Posts Tagged ‘public art’

If you go looking for Henry Moore at the corner of Dundas and McCaul, you will be disappointed.

green construction fence around a small part of the sidewalk at the corner of Dundas and McCaul, equipment inside, one small gingko tree, building says Art Gallery of Ontario

Instead, you have to walk around the corner.

yellow pedestrian crossing sign that has been altered to look like 2 art students, one with a cardboard tube and the other with a portfolio case

After residing at the corner of Dundas and McCaul since 1974,  Henry Moore’s sculpture “Large Two Forms” was moved to the newly renovated Grange Park on the 3rd of June.   Grange Park is behind the Art Gallery of Ontario as well as OCADU (Ontario College of Art and Design University).

 the Henry Moore sculpture, Large Two Forms, in Grange Park behind the Art Gallery of Ontario , a couple on a bench beside it

The new setting suits the sculpture.  There is more room for people to interact with the sculpture and the park makes a more picturesque background for those who like to take photos.

 the Henry Moore sculpture in Grange Park behind the Art Gallery of Ontario - Large Two Forms, with the blue wall of the AGO in the background

a girl in orange shorts and purple shoes stands on top of the Henry Moore sculpture in Grange Park behind the Art Gallery of Ontario

I’d be interested in knowing if the AGO has any plans for the now empty corner at Dundas and McCaul.  Was the construction pictured above just to remove the platform that the sculpture used to be on?  Or is there more to it than that?

Also, I don’t mean to spoil your fun, but how long will it be until a “do not climb” sign appears in Grange Park?   I’m not advocating for one – I just know how the city acts on things like this.   Part of me says, “Quick, get your selfie from on top of the sculpture while you can!”

A little extra that I discovered this morning.   As I wrote this blog post I kept thinking about “Down By the Henry Moore”, a song from my past.   All I could recall was the title.   I found a great version of it on youtube –  the song was written and sung by Murray McLauchlan and was released in 1974.   The Henry Moore referred to in the song is the one in front of City Hall but the video on youtube has some fabulous old picture of Toronto!  Many thanks to john allore who made the video and uploaded it to youtube.  I really enjoyed seeing the old images, down memory lane and all that.   If you are interested, this is the link;  it will open youtube in a new page.  You may have to suffer through a few seconds of ads and you have my apologies for that.

Cliffside is an area around Kingston Road in the west  side of the city and the ‘cliff’ in the name refers to the Scarborough Bluffs.    The murals in this post are all on Kingston Road just west of Midland Ave.    They are the result of work of Mural Routes, an organization “dedicated to the creation, development and promotion of public wall art” since 1990.

below: ‘Spooners Garage’ by Phillip Woolf, 1992.   Art Spooner’s garage in Cliffside was built in 1926 (and rebuilt in 1947).   The mural has two parts, each showing a different time period.  They face each other.

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

mural of gas station, Spooners Garage, from the 1920s or 1930s

below:  … and the later version

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

part of a mural showing a gas station from the 1940s or 1950s

 

below: ‘H.M. Schooner, Onondaga c. 1793’ by Jeff Jackson 1992.  The Onondaga was built near Kingston in 1790 and it served with the Provincial Marine until 1797.  It was the ship in which John Graves Simcoe and his wife Elizabeth sailed across Lake Ontario to York (now Toronto) to establish the capital of Upper Canada.

 

painted mural of a schooner from the 1790s sailing on Lake Ontario

below: ‘Let’s Take a Walk on the Wildside’ by B.C. Johnson, 2016.   Canadian plants and animals cover all four sides of Ikki Sushi – herons, bears, moose, beaver, and fox among the pine trees. Creeks, swamp, and waterfalls can also be seen.

 

Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna,

back of restaurant with open door. Ikki Sushi restaurant covered with a mural with scenes of Canadian flora and fauna, inside of door is painted too

below: ‘Cliffside Golf Course’ by Dan Sawatzky, 1991.   Founded by George McCordick in 1931, the Cliffside Golfcourse was south of Kingston Road and overlooked Lake Ontario.    It closed in 1950.  The mural is faded and partially obscured by two trees.

two trees obscure a faded mural

below: The words on the mural tell the story of the golf course.

mural of two men golfing. One is swinging a golf club and the other has a golf bag slung over his shoulderh

red vintage car in a mural

mural, woman from the 1930's standing behind a vintage car and holding a set of golf clubs

The last two murals have appeared in a previous blog post that I wrote once upon a time when I didn’t know how many Scarborough murals there were.  Even now I’ve hardly scratched the surface.

below:  ‘The Half Way House’ by John Hood, 1990.  The mural is at the corner of Midland Avenue & Kingston Road which is where the inn and stage coach stop was located.   The  building was moved to Black Creek Pioneer Village in 1965.

mural depicting the Half Way House, an old inn that used to be at the corner of Kingston Road and Midland. Two men are sitting on the stairs in front of the mural

below: ‘The Bluffs as Viewed by Elizabeth Simcoe c. 1793’ by Risto Turunen, 1992.   The story is that Elizabeth Simcoe was so impressed by the view of the cliffs she persuaded her husband, John Graves Simcoe, to name the area after Scarborough England where there are similar cliffs.

