Eco-Art-Fest, an outdoor art festival at Todmorden Mills, has been on our to-do list since it opened in June. It’s the inaugural art-meets-nature event by the City of Toronto and No.9, an organization that brings together art and design to raise awareness of the environment.
We finally made an after school stop a week before closing. So happy we did. There are eight art installations hidden throughout the site (hello scavenger hunt.) Near the entrance is the Oxbow Trail, a beautiful half-kilometre path through woods and wildflower preserve. It’s a perfect length for little legs and we did the loop a couple of times to find the mirrored houses floating along the Oxbow River (an installation by Toronto-based artist John Dickson), the markings of Don was Here (showing the original lost pathway of the Don River by Labspace Studio) and Like a Bridge (installation along the footbridge by Toronto-based artist Sean Martindale.) We also saw a rabbit cross our path (not art.)
The festival site has a feel of a country party with picnic tables and live music under lights on Saturdays. From Friday to Sunday, the trailer on site serves beer and wine and organic dishes.
There are also a few kid-friendly activities for the creative ones in TOw. Handscapes for kids 7-12 is a painting session (pre-register) promoting eco-awareness and animal habitat. When we were there a professional potter and artist was helping guide guests at the pottery wheel. This was a huge hit for my five-year-old. ($10 for a session and around $10 if you’d like it fired.)
Go now. And here’s to this becoming an annual event!
Getting there: By car, it’s off Pottery Road. Lots of free parking. On TTC, take the Bloor line to Broadview Station and walk 15 minutes up Broadview Avenue to Pottery Road, you will see a sign for Todmorden Mills. There is a path and stairs off Pottery Road for walkers and bikers.
Low-down: On until Sunday, September 21. Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday 11 am to 8 pm and Friday and Saturday 11am to 11 pm. Free. Some activities are paid and you need to register.