Finalists named for Winter Stations 2022 art installations on Woodbine Beach

S'winter Station from Ryerson University is seen in image above. The finalists for the Winter Stations 2022 art installation on Woodbine Beach have been named.

The six art installations that will make up the Winter Stations 2022 exhibit along Woodbine Beach have been selected.

They are ENTER-FACE (from Turkey); Wildlife-guard Chair (from Canada and France); THE HIVE (from Canada); S’winter Station (Ryerson University); Introspection (University of Toronto); and One Canada (University of Guelph).

Winter Stations began in 2015 as a way to highlight the beauty of the Eastern Beaches and make them a destination point for outdoor art installations during the winter. The artworks are set up at the lifeguard stations along Woodbine Beach, and each year an international competition receives entries connected to that year’s Winter Stations’ theme.

In 2021, winners had been selected for the art installations but they were not put up over the winter on the beach due to COVID-19. However, some of them were later displayed along Queen Street East in the summer thanks to The Beach BIA.

Given all that the world has gone through over the past two years, the theme for Winter Stations 2022 was Resilience.

“Designers were asked to celebrate the ability of people to withstand and push through challenging and unprecedented times,” said the Winter Stations press release announcing the 2022 winners.

“This year, artists were asked  to not only reflect on all the ways people have had to be resilient, but the ways people have channeled this resilience, be it through communities, movements, support networks and more.”

This year’s Winter Stations will take place along Woodbine Beach starting on the Family Day long weekend in February and continuing through until the end of March. That is, of course, “pending any unforeseen COVID restrictions”.

The founder of Winter Stations, Roland Rom Colthoff, said he was “overjoyed” that the art installations would be back on Woodbine Beach this year.

“It’s great to be able to offer Torontonians a distanced and safe event to look forward to this winter. Whether it’s your first time seeing the exhibits, or you’re returning for another year, we hope you enjoy the installations that artists and designers from around the world worked so hard to create,” he said in the press release.

With Resilience as the theme, this year’s Winter Stations also recognizes the impact of the pandemic on East Toronto and particularly shelter residents. One of the installations has been dedicated to the women and gender diverse individuals who lived at the YWCA’s temporary emergency shelter on Queen Street East in the Beach for most of last year and a good part of 2020.

“After reviewing the winning stations, residents and staff (at the YWCA emergency shelter) were drawn to THE HIVE, because of its vibrant colours and how it represents resilience and hope in building community in unprecedented times,” said the press release.

For 2022, Winter Stations will also be expanding its footprint beyond Toronto. The installation Wildlife-guard Chair will debut in early February at Hamilton’s Winterfest on Pier 8, before heading east to Woodbine Beach for Family Day.

Winter Stations was first launched by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio in 2015. Over the years it has become immensely popular with both local residents and visitors to the Beach.

Sponsors for Winter Stations 2022 are The Beach BIA, Minto Communities, Sali Tabacchi Branding and Design, Meevo Digital, RioCan, Demirov, Bara Group, Urban Capital and Waterfront Shores Partners, consisting of Cityzen Group, Tercot Communities, Greybrook Realty and the City of Hamilton.

Here is more information on the six winning installations for Winter Stations 2022:


ENTER-FACE by MELT (Cemre Onerturk and Ege Cakir, Turkey)

The times of pandemic have changed our habits in multi-scalar aspects, but it especially affected the way of how we perceive the world outside of us. More explicitly, it shifted our communication with people, interaction with the environment and the perception of our experiences by means of a single surface: the digital screen. Via offering the isolated a new version of coexistence, these screens not only made overcoming this challenging period possible but also became indissociable parts of lives as mobile “interfaces”. The project “enter-face” aims to reveal the dramatic influence of these screens, therefore, presents a spatial atmosphere that brings people together by means of a common vision\image while isolating them physically. It proposes two dark boxes with distant holes for people to get their upper bodies inside and stay detached from one another. Within the boxes, a textured transparent surface is placed through which the distant visitors, who became a group of viewers now, watch the life outside the box as if they are spectating a never ending moving-image on a screen together.


