Huntsville, meet Pipe Man


Huntsville’s latest and much-anticipated public art installation has finally arrived after a delay of several months.

Pipe Man, an 18-foot tall by 4-foot wide floating sculpture in the Muskoka River adjacent to the Town Docks, was created by Pipefusion in honour of the company’s 35th anniversary. Made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE), the same material the company uses in industrial and floating dock applications, it has the likeness of Tom Thomson – who often had a pipe in hand – die-cut on one side and 35 ripples forming a stylized version of the Pipefusion logo die-cut on the other. The original concept for the art was a collaboration between Pipefusion staff and local artist Beverley Hawksley.

Pipefusion owner, Jan Nyquist, wanted to give something back to Huntsville as thanks for the community’s support. When he approached the Town, they suggested public art that incorporated Pipefusion’s materials and processes.  Staff worked with Transport Canada and the Navigation Protection Program to secure permission for the statue location.

“We’re honoured and happy to make this donation to the Town of Huntsville and we appreciate the support we’ve had from the town over the years,” said Nyquist immediately following the installation. “We wanted to give something back.”

Pipe Man waves

A view of the sculpture’s waves which face the shore opposite the Town Docks

Pipe Man was originally to be installed during the summer months, but engineering challenges delayed the installation until today.

In a release this afternoon, Nyquist said, “I am very proud to have been in business in Huntsville for 35 years, and this gift is a public way to say thank you to our community, our customers and our staff. We have worked hard to provide a sustainable art piece that will generate interest and conversation. As happens in business, we have had some challenges along the way. Our creative and competent staff have solved the problems, and Pipe Man is now installed in the Muskoka River.”

The sculpture uses the same technology as the company’s NyDock product, which will allow it to freeze in place when the river ices over so that it can remain visible year-round. It will be lit from within at night.

Earlier this season, Pipefusion also installed a heritage mural on the swing bridge.

Read more about Pipe Man here.

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  1. Robert Attfield on

    I drove over the bridge this afternoon and noticed the Pipe Man in the River. It seemed to me to be a piece of derelict pier footing gone awry. I admire the attempted creativity of the piece, but as a piece of art work, it fails utterly in my view. I suspect it may be somewhat of a marine hazard at night, as well. I hope it disappears soon.

  2. Susan E Zimmer on

    I am sure the intentions were good but I think if Tom Thomson saw this today, he would roll over in his grave, wherever that may be.

  3. Corinne Shepheard on

    I think Pipeman is awesome. So great to see a city willing to embrace public art and all the controversy that comes with it!

  4. I realize that beauty is in the eye of the beholder so my view that this is trash and an insult to Thompson is a personal one. Up at the Civic Centre on Main Street is a talented tribute to Thompson – a bronze statue by Brenda Wainman.

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