Public Art at OC Transpo

Public art brings colour, beauty and imagination to neighbourhoods all over town. Whether it’s a mural at a Transitway station or a sculpture along the sidewalk, public art has become part of the fabric of this city - inspiring residents and visitors alike.

Local artists' works, commissioned by the City of Ottawa for display in public spaces, includes artworks at the following OC Transpo locations:

Along the Transitway

Along the Trillium Line

At OC Transpo Buildings

» City of Ottawa Art Collection
» City of Ottawa Public Art Commissions

Art Along the Transitway

'South Keys Code'
South Keys Transitway Station

Photo of public artwork at South Keys Station

Title: South Keys Code
Artist: Ineke Standish (1945 - 2001)
Year: 1996
Materials: embossed stainless steel mural plates
Location: South Keys Station
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2001-0552

Located along the north and south walls of the South Keys underpass, Standish's mural encourages transit users to touch the tiles and decode eleven Braille symbols. Green and blue evoke the essence of a lush watery landscape and open sky while stainless steel tiles represent a plant or an animal that inhabited the South Keys area when it was marshland. The artist considered Braille to be a sculptural language that can recall a relationship between memory, history and culture.


'Quarry Pillar'
Greenboro Transitway Station

Photo of public artwork at Greenboro Station

Title: Quarry Pillar
Artist: Susan Feindel
Year: 1993
Materials: mosaic tile mural
Location: Greenboro Station
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2001-0325

This artwork comprises 200-square-feet of unglazed, fully vitrified clay tiles in rich, earthy tones.  Although the imagery is abstract, it conveys a strong sense of movement and liveliness as visible in the right side of the mural which contains a concentration of orange and yellow tiles presented in a bold spiral with rays extending around it.  Feindel wanted to express human and natural creativity and how they are intimately connected.  There is a sense of both conflict and harmony in the work, seen through the disparity between the hectic lines of the composition which are executed in a soothing, earthy palette.   The piece strongly suggests energy and movement, causing the viewer’s eye to wander around the entire work.  The perceptive viewer will notice the artist’s signature in dark coloured tiles integrated into the composition and located in the bottom right hand corner.


Billings Bridge Transitway Station

Photo of public artwork at Billings Bridge Station

Title: mem-o-mobilia
Artist: Mark Marsters
Year: 1991
Materials: enamel on aluminum
Location: Billings Bridge Station
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2001-0584

Thirty-six colour panels are adapted from advertising, news items and commercial products that affected people living in the Billings Bridge area during the 19th and 20th centuries. The title of the artwork is a play on the word memorabilia, meaning souvenirs of memorable events or periods. The panels are grouped into eras: 12 images refer to 1814, the year the Billings family settled along the Rideau River. Central panels refer to 1867, the year of Confederation. By 1900, the population of Billings Bridge had grown to 200. Panels on the north wall feature these images. Wheels above each panel reference the trains and streetcars that once moved though parts of Ottawa. Although the panels do not move, the wheels suggest change and motion.


Riverside Transitway Station

Photo of public artwork at Riverside Station
Title: Untitled
Artist: Gerald McMaster
Year: 1991       
Materials: epoxy coating          
Location: Riverside Station              
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2001-0398  

Photo of public artwork at Riverside Station Drawn from traditional Plains Cree symbols used in the artist's native culture, humans, horses, handprints, dots and crosses suggest movement and freedom in modern urban transportation.  The artwork is located at the embarkation area and continues along the western stairwell and the upstairs hallway.


Lycée Claudel Transitway Station

Photo of artwork at Lycée Claudel Station

Title: Accelerator/Decelerator
Artist: Tom Sherman
Year: 1990
Materials: glazed concrete blocks
Location: Lycée Claudel Station
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2001-0400

Using principles of perspective and motion, this work located in the pedestrian underpass area, is designed to present a visual directional context for passengers as they enter and exit the station.



Longfields Transitway Station

Photo of public artwork at Lonngfields Station

Title: Bellwether
Artists: Erin Robertson/Anna Williams
Year: 2011
Materials: bronze with patina
Location: Longfields Station
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2011-0001

Bellwether is a permanent sculptural installation, primarily located on the vegetative roofs of the transit station. The artwork consists of four life-sized sheep and one life-sized Border Collie sheepdog, all cast in bronze and finished with patina.

Photo of public artwork at Lonngfields StationBellwether is intended to create an overall sense of the movement of a community through a designated space. It investigates the subtleties of various roles and relationships within established groups. Playfully comparing the contemporary public transit system to traditional agricultural herding practices, the installation is suggestive of social cooperation and adaptation which are both characteristics of an effective transit system.


Marketplace Transitway Station

Photo of public artwork at Marketplace Station Title: Currents
Artist: Cheryl Pagurek
Year: 2011
Materials: video and LED panels
Location: Marketplace Station
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2011-0002

Central themes found in Cheryl Pagurek’s artwork investigate concepts of time, memory, history and the ephemeral quality of the disappearing past. Currents, a twenty-minute loop of constantly changing video, prominently features imagery of the Jock River, maintaining a link to the nearby body of water in an area of constant urban development. Through the incorporation of historical images of the area, surrounding rural lands, and footage of contemporary city transit – OC Transpo busses and O-Train - Currents celebrates the surrounding environment. The installation situates public transit within a narrative of progress while highlighting ecological appreciation. By locating the present site within a continuum, the video footage harkens to the past and preserves the present for future generations. The historical images in Currents were drawn from many sources, and the artist thanks all contributors.

