Archive for the ‘waterfront’ Category

Yesterday started damp and grey but then flipped to bright and sunny.   Almost spring-like even.   So off to the beach I went.

mural of people enjoying the beach, surfing, jogging on the boardwalk.

Well, not that kind of beach.   It does look warm though doesn’t it?  Yesterday it was more like this:

below: Looking towards Lake Ontario from Kew Beach Ave.  Lots of trees and lots of what looks like grass but is more like mud.   Squish, squish as I walked gingerly across the water logged ground, trying to keep my shoes clean.

large park beside Lake Ontario at Kew Beach, Toronto, large mature leafless trees, spring, grass is brownish colour, some people in the distance, walking on the boardwalk,

The goal?  To check out this year’s warming stations art installations.  Lots of others had the same idea as it turns out.   Some kids, some dogs, but that’s okay.

below: Interacting with “Nest” both on the outside…..

a woman model poses beside an art installation on the beach

below: …. and on the inside. Like all the other warming stations, this one is built around a lifeguard station.

kids climbing on a lifeguard station that is inside Nest, an art installation that is open to the sky at the top of the lifeguard chair.

below: The structure is covered with netting-like fabric on the inside and webbing on the outside.  It was designed by a team from Ryerson University – Adrian Chiu, Arnel Espanol, and Henry Mai.

an older couple examine the fabric that is on the inside of Nest, a warming station at Kew Beach

below: A sign of the times, a pink pussy hat makes its appearance as “Pussy Hut”

large oversized pink pussy hat as an art installation on the beach

two little girls inside the large pink pussy hut warming station

below: “What’s all the fuss about?”

a small black and white dog with a blue neoprene vest and a red coat with 4 legs

below:  A large square made of many pieces of hanging red fabric, anchored at the bottom with plywood.  This is “Obstacle” by Kien Pham.

Obstacles, by Kien Pham, an art installation part of warming stations 2018 in Toronto, by Lake Ontario, consists of many large flaps of red fabric that you can walk between.

a girl in pink jacket with pink hood stands between large flaps of red fabric that is part of Obstacles, an art installation

 

below: “Revolution” by a design team from OCAD university. It consists of 36 vertical red poles with conical metal pieces that twirl. You can look through them or speak through them, or just walk amongst the red poles.

people walking amongst an an art installation of small conical tubes like megaphones on red poles of differing heights.

looking down a metal tube

an art installation of small conical tubes like megaphones on red poles of differing heights, lake in background

below: Red!

a mother holds her young son's hand as they stand together on a beach overlooking Lake Ontario, backs to the camera

below: “Rising Up” by University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design and Rural Development.  The design was inspired by the topography of the Don Valley.

a white and brown dog on a leash in the foreground, people and kids climbing on a wooden structure which is actually an art installation called Rising Up

looking through part of rising up, a wood structure built on the beach, a couple walks hand in hand between the art installation and Lake Ontario

rising up, an installation part of warming stations at kew beach, beside lake ontario

below: Ooops!  One has blown over and collapsed already (it was quite windy).  Ironically it was called “Wind Station” (designed by Paul van den Berg and Joyce de Grauw).  When it was first constructed, it was in the shape of a nuclear cooling tower and you could go inside.  The little plastic windmills continue to blow in the wind.

a few people in the background, they are looking at white wood and white plastic toy windmills lying on the ground. it is a collapsed art installation, part of warming stations at kew beach, by Lake Ontario

below: Not everyone was looking at the warming stations.

a lone person standing on a beach, looking out over Lake Ontario, back to camera, in full wetsuit, holding onto a surf board under his (or her) arm, another surfboard sits on the sand.

below: This is ‘Make Some Noise’, designed by Alexander Greiss and Jorel Heid. Apparently it is based on based on the intonarumori, an invention of the Italian futurist Luigi Rusollo in 1914. An intonarumori generates noise. Rusollo envisioned noise music replacing traditional forms of music but he was not successful and none of his contraptions survived.

people on the beach checking out the art installation, Make Some Noise, a large yellow and black vertical box, with four large black loudspeakers

a child with a red jacket is trying to climb inside a large black speaker, conical shaped, on the side of a black and yellow art installation at the beach, warming stations, Kew Beach, lake ontario is in the background.

below: This is one side of the box. The red is a handle that can be turned thus generating noise. I don’t think that it was working. Each side had a handle and a black speaker.

close up detail of one side of Make Some Noise, an art installation, yellow and black diagonal stripes, narrow and close together

Stay warm!

 

Ice Breakers returned to the Toronto waterfront once again last month.   In mid-January five interactive art installations were built along Queens Quay West between the Harbourfront Centre in the east and the Music Garden in the west.

