Built of rubble salvaged from construction sites across the city, Santiago’s J’ouvert Temple is a modern-day capriccio—an architectural fantasy informed by the artist’s experience of ancient and modern-day ruins. Santiago’s work draws specifically on a blend of aesthetic influences he encountered in the architecture of Portugal and Italy, and incorporates that with an aesthetic commentary on the unrelenting expansion and development of Toronto’s waterfront. Viewed through holes in a construction fence, vignettes emerge from the debris, evoking a similar sense of intimacy (albeit on a larger scale) as the artist’s Infinity Series currently on view at 259 Lake Shore Blvd E.

Commissioned by the Toronto Biennial of Art and made possible with generous support from Canadian Malartic, Agnico Eagle Mines, Yamana Gold, and Giant Containers


The practice of Curtis Talwst Santiago (born in Edmonton, AB, Canada; lives in Lisbon, Portugal) is decentralized. Santiago studied as an apprentice of Lawrence Paul Yuxweluptun. Santiago has exhibited internationally at venues such as: The New Museum, New York; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto; Pérez Art Museum Miami; and SCAD Museum of Art, Savannah. The artist’s work was featured in the Biennale de Dakar and SITE Santa Fe, both 2018. Santiago’s work is in the permanent collection of the Studio Museum in Harlem.


  • Accessibility

    The Port Lands

    Work can be accessed from road. Pathway presents uneven terrain.

  • Getting There

    The Port Lands

    By Public Transportation: Via TTC, the 121 bus line stops at Cherry St and Unwin Ave.

    By Car: Take the Gardner Expressway to the Jarvis Street exit, keeping right. Make a slight right towards Lake Shore Blvd E, and keep right to merge onto Cherry Street. Stay on Cherry Street, then make a left onto Unwin Ave, and the destination will be on the right. Parking can be found by continuing down Unwin Ave.

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