Toronto Through My Lens

“Elevated Wetlands”

Are they giant teeth? Elephants? Modern art?

For years I’ve noticed these structures in the Taylor Creek Park area beside the Don Valley Parkway. I’m sure anyone who has driven up or down the DVP has noticed these and wondered… what the…? In actuality, these objects are called Elevated Wetlands and were created by an artist named Noel Harding.

The structures are there for both form and function: they use their own solar panels to pump water from the Don River through their basins. The water is then cleaned by wetland plants in the structures and returned to the river.

I’ve always wanted to get some shots of these objects because of their unique shape; they can be examined from almost any angle and still provide a unique and interesting perspective.

In total there are 6 sculptures in 2 groups of 3, one group on either side of the Don Valley Parkway. Each sculpture is made of expanded polystyrene foam, acrylic stucco coating, recycled plastic soil structure, native plants, and water from the Don River.

The work was commissioned by the Canadian Plastics Industry Association in cooperation with the City of Toronto. The sculptures were officially inaugurated on October 1, 1998. If you’d like to read a full technical explanation of their operation, click here.


  1. David Lalonde

    You were right on when you said people would think WTF! I always thought of giant teeth, but I guess they look like elephants too. At any rate, they are definitely a scructure that gets attention.

  2. jody

    they are really cool

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