Three cars are parked in front of a large mural of the Scarborough Bluffs, there is a small row boat on Lake Ontario in front of the cliffs.

There are more murals on old Kingston Road both to the east and west of these, but that will be a story for another day.

also see: Heritage Trail Mural 8 – Old Kingston Road 

The facelift of Berczy Park has been completed and although the park only reopened a short time ago, it has already become a popular spot.

a photographer is taking engagement pictures of an Asian young couple as they sit on the edge of the fountain at Berczy park. The fountain features sculptures of dogs that spout water into the fountain. A young boy is also sitting on the edge of the fountain. He is looking forlornly at the photographer, looks like he's feeling left out.

The highlight of the park is the refurbished fountain.  Sculptures of dogs big and small spout water into the fountain – or maybe they’re drinking from the fountain?  There is one cat that sits quietly on the base of the sculpture seemingly unaware of the canine antics.

the new fountain in Berczy park, many sculptures of dogs that are spouting water into the fountain

Three boys playing with the water spouting out of a dog's (sculpture) mouth and into a fountain. One is spraying the other while a third watches

two little kids playing in a fountain, a young girl and a young boy. The boy is spraying water while the girl watches

Besides the fountain, there is new landscaping, trees, plants, and benches.

mural of windows and facadde on the back of the flatiron building with the redesigned Berczy park planting and benched in front of it

This sculpture was a feature of the original park but it’s been moved to a different location.   It is the work of Almuth Lukenhaus-Lackey.

sculpture of a family - father, mother and child in a park, with new garden plantings around it, hostas mostly

The plaque by this sculpture says “This sculpture was donated by the Electrical Society of Mecklenburg Upper Canada Inc., with the financial assistance of The Consumers’ Gas Company Limited and the The Council of Metropolitan Toronto, in memory of Johan Albrecht Ulrich Moll, better known as William Berczy, born December 10, 1744 in Wallerstein Germany. He was co-founder of York (Toronto) in 1794 when John Graves Simcoe was Lieutenant Governor of Upper Canada. His younger son, Charles Albert Berczy, was the first president of The Consumers’ Gas Company, from 1847 to 1856, and Postmaster of Toronto. His older son, William Bent Berczy was a Member of the Legislative Assembly of Upper Canada and like his father and mother, a gifted painter.”

I only spent a short time at the park on the weekend but I’m sure that I’ll be back!

Right now, the section of Sheppard Avenue East between Yonge and Leslie streets is a mix of old, middle aged and new – a hodge podge of sizes, styles and uses.   It’s neither ugly nor pretty.  It’s not sure if it’s city or  suburban.

below: The intersection of Bayview and Sheppard from the southwest.

main road with traffic, coming to an intersection, with a tall building in the background

You’ll probably never hear anyone say, “Hey, let’s go for a walk along Sheppard”.  So why was I there?   I’ve driven along this stretch many times but I have never walked it.  Have I been missing something?

below: A short distance west of Bayview is the modern brick St. Elizabeth of Hungary Roman Catholic Church, or ÁrpádHázi Szt. Erzsébet Római Katolikus Templom according to their sign.  Sunday mass is in Hungarian.   If you are driving past on Sheppard Ave, it’s easy to miss the simple steeple and cross that marks this building as a church.

steeple of St. Elizabeth of HUngary RC church, modern brick building with simple cross on the top

below: A large mosaic adorns one of the exterior walls.

mosaic on the exterior brick wall of St. Elizabeth of Hungary RC Church showing St. Elizabeth and two people kneeling beside her.

below: A small shrine is in front of the church.

small picture of Mary and baby Jesus in bright colours, on a small shrine in front of a church

below: The south entrance to Bayview subway station.  There are no escalators at this entrance  – instead, there is an elevator and a LOT of stairs.

south entrance to Bayview subway station with tall residential buildings behind and a construction site beside

below: The artwork at Bayview station is by Panya Clark Espinal, titled ‘From Here Right Now’.  Half an apple lies on the platform.