 

below:  Appropriate for a space called the Music Garden, is a large structure supporting many wind chimes.   This is “Ensemble” by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joana Correia Silva of Portugal.

the back side of two red muskoka chairs in a snow covered park with a large art installation of wind chimes in the background

a man is touching and pushing a series of wind chimes that are part of an art installation at Toronto Music Garden as he walks by it. Snow covered ground, red muskoka chairs, park, large tree,

There are two installations in H2O Park.

below: On the west side of the park is “Winter Fanfare” by Thena Tak of Vancouver.  It is made from painted layers of wood.   After I had walked past this installation I happened to look back to see a group of boys using these wood forms as protection as they had a snow ball fight.

6 or 7 large wooden forms in convex and concave shapes in a snow covered park with highrises in the background. An art installation that is part of Ice Breakers 2018 on Toronto waterfront.

below: Also in H2O park is “Through the Eyes of the Bear”.  This giant bear, or rather parts of a bear, is the creation of Tanya Goertzen of Calgary.

a large red head, and four red paws of a bear arranged to look like its on its back and that the bear is partially covered by the snow covered ground.

below: The large head of the bear is open at the back.   With a little crouching you can go inside and look out through the bear’s eyes.  It’s got a great view of the CN Tower!

the CN tower with bright blue sky, as seen through the hole in a sculpture, the eye of a large red bear.

below: Close to the Simcoe Wave Deck (at the bottom of Simcoe Street) is a structure called “Black Bamboo” that you can walk through.   It was designed by Bennet Marburger and Ji Zhang of China.

a tunnel like structure made of black bamboo poles loosely intertwined and joined together on the sidewalk beside Queens Quay, snow on the ground, condos in the background.

below: Last is “Root Cabin”, a small hut constructed from large tree roots.  The day that I walked past these Ice Breakers was early on when they weren’t quite complete.  The roots were being arranged, like a puzzle being put together.   The pink frame was being used as a guide and the plan was to remove it once the roots were in place.   This installation was designed by Liz Wreford and Peter Sampson from Winnipeg.

pink wood forms a frame in the shaipe of a small cabin with a pointed roof, it is being covered with large tree roots.

For more information, Ice Breakers

These installations remain until the 25th of February.

It’s been a while, I know.   Part of my excuse – the holidays got in the way.  But more importantly, it’s been very cold with bitter winds adding to our discomfort.  The very cold days are beautiful with their bright blue skies.  Although I have walked once or twice in -20C weather, the pictures here are from a warmer day when it was possible to take pictures without freezing my fingers off.  Unfortunately, in the winter warmer often means greyer.  I thought of calling this post “In Search of Winter” but that would be silly as no search is needed, it hits you in the face and it surrounds you.  Everyone is talking about the cold.

below: Winter in the city isn’t always picturesque.  Salt and sand and snow mix together to form slush.   Brown ugly slush, especially on the roads and sidewalks as seen here on Queens Quay West.  Of course, if you live in Toronto you are already well aware of this!

dirty slush along the streetcar tracks on Queens Quay

below: H2O park now has a pink #TOwaterfront sign (sculpture?) to go with its yellow umbrellas and white Muskoka chairs.  The weakened winter sun tried to break through the wall of clouds.

H 2 O park on Toronto's waterfront with yellow umbrellas over white Muskoka chairs on what is a beach in the summer but is covered with snow in the picture. A pink sign that says #TOwaterfront made of pink wood that is supposed to look like pieces of driftwood

below: The other morning there was a small group of Toronto firemen all dressed for the icy water as they practiced winter rescue procedures.  Both men were tethered to the shore.

two Toronto firemen in their yellow cold water suits, life jackets on, and tethered to ropes, practicing breaking through ice and then recovering by makng their way to stronger ice, practising ice rescues

below: Just a few footprints in the snow. I wasn’t the only one walking this way but there certainly weren’t any crowds.

a few footprints in the snow on a bridge

below: A cold and lonely barbecue, as well as one under wraps, waiting out the winter on the dock.

barbecues under tarps on snow covered docks in partially frozen harbour

below: Access to the docks along the waterfront was discouraged. It was easy to get out there but I suspect that if I’d fallen in I would have gotten in trouble, and not just from being wet. I wonder how thick the ice was there?

a danger do not enter sign and yellow caution tape across a dock on the waterfront, windswept snow, old railing,

below: Instead of comic relief, we have colour relief!

close up of porthole and red wall on boat in the harbour, railing and rope knotted, both with snow on them

below: Ducks on ice.  Have you ever seen a duck land in the snow?  It looks exactly like a landing in water but with a much shorter skid at it comes to a stop.   Or maybe that was obvious because how else would a duck land?

ducks onthe ice on Lake Ontario in the foreground, Canada Malting Co silos in the backgrounds

below: More ducks… ducks swimming in the small patch of open water.  There can’t be much food for them these days.

snow covered docks with one small snow covered boat, harbour, some ice and some open water

tall ship in harbour, with condos along Queens Quay in the background

snow covered boats on snowy docks, bottom of larger boat is in the background.

ice covered ropes that are holding a boat tied to the shore

below:  Lake Ontario with the Port Lands and the Toronto Islands in the background.  Windswept snow on the ice.

frozen harbour, Lake Ontario, with some snow covered docks

Stay warm everyone!