Wildlife-guard Station (Mickael Minghetti, with the guidance of Andres Jimenez Monge, France and Canada)

Inspired by the northern cardinal bird – a specie present all-year round in Ashbridge’s Bay Park – the station seeks to engage the visitors with Toronto’s wildlife. The diversity of species taking refuge in the dense urban environment is both remarkable to observe, and critical to preserve.


THE HIVE (Kathleen Dogantzis and Will Cuthbert, Canada)

The resilience witnessed among communities in the face of challenging and unprecedented times is paralleled among the honey bee. Honey bee colonies are primary composed of worker bees whose greatest measure of resilience is maintaining hive temperature throughout the cold winter months. This is achieved by adapting worker behaviour to use energy from stored honey to generate body heat within a tight hive cluster. The challenge of keeping the hive warm is met by a colony level response – much like the collaborative community level response that is mounted in the face of adversity.

The installation is designed with a hexagonal structure reminiscent of a honey bee colony, and it highlights the colour variation of honey, which is the result of diverse floral resources. Individuals are welcomed to experience the visual diversity of a honey bee hive and work together to form a collaborative community level hive cluster.


S’winter Station (Evan Fernandes, Kelvin Hoang, Alexandra Winslow, Justin Lieberman, and Ariel Weiss, led by Associate Professor Vincent Hui, Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science)

The forces of nature are relentless. Like the falling snow of the sky and the shifting sands of the beach, the pavilion embraces local wind, snow, and sun conditions. Following these directions of force, the pavilion’s wings embody movement by harnessing snow and mitigating strong winds. Beach towels have been formed into dynamic concrete panels with varying openings. These panels control the amount of light and snow allowed to enter, while also creating unique views outwards. Together, the panels and wings protect users and encourage them to engage with their surroundings. Where the lifeguard station, beach towels, and marine ropes are more frequently used in the summer, the pavilion achieves resilience by employing these objects in the winter. The pavilion acts as a shelter for the community where winter conditions are celebrated by harnessing and adapting to natural forces.

Introspection (Christopher Hardy, Tomasz Weinberger, Clement Sung, Jason Wu, Jacob Henriquez, Christopher Law, Anthony Mattacchione, George Wang, Maggie MacPhie and Zoey Chao, led by Associate Professor Fiona Lim Tung, University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design)

In keeping with this year’s theme of resilience, we chose to base our design on the emotions felt throughout the past two years’ worth of quarantine and isolation. Playing with the idea of reflection, we utilize mirrored walls to cast the visitors as the subjects of our bright red pavilion, titled Introspection. While the trellis roof allows the sun to illuminate the interior and its visitors, the red lifeguard tower stands unyielding in the centre of the pavilion, reminding us of the inherent stability within us. In highlighting the subject’s presence, we hope to promote introspection into one’s own emotional resilience as one faces their own reflection. From afar, Introspection appears to float on the beach’s horizon. Behaving like a visual constant in the wild, Introspection and the lifeguard towers remind us that no matter what the whirlwinds of life may bring, they endure it all and remain resilient to adversity.


One Canada (Alex Feenstra, Megan Haralovich, Zhengyang Hua, Noah Tran, Haley White and Connor Winrow, led by Assistant Professor Afshin Ashari, University of Guelph’s School of Environmental Design and Rural Development)

The Indigenous Peoples in Canada are an inspirational example of resilience due to their ability to withstand adversity and persevere through generations of oppressive colonial policies. Historic injustices persist, including the effects of cultural genocide from the residential school system of Canada. Here we symbolize bridging the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Peoples through gathering. Accomplished through the support of the seven grandfather teachings, represented by the seven rings of the installation, that originated with the Anishnabae Peoples, passed down through generations that ensures the survival of all Indigenous Peoples: Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth. Orange represents the National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, and the reality that the support of non-Indigenous Peoples, as Indigenous Peoples assert rights to self-determination, will strengthen relations and begin to redress the historic wrongs. Orange is displayed in the ropes where the pattern pays homage to the creation of drums, where the ropes were weaved to honour culture. The installations flow towards the lifeguard stand reinforces the strengthening of the relationship and that the protection of Canada hinges on the unity between peoples. We aim to symbolize movement to a new relationship, one based on mutual respect that honours Indigenous treaties and rights. The road forward is long and nonlinear, but we commit to take the journey together.

For more information on Winter Stations 2022, please go to

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