art on a subway platform, a line drawing of a very large apple that has been cut in half, on the wall and floor of the station

below: A salt or pepper shaker on the wall.  I’ve only shown two of the images in the series.  There are 24 in total and they are scattered throughout the  station.

art on a subway platform wall, a salt or pepper shaker in black on white tiles

below: There is a small park behind the south entrance to Bayview subway station, Kenaston Garden Parkette where I saw this tree in bud.   The first signs of spring are always wonderful to see.   Today it’s -12C outside so I hope the tree is okay.

pussy willow buds on a tree

below: This little park was designed by Wilk Associates Landscape Architecture and it incorporates a large number of rocks including a glacial boulder found on the site.   A bronze sculpture of a tree clinging to a rock  by Reinhard Reitzenstein is one of the features of the park.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock

below: If you stand in the park and look east,  you can’t miss the construction.

small sculpture in a park of a sapling on a rock with its roots growing over the surface of the rock - crane and construction site in the background

a convex mirror beside a black and yellow caution sign, condos are reflected in the mirror

the front and side of a large truck is in the foreground, right side, with a construction site beyond

Construction is everywhere on Sheppard Avenue.

below: All of the houses on Cusack Court are now gone.  Only the ‘No Exit’ sign remains.

a construction site where the houses on a a whole street have been demolished. The no exit sign for the street still remains., the site is behind a chainlink fence

a banner of the Canadian flag has fallen over and is lying on the ground behind a chainlink fence

below: The single family homes on the south side of Sheppard are slowly being demolished to make way for condo developments.  At the corner of Sheppard Ave East and Greenbriar  the proposed development of 184 residential units is the subject of an OMB prehearing on the 8 May 2017  (case number PL161113).

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below: Five houses are empty and waiting to be demolished to make way for two buildings, 11 and 6 storeys, mixed use (i.e. retail at street level) and incorporating a few townhouses.  In other words, the same old same old.

a boarded up house, split level, built in the 1950s, is in the foreground, condos and apartment buildings are behind it

below:  I said “same old same old” above because these types of buildings are popping up all over  many major roads that are outside the downtown core.  I suspect that Sheppard Avenue will be lined with structures like this one that’s already been built on the north side of Sheppard.

across the street is a 10 storey residential building, cars on the street, small trees in the foreground

Many people make the argument that there isn’t the density to support a subway along Sheppard.  I am of the opinion that if they’re not wrong now, they soon will be.   Development and public transit are dependent on each other, a symbiotic relationship if you will.   If you are affected by the construction along Eglinton for the new Crosstown line, you might agree that waiting for density only increases the problems and inconvenience (and cost?) of building new subway lines.   Also, have you seen photos of what the area around Davisville or Finch (and others) stations looked like when the subway opened there?   What is the required density?  Why do we want to funnel even more people towards the overcrowded Yonge line anyhow?   Is there an end to the questions we can ask?

And that’s another reason for my walk here…. to make note of the construction that is occurring whether we agree with it or not and to document some of  the changes.

below:  Two low rise apartment buildings.

two three storey brick apartment buildings with balconie in the front, taken from across the street

below: Once upon a time there were a lot of these little houses along Sheppard (even more so on the west side of Yonge Street).  At least one of these is still used as a family home but most are now offices or businesses.

a few small brick houses on the south side of Sheppard Ave

below: The north entrance to Bessarion station

looking across the street to the small north entrance to Bessarion subway station, with a small two storey plaza beside it

below: Looking east from Bessarion.  You can see as far as the condos on Don Mills Road.

looking west from Bessarion subway station towards Leslie Street and beyond,

   There is a reason that you haven’t seen many people in these pictures and it’s not because I waited for people to get out of the way.   Sheppard Avenue is a “major arterial road” under Toronto’s road classification system and traffic movement is its major function.  20,000+ cars are expected to use it every day.

I don’t like to say it, but why would you be walking along Sheppard anyhow?

below: Bayview Village parking lot at the NE corner of Bayview and Sheppard.

parking lot of a mall, Bayview village with surrounding buildings in the background.

As you might know, scroll down to the next blog post to see some pictures of Bessarion station!

