Highlighting neglected curbside planters, the project Outside the Planter Boxes features creative interventions throughout Toronto. Participating artists include Sean Martindale, who made grass spill from a fractured box (below is the before view), and Groundswell Collective's James David Morgan, who made his own cast planters. According to project organizer Martindale, the aim is to "encourage more direct participation and interest in our shared public spaces – to demonstrate that the public can play a more consciously active role in how our city is shaped." He received funding for the project through FEAST Toronto.
Update: Oops, I got part of that wrong. James David Morgan emails to explain his project:
The planter I was working with is actually a sculpture at the start of Toronto's fashion district that the city transit commission and a local business organization commissioned Stephen Cruise to install, I think back in 1997 when the light rail system was put back on Spadina Avenue. So, unfortunately, it's not my own cast - I wish we'd had those resources to pull off something like that!Thanks for the explanation, and apologies for the error!
If you're interested, full history from a walking tour I did during Mayworks. The sculpture is a 9' high pile of buttons with a thimble on top, with a couple other buttons flanking the thimble tower where they've installed trees in the button holes. The sculpture is dedicated to the garment workers who created so much of Toronto's wealth in the days when that was a huge industry here, and there were mills all along that street with tiny apartments for the workers (with few or no windows) on the top floor. Now there's a Starbucks right next to the sculpture, and the patrons trash it with cigarette butts and coffee lids, which is probably a stronger statement than I was trying to make by cleaning out the button holes and planting yarrow. I figured a medicinal herb that doubled as a stimulant and a circulatory/digestive aid was appropriate to match the focus of the piece that would house the plants, and I thought a planting something productive in public would be a tiny act of commoning, both in further tribute to the workers (because they likely had to do that kind of thing all the time to get by) and as a protest of the prefigurative variety.