All around Toronto there are 41 specially painted pianos: yours to play. Each one celebrates a nation taking part in the 2015 Pan America Games.
It all started in Britain, when 30 "street pianos" were strewn around London as part of the Play Me I'm Yours festival. Since then the piano idea has spread to Sao Paulo, New York, Malta, Geneva, Cincinnati, Sydney and many more: all bearing the simple instruction ‘Play Me, I’m Yours’.
Toronto has handled theirs a little differently. Each of the pianos has been decorated by an artist from one of countries participating in the Pan America Games which are being held in Toronto, Canada in 2015. So, 41 countries, 41 pianos. All of the artists now live in Toronto, but each originally hails from the country that they are depicting. The colours and designs and themes reflect the wonderful diversity of the countries and their cultures.
The pianos are all 80 to one hundred years old and are being recycled. They were found through piano companies, movers, Facebook. They are all uprights except for one baby grand, and one player piano (look for it on the island ferry boat, playing Barry Manilow).
Located in public parks, city hall squares, beaches, island ferries, the CN Tower, train stations, and museums; the pianos are available for any member of the public to play and enjoy.
The goal is very simple: to get strangers in towns and cities to actually stop and talk to each other. It's all part of developing a sense of community and breaking down barriers to communication in a big city.
Every piano has a story. This one is inspired by the Galapagos Island, which is part of Ecuador. It is an underwater sea, with lots of octopus, coral, and jellyfish.