 

The finishing touches are being put on five installations for the new Ice Breakers event along Queens Quay West and the waterfront.  Everything will be up and running this weekend and the installations will remain until the event ends on the 26th of February.    Ice Breakers is the result of a collaboration between the Waterfront BIA and Winter Stations (the people that brought the winter warming stations installations to the Beaches)

below: The first installation that I saw was ‘Incognito’ which stands out in Rees Street Parkette on Queens Quay.   It is by Curio Art Consultancy and Jaspal Riyait.

a public art installation in a park, winter time but no snow, no leaves on the trees, muddy brown grass, condo in the background. Artwork is a series of shapes stacked in a pile, all shapes are painted in black and white wide stripes. The stripes are horizontal, vertical and diagonal in the resulting structure, called incognito, by Jaspal Riyait and Curio

below: Set your sails and round you go!  Sailboats that go in circles.  ‘Leeward Fleet’ by RAW design sailing at Canada Square.

with the lake in the background, art installation beside Lake Ontario on Toronto's waterfront, called Leeward Fleet, by RAW consulting, two (of three) round platforms with a small sail in the middle. The boom of the sail is the handle for turning the platforms round and round like a merry go round.

art installation beside Lake Ontario on Toronto's waterfront, called Leeward Fleet, by RAW consulting, two (of three) round platforms with a small sail in the middle. The boom of the sail is the handle for turning the platforms round and round like a merry go round. CN Tower in the background as well as some of the downtown condos.

below: ‘Icebox ‘ is a black box on HTO beach which is where the yellow umbrellas are.  Alan and Alex of Anex Works were putting the finishing touches on it when I walked by.   Polymetis designed it, but Anex Works built it.  In fact, they are the ones responsible for construction of most of these installations.   I didn’t take any photos inside the box in part because it’s not complete… but the inside walls are made from hardened spray foam insulation and that’s all I’m going to tell you.  This one will be more fun if it’s a surprise.   I definitely plan to go back later in the month to check out the finished product.   And yes, it is reminiscent of the black box that was one of the Warming Stations in 2015, Hot Box, because it was the same artist (or group of artists).

black box on a beach with muskoka chairs and yellow umbrellas,

reflections of the yellow umbrellas of H T O beach on the black shiny sides of Icebox, an art installation at the beach

below: From across the street it looks like two hands gesturing like “It was this big!”
Or perhaps they are holding that grey building up?

looking across Queens Quay west to the buildings and condos in downtown, the edge of the Skydome (Rogers Center) is just visible, two large hands rise upwards as part of an art installation.

below:  The hands are made of wood.  The palms are covered in a shiny gold coloured material that will reflect the light that shines from the bottom of each hand.   “Tailored Twins” by Ferris + Associates.

two large wooden hands face each other, beside the sidewalk, condos behind, the plams are covered with shiny gold,

below: And last, an installation that probably looks much better in the dark when each diamond shaped module is lit from inside.   This is ‘Winter Diamonds’ and it was designed by Platant, a Danish design and artistic consultancy.  Their website is in Danish but it does have some interesting pictures on it, including an installation similar to this that was in Copenhagen last winter (I think!)

public art installation in a park along Lake Ontario, diamond shapes stacked in a pile, 10 pieces altogether, 5 on the bottom, 4 on the next row and one on top, grey in colour, bare trees and boats covered for the winter are in the background.

#TOicebreakers | #TOwaterfront

Note: Winter Stations returns to Balmy, Kew and Ashbridges Bay beaches on the 20th of February.

reflections of the yellow umbrellas of H T O beach on the black shiny sides of Icebox, an art installation at the beach

Tucked into a space between City Hall and the Court House, is a construction site.  Up until recently it was a parking lot.  Soon it will be a new Court House.  Like all construction sites in Toronto, it is surrounded by hoardings to separate it from the streets and sidewalks.
a yellow digger, not working at the moment, sits in a vacant lot, slightly snow covered, the back of Toronto City Hall is in the background.

On two sides of the lot, the hoardings have been covered with a mural that was commissioned by Infrastructure Ontario.  It is “Picturing the Ward”and it is an exhibit about the area that once existed here, The Ward.  It was an area where many immigrants first settled.  It was roughly in the rectangle formed by College St., Yonge St., Queen St., and University Ave.   In the 1830’s it was home to Blacks escaping slavery, it saw waves of Irish, Eastern European Jews, Italians, and Chinese to name a few.

On the west side (along Centre Avenue), there are old photos, newspaper clippings, and stories of individuals who once lived in the area.   The content was collected and curated by the Toronto Ward Museum, a new ‘museum without walls’  in the city.   PATCH (part of The STEPS Initiative) designed and installed the mural.  The stories are in both English and French.

below: A segment of the mural with a story titled “Hungering for Success”.   It is the story of Edward and Donna Pasquale nee Bernardo.  Both were born in Italy and both were brought to the Ward by their parents.  They met here and married in 1918.  Edward and his brother Pamphilo founded Pasquale Brothers store on Elm Street.   During WW2 Pamphilo spent three years imprisoned in an internment camp in Petawawa along with other Italian, German, and Japanese Canadians that the government considered enemies of the state.  Edward remained in Toronto running the store.

