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Saturday, June 23, 2018

All the fun new street furniture on King St. ranked

Whether you're for the King Street Pilot it or against it, one thing we can all admit is that the reduction of cars on King has made way for some very interesting public art.

The city's Everyone is King design competition has decked out the stretch between Jarvis and Bathurst with an abundance of creative public seating — on top of the Muskoka chairs scattered all over the place — and now that it's summertime we finally get to enjoy it. 

Here's a ranked roundup of the King Street Pilot's fun new furniture.

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The King \ St

This design by BRENS and O2 Planning + Design easily takes the top spot with its modular urban green park. Located just west of Church Street, its benches use solar powered panels that allow you to charge your phone just by setting it down.

It also uses STERED technology to recycle valuable textiles from car interiors to create a cozy and thermally insulated seating area decked out with real grass. Plus if you're looking at it from an aerial point of view, its yellow "rooms" spell out the words "King St". 

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The Spark

Sitting at the corner of King and Charlotte Streets, this woodsy installation requires four people to pedal away at its stationary bikes, at the same time, to power up a glowing crystal in the middle.

It's hard to find time for group socialization, let alone exercise, so this creative design is a refreshing break for anyone working on King Street. Plus, spotting a quartet of suits cycling away at this thing will be the funniest thing you've seen all day.

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Everyone is (a) Kid

Running along David Pecaut Square are yellow milk crates assembled Lego-style to create a convenient spot for posting up to eat lunch. This installation's playful colour will definitely add some childlike cheer to your day. 

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King Street Causeway

This piece of eye candy located by TIFF Lightbox is brought to us IBI Group and PCL Construction. Its diochroic hexagons look especially pretty in the sunlight, changing colour depending on which angle you're looking at them from. 

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Face to Face / Tête à Tête

These two boomerang-shaped tables just east of Yonge are part of a bold installation by PLANT Architect, the same group behind City Hall's rooftop garden. Eat your afternoon sandwich here for an intense power lunch-meets-public picnic vibe. 

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At first glance it's not entirely clear how to use this pink steel frame. Is it a bike rack? Is it a jungle gym? Turns out you're actually supposed to lean your butt on the bars (sort of like the standing seats in the TTC and GO trains) with an assortment of heights for every size of person. 

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This interactive installation asks users to answer the question: "Would you rather only have a spoon or a knife to eat with?" Users rep their answer by spinning their buoy to the corresponding answer (yellow for spoon, burgundy for knife).

It seems the buoys are making better playthings than answer indicators at this point, since many of them are looking half-spun. The better question is, who has ever used just a knife to eat anything? 

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King's Buried Treasure

An ode to the many creeks which once traversed the land that is now King Street between Jarvis and Bathurst, this mural uses a super hydrophobic solution so that it only really appears when it starts to pour.

It's a beautiful way to brighten up a rainy day (the little animal footprints are a great touch) but its biggest strength is also its downfall. Unless you have an umbrella, you likely won't take a minute to admire this unique piece of work. 

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Woggle Jungle

Constructed out of colourful foam pool noodles, this seating area by Duncan Street isn't very durable or functional but it sure is silly.

This installation, designed by VPA Studio and built by Make Studio, has obviously deteriorated quickly (I mean, it's made out of foam) —but there is something admittedly charming about these limp little noodz. 

by Tanya Mok via blogTO

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