And don’t lose your gloves!  There are so many lost and lonely gloves out there… I hope that this one isn’t yours because if you’re like me, you lose at least one every winter.  I wonder they end up? In landfills?  … where archeologists of the future will dig up all these single gloves and mitts and wonder what it says about our society?  [smile!]

one black wool glove that has been dropped on a slushy wet sidewalk in winter

buildings with lots of glass, on stilts, built over the water at Ontario Place

After parts were shuttered 40 years ago, Ontario Place has re-opened to the public.  The spherical Cinesphere and the buildings that are over the water are not open but the grounds are.

below: Canadian and Ontario flags fly along the docks of the Ontario Place Marina.

flags line the walkway leading from the dome shaped cinesphere at Ontario Place,

below: Double trouble.   Hot x 2

close up photo of a small part of the side of the cinesphere building, showing the metal bars that form the exoskeleton structure of the spherical building

below: Those are some very big boats!

four or five very large yachts are moored in the harbour along Toronto's waterfront, highrises in the background

There is also a new park, Trillium Park, that has been built on the eastern end of Ontario Place.  It is 7.5 acres of green space with a 1.3 km trail (the William G. Davis trail) winding through it.

below: Trillium Park provides new angles from which to view the CN Tower and the Toronto skyline.


couple, man and woman, sitting together, on a grassy hill. The CN Tower is behind them.

below: It is also a spot from which to watch airplanes as they take off from Billy Bishop Airport.

a man in a red baseball cap sits on a rock, his bike parked beside, while watching a pOrter airlines plane take off from Billy Bishop Airport

below: Sunbathers

two people lying on a blanket on a grassy area in a park, trees in the background

below: Rock climbing

a boy stands on top of a pile of rocks, his father is beginning to climb up the rocks to reach him

purple cone head flowers

a woman sits on a rock wall, looking out over Lake ontario, there are boats on the water and a sea gull flying past

below: Water levels in Brigantine Cove, like all of Lake Ontario, are higher than usual.

an electrical plug in station stands in the water by a flooded dock at Brigantine Cove, Ontario Place, with sailboats in the background.

below: There are still some traces of the amusement park rides that were once there. There is no water in the boat ride, but the bilingual warning signs are still on the rocks. “Keep hands, arms and head inside boat. Stay seated.”

a woman standing between two rocks pretends to be riding in a boat as she points to a sign that says

below: Tbonez (urban ninja squadron) must have been to Ontario Place recently

a urban ninja squadron sticker on the side of a metal staircase that was painted brown but the paint is peeling off

below: Crochet street art, marine life, discovered clinging to the underside of a small wooden bridge.
This picture is upside down.

crocheted sea creatures clinging to the underside of a wood bridge

below: A painting of a man painting and of his shadow painting.

painting on a cylindrical building, of a man on a ladder, painting, also his shadow

below: And last, music events are held at Echo Beach, a section of Ontario Place.  The day that I was there a steady background noise from the electronic (techno?  I’m out of date on newer music genres) music permeated the park.  You couldn’t escape it.   This isn’t the best picture but I didn’t get very close – my poor head!  I was interested in the palm trees but I couldn’t get the right angle.   There are other music events happening this summer so maybe you can time your visit to coincide with music that you like!

 

Maybe you thought that the duck was a waste of money  or maybe you thought the duck was a fantastic idea.    Maybe you didn’t like the duck because it wasn’t Canadian enough for a Canada Day celebration (the Canaduck!) or maybe you didn’t care about such things.   It certainly generated a lot of discussion even before it arrived – who hasn’t heard about the duck?  Who didn’t have an opinion about the duck?   It spawned the hashtag #whattheduck, a play on WTF.

big yellow duck, side view, people on shore

The noise has now all died down.   The 150th birthday party is over.