Currents is mobile! Download the video to your mobile device, digital music player or computer.


Art along the Trillium Line

Carleton O-Train Station

Photo of public artwork at Carleton University O-Train Station

Title: locomOtion
Artist: Stuart Kinmond
Year: 2015
Materials: aluminum
Location: Carleton O-Train Stn.
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2015-0184

The large scale of this artwork and its placement along the length of the platform gives the Carleton O-Train station a sense of place and architectural identity. As the eye passes along its length, the sequence of wheel segments plays on the idea of movement and travel. At night, the design of the red panels – inspired by the OC Transpo logo – acts as a beacon, reflecting the ambient light of passing trains.

locomOtion was commissioned as part of the O-Train Expansion Project in 2013. Architect-turned-artist, Stuart Kinmond has lived in Ottawa since 1984. Kinmond studied at McGill University and at the Ottawa School of Art. He works full-time in paint, digital media and installation art.


Art at OC Transpo Buildings

Industrial Garage

Photo of public artwork at Industrial Garage
Title: TRANSPOtting
Artist: Eos Lightmedia  
Year: 2012
Materials: LED panels and software
Location: OC Transpo Industrial Garage, #735-755 Industrial Ave.
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2012-0201

Photo of public artwork at Industrial GarageTRANSPOtting is comprised of 80 LED panels which are embedded in a sound wall. The visual experience of lights cycling different colours, intensities, and patterns through LED panels is cued from input from the OC Transpo bus schedule. As the first bus driver of the day leaves the terminal, the wall begins to pulse with a different colour for each bus route. As the number of buses at a given distance increases, the wall becomes brighter, an ever-flowing river of multicoloured lights. The activity continues to build and decline throughout the rush hours and lulls in the day. As the day winds down the intensity and light along the wall recedes until the final bus returns. The wall acts as a heat map of the bustling movement of buses throughout the city, captivating the public as they wait for their own bus to arrive and join the light network. Eos Lightmedia is a Vancouver based design company which creates immersive environments. They draw on over 25 years of national and international experience in architecture, themed attractions, exhibits, museums, presentation centres, and public art installations.


'The Spirit of OC Transpo'
Administration Building

Photo of public artwork at 1500 St-Laurent Blvd. Admin. Bldg.

Title: The Spirit of OC Transpo
Artist: Bhat Boy
Year: 2014
Materials: acrylic on canvas
Location: OC Transpo Admin. Bldg.,
1500 St-Laurent Blvd., Main Floor
City of Ottawa Art Collection: 2015-0001

Local artist Bhat Boy has drawn on medieval painting traditions and his love of history and mapmaking to form an imaginative portrait of Ottawa’s transit network. The 15-foot long painting features 28 different examples of vehicles used for public transportation over 125 years, all brought together beneath a starry winter sky.

As a way to shine a light on the future of transit in Ottawa, he placed the light rail system at key intersections in the painting using warm yellow and pink colours. Bhat Boy planned, painted and installed the artwork at the same time the Confederation Line was being built.

Bhat Boy is recognized for his dynamic contributions as a painter, instructor and community organizer. His personal painting style infuses Ottawa with an unusual element of fantasy. As an avid traveller, Bhat Boy uses transit systems across the globe, sharing his time between two capital cities: Ottawa (Canada) and London (England).


Customer Service / Booking Operations Building

Photo of public artwork at 925 Belfast Rd.
Title: Inflorescence
Artist: Deborah Margo
Year: 2015
Material: copper
Location: OC Transpo Customer Service / Booking Operations, 925 Belfast Road.

Photo of public artwork at 925 Belfast Rd.A remodelled space at 925 Belfast Road opened to the public with a series of copper sculptures titled Inflorescence by local artist Deborah Margo. The newly acquired building was renovated in 2015 to accommodate OC Transpo customer services and Para Transpo booking operations. Public art was planned for the site as a way to engage customers and employees working in the building.

Based on the common spider plant, these five sculptures were inspired by the clusters of tiny plantlets known as inflorescences that grow from the spider plant’s central stem. For the artist, Inflorescence represents the idea of interconnectedness, a fitting theme for OC Transpo.

Deborah Margo handcrafted these sculptures: cutting, hammering, and assembling multiple copper pieces into plant-like forms. The artwork’s richly coloured and textured copper surfaces absorb and reflect artificial and natural light.

Deborah Margo has been working in Ottawa as a sculptor, writer, professor and gardener for 25 years. Growth and change are important environmental themes present in many of her artworks.


How Many Will It Carry?

Each two-car train will be able to accommodate up to 600 passengers — 240 seated and 360 standing.

How Many Will It Carry?: Find out more
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