About the Ontario Satellite Reef Sections

Bleached coral.

Celebrate the science of coral

We’re currently seeking contributions to a province-wide community art project, the Ontario Satellite Reef. Help us create a colourful coral reef—made entirely from crochet! Details on how to participate can be found here.

The Ontario Satellite Reef is composed of five sections, each with a different theme. Before you crochet your coral, check out the themes below for inspiration. If you don’t have a particular section in mind for your work, we’ll decide where it fits best in the Ontario Satellite Reef.

Fish swimming through coral.
Tropical Coral Reefs

Tropical reefs exist in shallow, sunlit waters because the microscopic plants that live inside this coral rely on sunlight to produce food. These reefs form some of the most diverse ecosystems in the world, providing food and shelter for an estimated 25% of all ocean species.

Suggested crochet materials: Any smooth or textured yarns in vibrant colours.

Photo Credit: Jayne Jenkins Coral Reef Image Bank

Cold water coral.
Cold-Water Coral

Canada has coral, too! Cold-water coral and sponges occur in coastal and offshore waters of the Pacific, Atlantic and Arctic oceans. These slow-growing corals consume plankton to survive and live in very cold water without sunlight.

Suggested crochet materials: Smooth white yarn; textured orange, bright pink or purple yarn. 

Bleached coral.
Bleached Coral

Under stressful conditions—such as temperature increases, overexposure to sunlight and pollution—coral expels the symbiotic algae living within its tissues, causing it to turn completely white. Although coral can survive bleaching events, continued stress causes coral death.

Suggested crochet materials: White or beige yarn in any shade or texture.

Photo Credit: The Ocean Agency

Tropical fish swimming around coral.
The Impacts of Consumerism

Millions of tons of plastic waste, which contains harmful microorganisms, enter our oceans each year. This plastic waste also blocks sunlight from reaching the coral, which can cause coral death.

Suggested crochet materials: Cut-up plastic bags (to create plastic yarn); old T-shirts; other recycled materials.

A diver taking photographs of coral.
Solutions to the Coral Crisis

Around the world, scientists and activists are working to restore and protect coral reefs. Use your imagination to create coral that lends us hope for the future. Plastic-eating coral, lab-grown coral, 3D-printed coral and more—we want to see your creative ideas for addressing threats to reef survival.

Suggested crochet materials: It’s up to you!


CIBC | Lead Sponsor, Crochet Coral Reef travelling exhibition and the Ontario Satellite Reef.

Lead Sponsor CIBC

The Crochet Coral Reef is presented in partnership with Margaret and Christine Wertheim and the Institute For Figuring.

Institute for Figuring