part of larger mural, small tree branch in front, tall office building behind, mural has old photos in blue tones as well as a lot of words about the history of the area

below: The newspaper story from ‘The Toronto Star’ of 3rd October 1907 describes the death of Mrs. Hazleton, a widow with two children, who was hit by a car at Yonge & Bloor.  The car was driven by Mr. F.E. Mutton.  Yes, back then the driver of the car was named in the newspaper.

old photos in blue tones on a mural, along with a picture of an old newspaper clipping describing an automobile accident at Yonge & Bloor in which someone died.

below: The middle section is a collage of cyanotypes (an old photographic process which results in blue pictures) produced by PA System (aka Alexa Hatanaka and Patrick Thompson) .  The images are of artifacts uncovered during the excavation of the area along with some heirlooms contributed by former Ward residents.  A couple of CBC people were braving the cold that day too!

part of mural on a snowy corner, photos in blue tones, a CBC cameraman and reporter are standing on the sidewalk in front of the mural

below: The south side of the hoardings are along Armoury Street.  This section is called, These Stories Are Not Unlike Your Stories. Old photographs of the area have been reproduced in shades of blue.  Orange ‘bubbles’ contain stories.  Most of the photographs are from the City of Toronto Archives although some come from private sources.

part of a larger mural in Toronto, blue photos, with words written in large capital letters, These Stories Are Not Unlike Your Stories

below: On one side, the pictures are printed in reverse and the accompanying words are in French.  The French stories are translations of the English ones.

part of larger mural, reprints in blue tones of historical photos from city archives of ould buildings from the part of the city called The Ward that was demolished in the 1950's to make way for new City Hall

below: The people who lived in The Ward were poor and their housing was sub-standard.  In 1911 a report by the city’s Department of Health described how bad the living conditions were for the people here.  Largely because of that report, demolition of the area started soon after to make space for office towers and government buildings.  I’m not sure how long parts of The Ward survived, but it was in the 1950’s that the original Chinatown along Elizabeth Street was demolished to make way for Nathan Phillips Square.

part of larger mural, reprints in blue tones of historical photos from city archives of ould buildings from the part of the city called The Ward that was demolished in the 1950's to make way for new City Hall

below: Some of the orange bubbles contain quotes from descendants of former residents of the area.  The bottom quote is: “My mom use to say, ‘We were all poor.  No one had anything.  It was normal.  Everyone was in the same position so we didn’t worry about it too much.'”  by Brian Banks, grandson of John & Mary Colestock, former residents.

 

part of larger mural, reprints in blue tones of historical photos from city archives of ould buildings from the part of the city called The Ward that was demolished in the 1950's to make way for new City Hall

below: There is still a lot of work to be done on the site!   The mural will be on view until at least October of next year. If you are interested in the details of the mural, more about the people featured, or the events described, then the best place to start looking is the section of the Toronto Ward Museum website that is devoted to this project.

two red diggers on top of a pile of dirt on a snow covered vacant lot, large multirise buildings in the background

On Beatrice Street just south of College there is a small parking lot.  The walls of the buildings on the north and east sides have been painted with a large mural called ‘A Stroll by Garrison Creek’ .

below: On the east side of the parking lot is a painting that represents Emily Bickford and her two daughters, Beatrice and Grace.  The street that the parking lot is on was named for Beatrice Bickford.  The next street parallel to Beatrice is Grace, named for Grace Bickford.   You might recognize the name Bickford if you are familiar with the area – Bickford Park is just south of Christie Pits.  Emily Bickford was responsible for donating some of her family’s land to the city to be used for parkland.

mural on the side of a brick building. Large. Three woman walking through long grass and chasing butterflies. A Stroll along Garrison Creek. Representing Emily Bickford and her daughters Beatrice and Grace.

below: You may have spotted the words Spud Bomb in the picture below.  Also, you might recognize the shapes in the dress that she wears as being similar to shapes seen in a lot of street art in Toronto.  They are the work of Pascal Paquette.  Both Paquette and Spud1 collaborated on this mural along with artist Artchild.

part of a larger mural, a young woman with her back to the viewer, walking through long grass

below: A large chickadee dominates the mural on the north side of the parking lot.

large mural of a chickadee, flowers, and butterflies

This mural was a StreetARToronto (StART) project, with help from VIBE Arts and the Toronto Parking Authority.   It was completed a couple of months ago, September 2016.

 

a monarch butterfly in a mural along with many pink and purple flowers

part of a larger mural, geometric and abstract shapes in many colours.