I don’t think that I am alone in thinking that the duck was the star of the Redpath Waterfront Festival and that the festival organizers have no regrets about spending the money on the duck.

below: The yellow duck was moored by HTO beach (that’s the one with the yellow umbrellas) for the duration of the July 1st long weekend.   It smiled through rain and shine.

large inflatable yellow rubber duckie sits on the water, Lake Ontario, at the waterfront in Toronto

below: It was a popular duck and it attracted about a million people. People of all ages.  It was about 6 storeys tall so even if you couldn’t get close to it, you could still get a good view.

a litttle girl is being held up by her father, she is pointing at the duck and looking at her mother who is taking a picture of it

below: Millions of photos were taken with (and of) the duck. It was a willing subject and it stayed still – it was good at holding a pose.   The trick was to get a selfie that didn’t have lots of other people in it!   He was a bit grubby – maybe too big for a bathtub? – but no one cared.

three people are taking selfies in front of the big yellow duck

below: Not everyone was excited to see the duck!

an older man is sleeping on a white muskoka chair and under a big yellow umbrella at HTO beach in Toronto, crowd of people standing behind him

below: One last look at the duck.  On Monday evening the duck was towed across Toronto Harbour to the Port Lands where it was deflated and readied to be sent to Owen Sound for the next port of call on its Ontario tour.

the large yellow rubber ducky is being towed across Toronto harbour

Yesterday afternoon was perfect for a stroll along the boardwalk.  I hadn’t been in that part of the city since the flooding occurred earlier in the spring.  The lake levels are still high but that doesn’t prevent people from enjoying the sun and sand.

at the beach, a woman with a large yellow hat and red top lies under a red, orange and yellow striped umbrella, lake and sky in the background

below: Party time behind the fence! This scene caught my eye because of the positioning of the chairs behind the fence (part of the beach is closed after the flooding). It wasn’t until I looked at the picture on my computer that I saw the LCBO bag between two of the chairs and the can of Palm Bay on one of arm rests.

three Muskoka chairs, red, blue, and yellow, on the beach with the tops of three heads showing, a dog lies in the sand beside them, Lake Ontario in the background. An LCBO bag between two of the chairs. A large thermos mug on the armrest of one chair and a can of Palm Bay vodka drink on the arm of another. An orange plastice fence is in front of them because that part of the beach is closed because of high water levels

below: The lifeguards are now manning some of the stations.   Because of the flooding, there is a pool behind the lifeguard where there was once beach.

lifeguard at Woodbine Beach, the beach is flooded so that there is also water behind the lifeguard. two chairs, one yellow and one green, sit in the flooded part

below: The remnants of sandbags ebb and flow with the waves.   Grounded.   Just enough sand to keep them from floating away.

the remains of ornage and yellow sandbags on a beach, some sand still in them so they don't float away.

a woman with red hair lies under a blue and white umbrella on the beach by Lake Ontario

a man sits on a red Muskoka chair in the flooded part of Woodbine beach. A red and yellow flag flies behind him.

below: The high water levels have encroached on the dog park.

flooded beach, fences in water, remains of orange temporary fence, a tree in the water

a man is lying on his back on Kew Beach, by Lake Ontario, a Canada goose is swimming by.

a woman sits on top of a picnic table onthe beach because the sand comes up to the level of the seats, lake and rocks in the background.

below: Look! An aerial view of Stonehenge! LOL.  And with that smile (I hope!)…  and with sand between my toes and in my sandals, I’ll leave you for another day.

a ring of pebbles in the sand on a beach

The water levels in Lake Ontario are higher than normal this spring – some beaches are under water and a large percent of the Toronto Islands are flooded.  In front of the Power Plant Art Gallery the water level is even with with the concrete walkway… but not high enough to deter people from enjoying the waterfront this past weekend.

a young couple sits by the waterfront, on a stone bench. He has his arm around her. There is yellow caution tape behind them because the water level in Lake Ontario is high.

It seems appropriate that the artwork on the exterior wall (facing the lake) of the Power Plant features an image of water – white crested waves on a large lake.  The piece is “Bound, Hupfield 2017” by Maria Hupfield; it is 19 feet high and 31 feet wide.   The central image is a seascape painted by the artist’s mother, Peggy Miller, many years ago.  It is being wrapped (unwrapped?) with grey felt-like material.
Is it a treasured artwork that is being readied for storage?
Is it a painful memory that is being covered up to be forgotten?
Is it a family heirloom that is being brought out for someone to admire?

a large art installation on the south exterior wall of the Power Plant contemporary art gallery, with a small tree in front of it.

a girl sits on the rail between the walkway on the waterfront and the water while she reaches a hand out towards a duck. Her mother and younger sister watch.

a mother crouches down beside a young child who is wearing a helmet and is on a scooter, the mother is waving at the Kajama as it docks, the Kajama is a boat with sails that gives tourists rides on Lake Ontario

If you are interested in more information about Maria Hupfield, check the CONTACT website.

“Objects contain meanings beyond their materiality, meanings that we bring to them or receive from them. Objects are the result of an action, entail a trace of a human gesture, and trigger reactions and memories. They have the potential to be read collectively or personally. In her artistic practice, Maria Hupfield reveals the interrelational potential triggered by objects between humans or cultural environments.”