Midtown Toronto is prepping for the return of the Iron Horse to the Kay Gardner Beltline Park Bridge as a permanent public art installation.
The original sculpture was a big hit in 1994 and stood guard over Yonge Street for two years. It references the horses and buggies that would use the bridge before the arrival of the railway.
The project is a partnership between the Midtown Yonge Business Improvement Area (BIA) and the City of Toronto. It’s part of the BIA’s Streetscape Master Plan.
“We are very excited to bring back the much-loved public art installation,” says Jennifer Gittins, board chair of the Midtown Yonge BIA. “It will enhance the bridge that forms the southern gateway to our neighbourhood and will be an iconic marker.”
The sculpture of 12 galloping stallions will be a reminder of the importance the railroad played in the area’s history. It will also bring attention to the beloved trail offering recreational opportunities for residents.
According to the BIA, the new sculpture is made locally using 90 per cent recycled fibreglass and plastic materials to recreate the original. But there are a few modern updates. The new version will be much stronger and easier to maintain. A new solar-powered LED lighting system will softly illuminate the horses and pedestrian pathway, rendering the silhouettes more visible at night.
The official unveiling of the new sculpture will take place on the Kay Gardner Beltline Park Bridge on Nov. 30 at 10 a.m.