Posts Tagged ‘soldiers’

Sculptures by Ken Lum.

I was walking up Bay Street yesterday when I stopped.  Out of the corner of my eye I had caught a glimpse of a sculpture that I had never seen before.  It is ‘Two Children of Toronto’ by Ken Lum, 2013.

Two children, a boy and a girl, sit opposite each other, some distance between them.

two children of toronto, a sculpture by Ken Lum, two children seated on pedestals, about 25 feet apart, along the side of a walkay, with a concrete building beside them. The children are looking towards each other

What you can’t see in the above picture is that there are words in bronze mounted on the wall.  The words say: “Across time and space, two children of Toronto meet”.  The two kids are looking towards each but not each other.

sculpture, Two Children of Toronto by Ken Lum in a downtownwalkway with a concrete bulding beside it, girl's face

below: Both children are wearing clothes from bygone days.

sculpture, Two Children of Toronto by Ken Lum in a downtownwalkway with a concrete bulding beside it, looking towards the girl, with Bay Street and Canadian Tire store behind

below: But the boy’s clothes are more Chinese looking.

sculpture, Two Children of Toronto by Ken Lum in a downtownwalkway with a concrete bulding beside it, a boy is seated on a concrete pedestal.

After my walk the other day, I started researching Ken Lum.  I discovered that he has another sculpture nearby, and fortuitously, it was one that I took some pictures of back in December.  It is “Peace Through Valour” located at the NW corner of City Hall property.  Winston Churchill is standing close by.

a sculpture called Peace Through valour by Ken Lum, outside on a snowy day. A square piece with a soldier standing guard at each corner. On top of the flat squsre is a model of a town in square blocks (no details on the buildings).

It commemorates the 93,000 Canadians who fought in the Italian campaign of WW2 and was dedicated in June 2016.   A Canadian soldier stands vigil at each corner of the memorial.  The top of the 7 foot x 7 foot square is a topographical map of Ortona, a town in Italy that was a scene of a battle at Christmas time in 1943.  Ortona is on the Adriatic coast and its streets were narrow which made it difficult for Allied forces to liberate the town from Nazi Germany.

two soldiers stand vigil at the corners of a memorial, sculptures,

Money for the sculpture was donated by the Italian-Canadian community.

two soldiers stand vigil at the corners of a memorial, sculptures,

This is another meandering blog post… a post about being out and about on yet another wonderful autumn day, going wherever my feet and eyes take me.

below: The first picture of my day was this intriguing wall made of old wooden doors.  Bathurst Street.

a tall narrow wall about three storeys high made of old white doors.

below: A small elicser mural tucked away at the end of a parking lot.   The man has his back to the viewer but I can’t figure out what’s behind him or what he might be doing.

small mural on a fence, a man's head is back to the viewer

below: The leaves have fallen off the vines to reveal a yellowish creature with his baseball cap askew.

graffiti painting of a yellow animal like creature wearing a blue and yellow baseball cap. The creature is yellow. On a red brick wall, with spots on its back

below: Toronto’s tallest icon framed by a construction crane.

CN Tower in the distance, condo construction in the foreground, with a red crane

below: And on a similar note, a vacant lot cleared and ready for the next stage of its life.

a box beside a fence that has been scrawled over with blue spray paint. Behind it is a fence around a vacant empty lot. There are some small trees growing in front of the fence.

below: No more cranes here (and not many vacant lots either for that matter).  A view showing how much development there has been on the south side of the railway tracks.   Fort York is between the tracks and the condo towers.

a VIA Rail train passes by on one set of many tracks, in the background is Fort York and then a series of new condo buildings.

below: And what’s this? An old blue canoe beached on the tracks?

looking at the scene from a above, a blue canoe has been used to plant plants in. It lies across an old railway track, a chainlink fence separates the canoe from the main railway tracks that still function.

below: Standing guard over Bathurst Street, Fleet street and the Lakeshore, is one larger than life gold replica of a Royal Newfoundland Regiment and his fallen silver American foe. A sculpture by Douglas Copeland entitled “A Monument to the War of 1812”, a nod to nearby Fort York and the history of Toronto.

Douglas Copeland's sculpture of two tin soldiers, a gold one standing with backpack on and rifle in hand, and a silver one lying on its back on the ground, uniforms circa War of 1812, seen from the back, figures are much large than life sized and they are on a corner at an intersection, Bathurst St. and Fleet St.

below: My favorite example of bad grammar still exists!  Off-leash dog area at Coronation Park.

a wood fence around a dog park, in autumn with lots of leaves on the ground, on the fence is a white sign with black letters re the Toronto municipal code 608,

A beautiful day in the park.  A slight November nip was in the air but it was sunny and the sky was a brilliant shade of blue.  Coronation Park is named in honour of the coronation of King George VI who was crowned on 12 May 1937.  At that time nearly 150 trees were planted here.

