Dundas Driving Park Public Art Project Phase 1

Project award

Congratulations to Leslie Drysdale and Sandor Monos on being awarded the commission for their proposal "Racing Carousel".

Concept statement

The concept and design of the sculpture is intended to enhance and mirror the existing atmosphere of the park and activities as a play orientated, festive fair-like place. The idea is to create something new, celebratory, and in a playful way, represent Dundas Driving Park’s historical past. The road that encircles the park is still the half mile oval fundamental to the foundations of the park’s creation, as a harness racing track. The sculpture is intended to pay homage to that fact and also be representative of the past and present uses and spirit of the park, ie. fairs, parades, circuses and sporting events. The past will be represented by a depiction of a historically accurate vintage 1890’s racing cart and a Standard bred horse in mid-stride. In keeping with the ambiance of the park, the horse and cart will be a children’s fairground carousel. Two children will be enjoying the ride, interacting and playing on the carousel. In essence, it is a sculpture depicted as a decorative, playful, dynamic enhancement to the site and its present uses but is unique to Dundas Driving Park and its past.

Racing Carousel by Leslie Drysdale & Sandor Monos - Dundas Driving Park Public Art Competition Winners, Phase 1

Public consultation results

A volunteer jury of citizens and city staff met to review 13 proposals received from artists for artistic and technical merit, and response to context. They chose the four highest scoring proposals as finalists to present to the public for comment. This input helped inform the jury when they selected the successful proposal.

  • 79 for Racing Carousel, Leslie Drysdale and Sandor Monos
  • 76 for The Horse Chess Piece, Yvonne Felix
  • 66 for Haiku Tree, Bryce Kanbara and Brian Kelly
  • 18 for Leapfrog, Daniel Davelaar
  • 3 for None

Review the Public Consultation Comments (PDF, 30.7 KB)

Second call for artists

As per the public consultation held in 2009, a second smaller project is planned for the park with a project budget of $100,000. This project will be asking artists to address the themes of history and memory in the context of Dundas Driving Park. 


A stakeholder focus group and public charrette were held in the spring of 2009. The purpose of these events was to gain knowledge and insight directly from the community, determine appropriate locations for art in the park, and possible themes that artists competing for the commission will be asked to address in their work. This information was used in judging the appropriateness of the proposed pieces in relation to the community. The volunteer jury was comprised of citizens representing local community groups and arts organizations.

Tuesday May 12, 2009 from 1:30 to 4 pm
Dundas Town Hall, Council Chambers


  • Helen Beswick - Artist, Writer and Former Dundas Council member
  • Nancy McKibbin Gray - City of Hamilton Arts Advisory Commission
  • John Thouless - Dundas Tennis Club
  • Bill Mungar - Dundas Lawn Bowling
  • Mary Jo Hind - Resident, Architect
  • Claire Crozier - Dundas Historical Museum
  • Frances Neufeld - Resident, DVSA Board Member
  • Phyllis Kraemer - Dundas B.I.A.
  • Russ Powers - City of Hamilton Councillor Ward 13
  • Steve Barnhart - City of Hamilton Landscape Architectural Services
  • Ken Coit - City of Hamilton Culture Division (Facilitator)
  • Linda Goessinger - City of Hamilton Culture Division (Recorder)
  • Regrets, Arthur Greenblat - Dundas Valley School of Art


This focus group was organized to bring together stakeholders with an interest in Dundas Driving Park and public art to determine those qualities, characteristics and stories that define Dundas Driving Park and the surrounding Community for the purpose of providing ideas for a future public art installation in the park. The results of this focus group, along with a public charrette will serve as the basis for description of the Park and proposed Artwork in a Request for Proposal to artists to create a public art installation in Dundas Driving Park. This information will also be used by the jury to select pieces of public art that reflect the local community and local context.

The group was shown a short presentation discussing the definition of public art, the process for selecting public art, the $250,000 project budget, possible locations and examples of public art.


After introductions participants provided their ideas and comments in response to a series of questions as follows:

