Calgary-based Heavy Industries shape cities' public art landscape

Jul 14 2016, 11:41 pm

Creative city architecture makes our cities photogenic while allowing certain spots to be iconic.

In Canada, Calgary-based firm Heavy Industries have been constructing such creative designs across the country and abroad. The custom construction company has worked with a variety of artists to create public artwork and transform city landscapes.

Since their art is scattered throughout the country, below are some of their most photographed work.

Calgary, AB


Location: Esker Foundation Gallery, Inglewood district

Built at the gallery as an encompassing meeting space suspended in the mezzanine level, it’s hard not to want to have all your meetings in the Nest. The Next was conceptualized by Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning.


sentinels heavy industries calgary

Sentinels/ Heavy Industries

Location: East Village – Fort Calgary

If you’ve been to Calgary’s East Village, there’s a good chance you’ve come across these glass pillars. The Fort Calgary Sentinels were designed in partnership with Stantec, and represent the history of Fort Calgary’s foundation.

Travelling Light

Location: 96th Avenue Northeast

Designed by Inges Idee, the giant, blue Travelling Light is situated in a major traffic corridor and mounted with lights atop it. Although it serves as a functioning light pole, it is also meant to bring the theme of “movement of life.”

Transit Story

TransitStory Heavy Industries Calgary

Transit Story/ Heavy Industries

Location: 7th Avenue and Centre Street light rail transit platform

Transit Story was the first public artwork Heavy Industries completed for its home city. The piece, artistically created by Jill Anholt, has a colour-shifting effect when seen from a passing train.


Wonderland Heavy Industries

Wonderland/ Heavy Industries

Location: The Bow Tower Plaza

One of the city’s well-known public artworks is Jaume Plensa’s design, Wonderland. The large scale fabricated mesh is Calgary’s largest public art work.

Vancouver, BC


Location: Vancouver Convention Centre

Another piece of art by Inges Idee, this 65′ tall culture of a raindrop is a landmark of Vancouver’s waterfront by the Convention Centre. The Drop resembles the rain and water, both known features of the city, and according to Heavy Industries, it also pays homage to the power of nature.

Infinite Tires

Ema Peter

Infinite Tires/Ema Peter

Location: Canadian Tire at SW Marine Drive and Ontario Street

Created by one of Canada’s favourite artists, Douglas Coupland, Infinite Tires was commissioned by Canadian Tire through the City of Vancouver’s public art program. The piece encompasses 18 stacked tires, decreasing in size as the piece goes higher.

Capturing the View

Capturing the view heavy industries

Capturing the View/ Heavy Industries

Location: Three Harbour Green, Coal Harbour

These three stainless steel sculptures were created by Jill Anholt, and its reflective surfaces intrigue anyone who walks by it. The tree-like pieces with glowing inner cores reflect Vancouver’s most desired views: mountains, parks, and the water.

The Birds

The Birds/ Heavy Industries

The Birds/ Heavy Industries

Location: Southeast False Creek Olympic Plaza

A male and female oversized sparrows based on images from Myfanwy Macleod are part of the city’s public art program. The Birds have been featured in Canadian Art Magazine, and are a staple of public art in a community.

Toronto, ON

Peeled Pavement

Peeled Pavement/ Heavy Industries

Peeled Pavement/ Heavy Industries

Location:  Mill Street District

Another piece bu Jill Anholt Studios, this concrete sidewalk peels the ground exposing Mill Street’s historic district’s industrial past.


Yardstones/ Heavy Industries

Yardstones/ Heavy Industries

Location: Mill Street District

Sticking to Toronto’s Mill Street District, Adad Hannah’s design of sculpted shotcrete continues to showcase the area’s past.

York Window Frames

York Window Frames/ Heavy Industries

York Window Frames/ Heavy Industries

Location: York University

These Window Frames at York were built to mimic a cloud. Designed by Zas Architects + Interiors, The York Window Frames wraps around the building beautifully, and is a curvy geometric dream.

Light Showers

Light Showers/ Heavy Industries

Light Showers/ Heavy Industries

Location: Sherbourne Park

Created using a digital model provided by Jill Anholt, these three sculptures stand 30-feet tall and have become part of the landscape of Toronto’s waterfront. Each structure has stainless steel insets, and include lights.

Yasmin AboelsaudYasmin Aboelsaud

+ Architecture & Design
+ Public Art