourage submissions from artists that represent the full diversity of communities, including complexities of intersecting identities such as ability, age, class, gender, race, sexual orientation and more. We thank all applicants for their time and interest in this call.

Indigenous, Black, and People of Colour (I’BPOC) artists will be given priority in consideration.

How to Apply - Submission Requirements

  • Online: Complete the fillable form below (Submittable)
  • Video: Send your video response to the REOI questions by uploading your video to WeTransfer and submit to with the subject heading “Lansdowne Underpass Art Project REOI” or share the link to your video that is hosted on a cloud platform.
  • Voice recording or audio file: Share the link to your file that is hosted on a cloud platform (e.g. YouTube, Vimeo, etc.) or send your mp3 file response to the REOI questions by uploading your video to WeTransfer and submit to with the subject heading “Lansdowne Underpass Art Project REOI”.
  • By Phone or zoom: To respond to the REOI by phone or in person, call StreetARToronto Project Lead, Jason Campbell at 416-392-1936 to schedule a time for your conversation. You will be asked to respond to the questions PDF in the REOI.

Other: Applicants with questions about the process or who require assistance completing the submission are encouraged to reach out to

For further information or general questions, please contact: 

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Project Background

In 2019, local artist Bareket Kezwer, in partnership with StART, hosted a series of 8 workshops in Ward 4 (Parkdale-High Park) and Ward 9 (Davenport) to gather community input to inform the development of the Lansdowne Underpass Art Project. She has stayed in touch with the groups—the Adult ESL class that meets at the Parkdale Public Library and gardens in the Milky Way, members of Parkdale Activity and Recreation Centre, WEST Neighbourhood House Youth Art Group, Xpace Cultural Centre, Students for a Free Tibet Canada, Parkdale Collegiate Institute, the Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre Youth Council and the CLASP group at Masaryk-Cowan Community Centre—to share information about the project and community opportunities related to it.

On February 10, 2020, StART and Kezwer hosted an open community engagement session at Lula Lounge. The event was publicized through the newsletters of Councillor Ana Bailao, Ward 9 Davenport, and Councillor Gord Perks, Ward 4 Parkdale-High Park, as well as to local artists, all the groups who participated in summer workshops and additional community groups. During the evening, community members and local artists connected in the space and participated in creative brainstorming and conversation about the future of the site.

Project Rationale
The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project, will transform the east side of the Lansdowne Underpass, south of Dundas Street West with a collection of murals that share first-person perspective stories that speak to the rich ongoing history of the site as home to many diverse plant and animal species and cultural communities, beginning with the Indigenous peoples of Tkaronto and Turtle Island. The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project aims to create a collaborative artwork that honours this site by telling stories of those who have and continue to live on, play on, build community on, struggle on, learn from, grow in, paint, immigrate to, contribute to, and tend to this land. Indigenous artists are encouraged to submit concepts that celebrate their ancestral and ongoing stewardship as traditional keepers of the land and protectors of water.

The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project aspires to include works that represent the diverse cultures, languages and heritage of street, mural and graffiti artists from the communities that have settled in Ward 4 and Ward 9 over the centuries. Artists from the Black community,  Indigenous communities, the Tibetan community, the Portuguese community, the Tamil community, the Roma community, the Polish community, and many others are encouraged to apply with their concepts that explore their unique identity. The project aims to create an artwork that shares knowledge across communities and celebrates people coming together through compassion, cooperation, a shared sense of belonging and pride of place.

Selected artists will be asked to consider Dyan Marie’s 1992 public art installation on the underpass. As part of the City’s public art program, Dyan Marie created a sculpture that transformed the space into a passage of discovery. A series of subtle inlaid forms were installed along the walkway so that the artwork is offered as a process of finding, of making accidental discoveries that create a sense of personal experience, embedded in a certain place. The Lansdowne Underpass Art Project is meant to hold a conversation with Dyan Marie’s work and intentions.

Artist Selection Process
StART is administering an open process that begins with this call to local artists to submit an Expression of Interest including examples of past work for consideration. This call is being widely distributed through StART social media channels, local networks, call for submission websites, local organizations, and by a project facilitator from the community and through direct emails.

All submissions will be reviewed by an external project Advisory Committee. Thirty (30) artists who best meet the criteria, as evaluated by the Advisory Committee, will be invited to develop a proposal for a section of the east side of the Lansdowne Avenue Underpass. The shortlisted artists will be provided technical details of the site as well as additional thematic guidance based on community feedback and will be paid a design fee of $250 to prepare their submission.