  • Families
  • Youths
  • School Groups
  • Community Organizations
  • Sports
  • Reunions
  • Picnics
  • Day Cares
  • Special Events – Victoria Day
  • The Cactus Festival parade
  • Church groups
  • Lawn Bowling and Tennis since 1929
  • Pony Rides
  • Ice Skating
  • High school students
  • Peaceful quite sanctuary in the cove
  • The route around the park
  • Divided into distinct areas houses/natural/play
  • Represents Earth/Wind/ Fire/Water
  • Contained by Nature – works as an outdoor Room
  • Views to the escarpment
  • Small scale elements
  • Peaceful
  • Shelters, Washrooms, Cooking areas
  • No major roads in area
  • Fireworks
  • Genuine sense of community
  • Always bump into someone you know
  • Great memories
  • Multiple things to do
  • Small town park, small town values
  • Cactus Parade
  • Past Horse Track
  • Military history
  • Football – Dundas Red Bombers
  • Chub Collins – baseball
  • Memories from different phases of life in Dundas
  • multi-purpose
  • Sunday afternoons
  • Canada Day Rotary Pancake Breakfast
  • Sense of community
  • Multi purpose park
  • Lots of memories
  • Historical and traditional town park
  • Ours to share
  • Diverse Activities – baseball, music, tennis, lawn bowling, children’s play
  • Surrounded by houses, school, nature, containing layers of history
  • A series of pieces - historical
  • Something that signals what happens inside of park
  • Piece that speaks about Park History
  • Travel Experience to discover secluded pieces
  • Series of pieces – safe and close to the Road
  • Pond with Statue and Water Fountain
  • Vintage Drinking Fountain – Dundas Public Utilities
  • Art on top of the gate pillars replicating original
  • Integrated Art – useful: benches, trash receptacle, fun pieces
  • Signifying local art history – Ceramics, Glass, Potters, Iron Workers, Weavers, Mills, McMaster Pottery. – integrated route
  • Elements of Water
  • Criteria for Art to Combat Vandalism
  • Collage of handwritten memories and stories of the Park from the locals through-out the ages
  • Horse collage
  • Park Plaque explaining history of area
  • Small hanging pennants – seasonal
  • Time line Mural
  • Rotary Club is donating a clock for Park
  • Entrance Focal Point – do not disturb pillar gateway
  • At main entrance but do not relocate the existing “Spirit of Youth Art”
  • In the planter at the centre of the new rink/splash pad
  • Consider Security Issues
  • Logical - triangle location – across from cove area beside parking at entrance walkway to new rink/splash pad
  • Benches in Cove area
  • Artful Walkway – pathways in Art – possibly following the historical route around the park
  • A series that follows the route around the park


After a short break members came back together to review the comments provided thus far and to prioritize those comments in terms of the following question.

  • Small town park – small scale park
  • Celebrating a sense of play, youth and family
  • Genuine sense of community
  • Peaceful and safe
  • Celebrating the past (memories)

The following recommendations were generally agreed among the focus group members:

  1. That the project budget be divided to allow for two permanent public art pieces
    a. A larger piece at the centre of the new rink/splash pad area dealing with themes of play and youth.
    b. A smaller piece that maybe a series of pieces addressing the route around the park and themes of history and memory. It is anticipated that this piece will focus on the triangle site where the new east entrance walkway to the rink/splash pad meets the ring road.
  2. The two existing pieces of the art in the Park donated by the Lennard family are to remain as is.
  3. That every attempt be made to keep the existing entrance gate pillars, donated by Colonel Grafton, in place.

Thursday May 28, 2009 from 7 to 9 pm 
Dundas Municipal Service Centre


This charrette was organized to bring together members of the community with an interest in Dundas Driving Park and public art to determine those qualities, characteristics and stories that define Dundas Driving Park and the surrounding Community for the purpose of providing ideas for a theme for a future public art installation in the park. The results of this charrette, along with a stakeholder focus group will serve as the basis for a description of the Park and proposed theme for artwork to be included in a Call for Artists/Request for Proposal Document to be issued in the future. This information will also be used by the jury to inform their selection of pieces of public art that reflect the local community and local context. 

The group was shown a short presentation discussing the definition of public art, the processes for selecting public art, the $250,000 project budget, possible locations and examples of public art. It was noted that the project budget must include 10% for on going maintenance and monies for installation in addition to the artist’s fee. 


Attendees were divided into two groups of about 10 each and were asked to work together to address a series of questions about the qualities, characteristics and stories of the Dundas Driving Park and the community of Dundas. 

The following is an outline of the resulting discussion: 

By Group 1

  • Everyone of all ages
  • Children, toddler Programs 
  • Kids playing 
  • Not just residents of Dundas 
  • High School 
  • Dog Walkers 
  • Lawn Bowlers 
  • Tennis Players 
  • Volleyball 
  • Tai Chi
  • Sunday School Picnics 
  • Go to the park for Lunch 
  • Bike Races 
  • People who come and sit in their cars to watch Park Activities 
  • Parades 
  • Kitchenettes for Reunions 
  • Car and Motorcycle Shows 
  • Easter Egg Hunt 
  • Fireworks 
  • Beautiful 
  • Accessible 
  • Oasis 
  • Easy to drive thru 
  • Walkable 
  • Easy Parking and accessibility 
  • Activities available

By Group 2

  • Multi generational 
  • Family 
  • Teenagers 
  • Kids activities 
  • High school 
  • Dogs 
  • Sport activities 
  • Well used 
  • Used by Residents – walking 
  • Senior population- enjoy sitting
  • Start of Parades, Holidays, Celebrations 
  • Personal contemplation

By Group 1

  • Escarpment
  • Trees
  • Stairwell toward cemetery 
  • Active but also peaceful 
  • Oval 
  • Nooks and crannies – can watch from afar

