Designed by renowned artist Jed Lind, Ballast is a patinated bronze sculpture of the prow of a ship, anchoring the corner of King and Charlotte streets in Toronto. Rising like a skeletal prow of a Great Lakes freighter, the five-metre tall bronze sculpture is described by artist Jed Lind as a visual metaphor for the transformation of the King Street corridor from working class to creative class. The artwork began as a maquette that was laser scanned and enlarged. After hours of meticulous sculpting and finishing of the enlarged positive form, the sculpture was cast in bronze in small sections. The sections were welded together, finished, and the bronze was patinated.
Speaking at the dedication for the artwork, Lind noted: “Transformation is central to my work whether physical, emotional, or metallurgical. Ballast represents for me a transformation of the King Street corridor which is so drastically different than my memory of it growing up. Ballast is modelled on the frontend of a working lake boat, or Lakers as they are called. The boat is a nod to the blue collar working class that used to occupy the now vacated commercial and industrial spaces, while the geodesic pattern is a reference to Buckminster Fuller who inspired youth culture—in the late 1960s and 70s—to transform their existing circumstances through architecture. I hope Ballast will be a model for the younger generation who have taken over downtown en masse.”