All the submissions will be on display online, in a format where community members can share feedback. Shortlisted Artists should be prepared to respond to community feedback to further guide their work and provide an opportunity for community input into their design. The final submissions will be reviewed by the Advisory Committee and twenty (20) designs will be recommended for implementation based on their fit for the community, alignment with the guiding themes and principles identified for the site, and the degree to which they have given thoughtful consideration to constructive feedback gathered from the community.

Advisory Committee
Advisory Committee members are convened for their expertise; knowledge of the participating communities and its residents and businesses; knowledge of the project’s mandate; and lived knowledge of Indigenous art, artists and Indigenous ways of knowing and being. The Selection Committee is composed of two external local arts professionals, three local artists, a representative from a local community organization and a member of an Indigenous community. A representative from StART and from the local Councillors’ offices will be in attendance to answer program and technical questions.

Submissions will be evaluated based on the following criteria.

  • Past work demonstrates Artist's capacity to deliver a high-quality project of similar size and scope
  • Demonstrated ability to plan, manage and meet project timelines and budget while achieving success at executing art projects of a similar scale
  • Proven capacity to engage and collaborate with the local community in concept development and final artwork rendering:
  • Connection to local community
  • Completeness and clarity of submission package

Toronto-based artists who have completed or assisted on a project with a similar scale and scope are eligible to apply. Artists must have experience in street art design and implementation and appropriate health and safety training or a willingness to acquire this if selected.

Production details
The site will be primed in advance of the painting. Lift equipment will be organized by StART. Acrylic and aerosol paint will be supplied.

Selected artists will be paid $1250-$1750 based on the square footage of their assigned space.

Each artist will receive at minimum 1 section of the underpass wall. There are 31 sections in total. Please see the attached PDF with more details about the site. If selected, you will be notified how many sections and the exact dimensions of your assigned space and will be expected to adjust your design to fit the specific dimensions of your space. Artists are required to collaborate with their neighbouring artists to create a thoughtful transition between their pieces.

Production is planned for the spring or summer of 2021.

Artist Responsibilities
Short-listed artists will be required to:

  • Ensure that their proposed artwork responds to the project’s theme;
  • Indicate how the proposed artwork reflects community input;
  • Submit a final art proposal for Advisory Committee review by the stated deadline;

Selected artists will be required to:

  • Consider community feedback to further guide or refine their proposal;
  • Adhere to all safety measures outlined in the installation process
  • Keep their workspace clean
  • Be respectful of the local community, participating artists, City staff and their designates
  • Have the appropriate fall arrest certification.

StreetARToronto (StART) comprises a suite of innovative programs specifically designed for streets and public spaces. StART programs encourage active transportation (walking and cycling), make our streets more inviting and safe, reduce overall infrastructure maintenance costs, showcase local artists, mentor emerging talent, and create opportunities for positive engagement among residents, business owners and operators, artists, and arts organizations.  Individually and collectively StART murals are designed to celebrate the City of Toronto motto "Diversity Our Strength" and foster a greater sense of belonging among all.  StART welcomes and actively seeks out partners for initiatives that support program objectives and works closely with partnership staff in other City divisions and agencies and supports City partnership activities.

When preparing your application, please consider that StreetARToronto is seeking a wide geographic distribution of projects that are led by a variety of artists and organizations.  Please note that artists and organizations may not receive funding for multiple projects in a given year.

If you are a first-time applicant to the StreetARToronto Partnership Program it is strongly recommended to reach out to the StART Team prior to submitting your application.

The City of Toronto is committed to creating an accessible City and building an inclusive society while providing an accessible environment in which all individuals have access to the City’s services and programs in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities. The City affirms its commitment to meet the requirements of the Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2001 (ODA)Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act, 2005 (AODA) and the Ontario Human Rights Code. 

Any questions relating to the application process can be sent to

Your application is saved automatically as you fill it out. Press "Apply" at the end of this form to submit your application. You will receive a confirmation e-mail once your application has been successfully submitted.

Note: Data loss may result from multiple users logging into a single account and editing simultaneously.

StreetARToronto (StART) programs and projects are designed to celebrate the City of Toronto motto "Diversity Our Strength" and foster a greater sense of belonging among all.  StART welcomes and actively seeks out partners for initiatives that support program objectives and works closely with partnership staff in other City divisions and agencies and supports City partnership activities.


In partnership with the City of Toronto's StreetARToronto Program, The Little Portugal on Dundas BIA invites artists to submit proposals to participate in the Rooster of Barcelos Project located in Little Portugal.  This Artist Call is Stage 1 of a Two-Stage selection process (Stage 1. Artist Call/Proposal, Stage 2. Final Design Proposal).