By Group 2

  • Sheltered by escarpment 
  • Green 
  • Active Center; quiet, passive areas 
  • Serenity Gardens – peaceful 
  • Cove – peaceful area: Preserve 
  • Oval – sitting in a bowl 
  • Circle of movement 
  • Unusual feature – Drive all around the Park
  • Out of the way – tucked away 
  • Symbolism of the Entrance Gates - Going into something special 
  • Houses in park 
  • Band shell is a larger focal point 
  • Very Accessible 
  • Park in Park 
  • Location in heritage district 
  • Natural Area and Constructed Area 
  • Current sculptures define space and are integrated and intimate

Group 1

  • Richard Hatt
  • Ann Morden – Property was Park – 1780 Acres
  • George Rolph – son in law – Racing Track, driving Park for Horses
  • Young men and women in backseat of cars watching canal races
  • Henry Dundas (although he never set foot in Dundas)
  • 1877 Carnival
  • Hot Air Balloons
  • All different sporting events over the years
  • Band Concerts
  • 6 Nations PowWow
  • Dundas Red Boombers
  • 1947- site of Dundas Centennial Celebrations
  • Filming (Bee Movie)
  • Wrestling
  • Wentworth regiment operated out of old Armories – photo history at Dundas Museum
  • Mr. Folkes and his Pony Ring
  • Band shell, Gazebo, Dances – 2 tiered concession on ground floor; Band still plays here

Group 2

  • Why is it called Driving Park – Art piece to explain story
  • Oldest/early race track – reflect history of track and Rolf
  • Horse Track
  • Military WW1 Training Area
  • Circle of Life
  • History Recorded by Newspaper
  • Community Meeting Spot
  • House without a Roof
  • Train – very visible along escarpment – relationship to industrial history
  • Transition of Dundas – Old to new (Pleasant Valley)

Group 1

  • Full 
  • Driving Circle is Unique – usually you have to park in a lot 
  • Accessibility 
  • Great energy 
  • Spacious 
  • Family community

Group 2

  • Small town – always see someone you know
  • Communal Backyard 
  • Represents people gathering, central location 
  • Representative of the past 
  • Quiet oasis 
  • Traditionally a meeting place 
  • Lasting – don’t change a good thing that has worked well for generations 
  • Intimacy 
  • Timeless feeling – been there forever 
  • Personal relationship to Park – sense of ownership

Group 1

  • All ages – Art piece will have to be secure, safe, tactile and durable 
  • One central piece with series of smaller pieces 
  • Mosaic 
  • Mural 
  • Work of Art benches to sit on – these could be added over time as well (donations honouring family members)
  • Interactive 
  • History integrated 
  • Series of Art on Roadway/sidewalk – winding path 
  • Poem or Words that people will read as they go by 
  • Banners of key historical figures
  • Archway 
  • Temporary pieces that go on display for one year (rental) and then change – requires management (using the same base)
  • Important to incorporate plethora of artists that live in Dundas

Group 2

  • Interactive – light, wind, water 
  • Integrate old and new Art 
  • Feature of Water – series of fountains constructed to reflect history of Park 
  • Landscape – Environmental Art 
  • Water – Stan Rogers and environment 
  • Botanical Contemplation Area – Zen Garden 
  • Integrated area for sitting and playing 
  • Already have stationary sculptures 
  • Blend with Park – shouldn’t stand out 
  • Wall used as Mural 
  • Cove: Light and Sound Movement – nice to have a free space 
  • Water, light, sound garden 
  • There is a playground already – don’t want to change park

Group 1

  • Series of Art as you Drive around oval
  • Water feature for central piece – fountain 
  • Do not disturb the Cove

Group 2

  • Several spots along oval 
  • Relocate peter pan to allow larger piece at gate 
  • Racetrack – start finish line of Race Track 
  • Identified triangle at east side parking and new walkway 
  • Couple of pieces – tranquil and sculpture outside of cove 
  • Spread the focal point and make many little areas


After a short break each group was asked to review the comments made and select the three most important qualities characteristics and/or stories they felt were reflective of the Dundas Driving Park and important for a public art project in the Park.

Group 1

  • Community – Active, music, food and celebration 
  • Landscape is unique - Geography/Escarpment 
  • Park changing with Community, but always family orientated 
  • History 
  • Series – something that takes us thru the Park

Group 2

  • Walk move around in circle 
  • Reflect community, history and heritage – small town 
  • Sensitive to Natural aspect of Park; Scale, Material, Movement, water, wind, light, 
  • Surrounding escarpment 
  • Large piece in Centre 
  • Smaller pieces in series or garden path area to reflect movement of people or Art

Contact us

Ken Coit - Manager
Placemaking, Public Art & Projects
Tourism & Culture Division, City of Hamilton
28 James Street North, 2nd Floor
Phone: 905-546-2424 ext. 6281
Email: [email protected]