Public art for Glebe Parking Garage

Posted December 14, 2015

Glebe Parking Garage enhanced by new City art commission

Detail, House of the Blue Heron. Further information about the artwork is included in the following paragraph.

Public art has been installed on each floor of the new Glebe Parking Garage at 170 Second Avenue. The title of the artwork by Christopher Griffin is House of the Great Blue Heron. Animals etched and sculpted out of concrete found on the walls, columns, and roof guide us through this building. Each floor of the parking garage has its own theme and way finding system:

Floor 1 Fishes: Dow's Lake
Floor 2 Amphibians and reptiles: Patterson Creek
Floor 3 Birds: Rideau Canal
Floor 4 Mammals: Brown's Inlet

By adding designs to interior walls and columns, Griffin has transformed structural elements and has given them new interest and meaning.

An official ribbon cutting event for the Glebe Parking Garage was held on November 25, 2015. Mayor Watson, Councillor Chernushenko, Councillor Egli and Christopher Griffin were in attendance.

Christopher Griffin has been creating unique murals and sculptures for many years. His images of birds, fish and animals hold personal meanings for the artist and reference local ecosystems and species. He returns to these motifs with each project. His drawing style is inspired by ancient artworks found on cave walls. Major art projects by Christopher Griffin are located in highly visible locations around Ottawa: Raccoons at the Glebe Community Centre, Peregrine Falcons on the Bronson underpass, and Blanding's Turtles at Beaverbrook Branch, Ottawa Public Library. Griffin's artwork at the Beaverbrook Branch received an Award of Excellence at the 2015 Urban Design Awards. Griffin has been a Glebe resident since 2001.

Christopher Griffin, House of the Great Blue Heron (detail), 2015.

For more information:
Commission program
Glebe Parking Garage has something for everyone


Posted January 7, 2015

Public art selected for Glebe Parking Garage

Local artist Christopher Griffin has been awarded the public art commission for the Glebe Parking Garage project. The four-storey garage will be situated at 170 Second Avenue, replacing an existing outdoor parking lot. Construction is expected to be complete in October 2015.

Griffin’s winning proposal will associate each of the garage levels with one of the four waterways in the Glebe: the Rideau Canal, Dow’s Lake, Brown’s Inlet and Patterson Creek. Wildlife found nearby these bodies of water will act as the artist’s subject matter. By covering selected surfaces, such as interior support columns and walls in concrete etchings, Griffin will transform functional elements and give them new interest and meaning. Two exterior sculptures located at the north and south entrances will echo the interior columns, providing street level presence and an introduction to the interior artistic treatments.

Describing his process Griffin says: “The beauty of etched concrete occurs in its simplicity. It is a low tech technique which does not rely on anything other than light to reveal imagery through cast shadows. It projects a quiet strength and gravitas.”

Christopher Griffin has exhibited his artwork in solo and group exhibitions across Canada. He has created unique murals for numerous public spaces locally, including the Ottawa Public Library’s Beaverbrook branch located in Kanata. He has been a resident of the Glebe since 2001.

The Public Art Program commissions artists’ works for display in public spaces. One percent of funds for new municipal development is allocated for public art to enhance the space and make art accessible to everyone.

The Public Art Program initiated a competition for a new work of art for the Glebe parking garage in November 2013. Thirteen proposals were received and reviewed by an Art Selection Committee. The public had an opportunity to view and comment on the five shortlisted proposals, at an open house and an online survey. The committee chose Griffin’s proposal based on evaluation criteria that included artistic excellence, experience of the artist, integration of the artwork with the building design and comments received during the public consultation process.

Artist Christopher Griffin drawing a public artwork into wet cement on the side of a library.

Christopher Griffin installing Blanding’s Turtles of the South March Highland, 2014, Ottawa Public Library Beaverbrook branch 

Mural and sculptures of turtles outside of a library.

Christopher Griffin, Blanding’s Turtles of the South March Highland, 2014, Ottawa Public Library Beaverbrook branch

Mural of two racoons.

Christopher Griffin, private commission, 441 Maclaren Street (at Kent Street)