The Municipality of Barcelos has donated a rooster sculpture to the City of Toronto and is represented by Councillor Ana Bailao.  The Rooster of Barcelos (Portuguese, "Galo de Barcelos") is one of the most common symbols of Portugal.

The Barcelos Rooster, commonly called the Portuguese Rooster, is said to be the embodiment of the Portuguese love of life. As the unofficial symbol of Portugal, you can find this emblem in many forms in every local shop and especially gift shops. This national symbol is mostly found in its typical ceramic form as well as embroidered on towels and aprons. Other souvenirs include key-chains, paperweights, and other popular tourism gifts. The Barcelos Rooster is always vividly coloured and is said to represent the embodiment of the famous Portuguese love of life.

A legend is told in a town called Barcelos, Portugal about a traveller who was pardoned from a crime he did not commit when the judge saw his chicken dinner turn into a beautiful rooster crowing for the traveller’s pardon! In 1934, a local Barcelos artisan named Domingos Cotas was the first to originate the clay figure of a rooster with a big red comb and decorated with hearts and flowers. “O Galo de Barcelos” has become the unofficial symbol of Portugal and its people’s great optimism and love of life.

The project will result in the creation of Rooster of Barcelos in Toronto sculpture to be designed and painted and displayed in the community.

This Call is specifically to request proposals for the design of the Rooster which will eventually be located on Lakeview Avenue Parkette -Northwest Corner of Dundas St West and Lakeview Ave (1212 Dundas Street West)

As part of the Rooster of Barcelos Toronto art call, the Little Portugal on Dundas BIA has identified themes.  The themes developed through this process form the basis of this art call and are included below.

Guiding Themes

All around the world the rooster is considered an important symbol. It stands for pride, hope, a new day, fertility,  resurrection and as well as other cultural meanings.

In this call, the meaning and symbology of the rooster will be explored in two main ideas or guiding themes. Submissions can respond to one or both.

The first is related to the universal meaning of the rooster as a symbol of the sun. The second is intimately related to the legend of the “Galo de Barcelos” or the Barcelos Rooster.

Theme One

New beginning, Hope, Optimism and Good luck

The Rooster represents the sun, light and hope. As an announcer of the new day, the rooster embodies the active side of life. It means that the night has passed and there is a bright, brand new, and hopeful day awaiting you.

Along with the light of the morning, the rooster also brings good news and good luck!

Isn’t it what we all need now? After such a difficult past year, don’t we all aim to have a rooster illuminating our lives and bringing us a new beginning full of hope and good luck?

Theme Two

The legend: Honesty, integrity, trust, honour and also Good Luck!

Based on its legend, the Portuguese rooster, or “Galo de Barcelos” in Portuguese, is a symbol of honesty, integrity, trust, and honour. It is also an unofficial symbol of the country. Portuguese families traditionally have a Barcelos Rooster in their kitchen as it is said to bring good luck.  The legend is so old that no one knows exactly how it started. Moreover, there are many versions of it. The most common version relates that a pilgrim from Galicia was passing through Barcelos on his way to São Tiago do Compostela in Spain.

The pilgrim was arrested and accused of a crime that he did not commit but did not have the means to prove his innocence. A judge condemned him to death by hanging.  Before he was to be hanged, the pilgrim asked to appear in front of the judge one final time to proclaim his innocence. The judge, who was dining with friends, granted this request to appear. The pilgrim once again declared his innocence, then pointed to a roasted rooster on the table and said, “As sure as I am innocent, so will that rooster crow!”

The judge ordered his immediate execution. As the pilgrim was about to be hanged in the gallows, the dead rooster stood up on the table and crowed. The judge set the pilgrim free immediately and the pilgrim continued on his pilgrimage in peace. Some years later he returned to the town of Barcelos and built a monument in honour of São Tiago and the Virgin Mary.


The purpose of this call is to gather a list of artists or artist collaborations who will be short-listed based on relevant professional credentials and preliminary design concepts. Shortlisted artists will be contacted by March 5, 2021 and will receive an honorarium ($1500) to develop a final design concept, budget and material list as well as paint a mock-up version on a smaller scale rooster.  Final designs will be presented online to community members and to the Little Portugal on Dundas BIA on April 8, 2021.

