Park art stolen

Scarborough Arts Council’s totem pole

The Scarborough Arts Council’s totem pole, here being carved by artist Dorsey James from a recycled hydro pole was part of the Monarch Project this summer. The pole has disappeared from Morningside Park.
Photo courtesy / Scarborough Arts Council

The work of 30 Scarborough youth during the summer was stolen sometime last week from Morningside Park. Missing is a 15-foot totem pole carved from a recycled hydro pole.

Thieves made off with a 15-foot totem pole from Morningside Park sometime in the last week, Toronto Police say.

The recycled hydro pole was transformed over the summer by 30 local youth, alongside artist Dorsey James, into an art and environmental project and a “beautiful piece of work,” according to a spokesperson from the Scarborough Arts Council.

Officials had waited for a movie to finish filming before putting the pole in the ground and sometime between that point and the installation “it just looks like somebody has pulled it out and taken it with them,” said the arts councils’ Libby Peters.

“We can’t really imagine how somebody could take it away without anybody noticing with a really large sculpture like that,” she said, noting it was chained down and secured to a building after the project was completed in early September.

The council was calling to set up an appointment to put the pole into the ground of the third parking lot of Morningside Park when park staff informed them that it wasn’t there anymore.

“It’s really unfortunate because it’s quite an expensive piece of work and it’s also a project that’s been close to our hearts,” Peters said.

The totem pole was the second to be constructed under the supervision of the Scarborough Arts Council, as part of their Monarch Project – a free annual arts and environment project for local youth.