Please note that we only require the proposal in written form (500 words max) and documentation of past works at this stage in the process. This will include:

• Artist Contact information

• Maximum 500-word description of the design proposal 

• Short bio including past experience working on projects of a similar nature and scale (Max 300 words)

• CV (2 pages maximum)

• Contact information for 2 references

• Maximum 6 images of past work (jpeg format 72 dpi, dimensions of 1024 pixels on longest side - approx. 500 KB) 

• Preliminary budget template

Final Designs will be required from shortlisted artists in Stage 2. 

Please note: Ongoing maintenance will be a consideration in the shortlisting process and Final Design call. 

A. Eligibility Requirements:

Artists located within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA)

B. Project Partners:

Project delivery is being coordinated by the Little Portugal on Dundas BIA in collaboration with StreetARToronto.

StreetARToronto (StART) programs and projects are designed to celebrate the City of Toronto motto "Diversity Our Strength" and foster a greater sense of belonging among all.  StART welcomes and actively seeks out partners for initiatives that support program objectives and works closely with partnership staff in other City divisions and agencies and supports City partnership activities.

The Little Portugal on Dundas BIA

A New Beginning!

It’s a time of rebirth and renewal on Dundas Street West!  Building on previous projects that have successfully supported area beautification, safety and economic development, Dundas West and Little Portugal on Dundas BIAs have joined to create one larger Business Improvement Area stretching from Shaw Street to the CNR tracks, just west of Lansdowne Avenue.

Consulate General of Portugal in Toronto

C. Project Site and Sculpture Scale


Lakeview Avenue Parkette -Northwest Corner of Dundas St West and Lakeview Ave (1212 Dundas Street West)

Rooster Dimensions:

•     Height - 2.80m

•     Base Radius - 1.30m

•     Width between wings - 1.15m

•     Distance between the front of the cock and the tail - 1.90m

•      Total Weight: + - 100Kg

(Above Rooster: example only)

D. Overall Project Deliverables

Overview of final project deliverables and artist responsibilities are as follows:

  • The final product shall be a creative installation that is durable and requires minimal maintenance over a five-year period.
  • Sculpture may be painted on location however budget consideration for painted in the artist's studio should be included.
  • Please note the Call Out is for painted proposals only - no other materials will be accepted. The selected artist(s) will be responsible for submitting a paint order as well as any other painting materials required.
  • Short-listed artist candidates will meet all deadlines as outlined in Section I: (Competition Schedule) and a work plan will need to demonstrate how the project will be completed on time, within budget, in compliance with all applicable health and safety regulations including COVID19 safe distancing and related practices.

E. Budget

The street art project estimated budget will be determined at the start of Stage 2: Final Design which will include site preparation, design, installation, drawings, permits (if required), insurance, artist fees, maintenance plan and applicable taxes. Shortlisted artists will be required to submit a detailed budget with their final proposal.

Please note that the final dimensions, location and budget will be discussed in detail in Stage 2 and are subject to revision.

F. Selection Criteria for Artist Proposals (Responses to Artist Call)

The following evaluation criteria will be used in Stage One of the selection process:

  • Demonstrated excellence of past work in projects of similar size and scope.  25%
  • How the applicant meets the objectives of the call, including responding to the guiding themes and principles and relationship/relevance to the local community. 20%
  • Aesthetic potential for the proposal and whether it is appropriate for the large space and public environment in which it will be installed: 25%
  • Overall quality, clarity and cohesiveness of presentation package and painted rooster and its content: 20%
  • Project Budget and feasibility, including any proven capacity to complete the work on time and on budget: 10%

G. Competition Schedule

  • Deadline for submission of artist proposal - February 8
  • Notification of shortlisted artists - March 5
  • Final Designs submitted - April 5
  • Online Consultation Period - April 8- April 26
  • Gallery displays - April 8-June 5
  • Final Selection Committee meeting - June 10
  • Notification of successful artist - June 11
  • Preparation - June 14-21
  • Painting Schedule - June 21-August 6
  • Photos and promotion - Aug 9-30
  • Final launch celebration - September TBA

H: How to Apply

Submissions must be completed and submitted on the online Submittable form


Delivered on a USB key or CD as one PDF document containing all of the above information saved as "First name_Last name Rooster Of Barcelos: Toronto " and delivered to:

Little Portugal on Dundas BIA

1457 Dundas St W

Toronto, ON

M6J 1Y7


By February 8 no later than 11:59 pm. Submissions will not be accepted past the deadline.

For further information or general questions, please contact: 

Natalie Roth, Curator


Anabela Taborda, Chair at Little Portugal on Dundas West

Rita Tavares, Cultural Attaché at the Embassy of Portugal;