Apparently, an oak tree was planted to honour the king.  Surrounding it, a ring of silver maples was planted.  This was to symbolize the countries of the British Empire.  I wish I had known that bit of trivia before I walked through the park because now I am curious if these trees are still there.   Some of the trees are quite substantial.

below: Long shadows for the morning sun, low in the sky.

morning in the park, autumn, trees with some leaves still on, many leaves on the ground, wood railing fence, shadows, Lake Ontario, path, Coronation Park.

below: Looking back towards the city center, past the empty docks of the National Yacht Club to the residences on Stadium Road.   A small group of people were making a video in the dog park.

morning in the park, autumn, trees with some leaves still on, many leaves on the ground, wood railing fence, shadows, Lake Ontario, path, Coronation Park. a small group of people in the distance are filming a video

below: This Victory Peace Monument was unveiled on 14 November 1995 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the end of World War 2 and honour those who died in that war.   It was designed by John McEwen; the bronze pieces resemble the bow of a ship.

Metal partial cylindrical shapes on a concrete circular monument. World War 2 memorial

below: On the inside of one of the bronze pieces is a map of eastern Canada and the Atlantic Ocean.  Each boat on the map represents a ship or U-boat that was sunk during the war.  The Canadian ships are located on the map at “their last known position”.  I hadn’t realized that so many ships were lost so close to North America.

relief map of eastern Canada and the Atlantic Ocean, in bronze on a WW2 memorial. Little ships are shown on the ocean where they were sunk during WW2.

Trees were also planted to represent the four divisions of the Canadian Expeditionary Force (WW1) and its units as well as those who fought in the Fenian Raids of 1866-1870, the Northwest Rebellion of 1885, and the Boer War (1899-1902).  Once upon a time, brass plaques were placed at the foot of each tree to indicate the units the tree stood for.  If any plaques remain, I didn’t see them.

below: Another memorial is close by, a  “Memorial to Lieut. Tommy Hobbs gallant British Canadian soldier in the Great War 1914 – 1918.  Died on active service November 10, 1940.  Beloved and remembered by his comrades.”   Tommy Hobbs was involved in the creation of this park.

a memorial in a park made of a small pile of rocks. The top rock is inscribed, memorial to Tommy Hobbs, died 1940, in Coronation Park

below: A little farther on I noticed another rock, one that was painted red.   The bronze plaque on the rock says that 20 trees have been planted here in commemoration of the G20 Summit held in Toronto in 2010.

a large rock with a bronze plaque on it. The rock has been crudely painted red

below:  A 30 foot tall Inukshuk stands looking out over Lake Ontario.  Approximately 50 tonnes of mountain rose granite was used to create the Inukshuk, which was made by Inuit artist Kellypalik Qimirpik from Cape Dorset, Nunavut.

a tall stone inuksuk on a raised mound of warth

below: Streetcars across the baseball outfield.

Looking across the outfield of a baseball diamond towards a street. A line of mature trees by the street with two red and white TTC streetcars on the street, condo towers behind.

below: A closer look at that brown octagonal structure in the middle of the streetcar loop for the 509 and 511 cars.  Apparently it’s the Queens Wharf lighthouse, one of a pair built in 1861.

a brown structure, the Queens WHarf Lighthouse, sits on a patch of grass beside TTC streetcar tracks in front of a new condo.

The lighthouses marked the entrance to the Toronto Harbour from 1861 until the Western Channel was built in the early 1900’s.   This one stood on Queen’s Wharf which used to be at the foot of Bathurst Street, adjoining Fort York.  The wharf was built by the military; in 1833 it was a pier 42 feet long.    The pier no longer exists; a hundred years ago it was buried under what is now Bathurst Quay.

below:  A picture of an historical map (1886 or 1887) of the area showing Toronto Harbour, Fort York and the railway lands.  Queen’s Wharf is the pier on the left.   At that time, Front Street was the southern most street in this part of the city.   All the present day development south of the train tracks is on reclaimed land.

picture of historical map of part of Toronto Harbour from 1886, showing Fort York, Front St., and Bathurst St., and the railway lands and wharves into Lake Ontario,

below:   Taken from google maps, what the layout of the city looks like now.   As you can see, there have been many changes!

present day map taken from google maps of Coronation Park and Bathurst Quay including Fort York

Lake Ontario in the foreground, trees in Coronation Park in the middle and Toronto skyline in the distance with the CN Tower and a large Canadian flag.
a sticker of a rainbow in a heart shape. A small purple heart is in the center, then a blue heart is drawn around it, moving outwards in rainbow colours.

Remembrance Day
the eleventh day of the eleventh month

November 11th at 11am in 1918 (the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month)  was when an armistice was signed by representatives of Germany and the Entente.  Nov 11th became known Armistice Day, or in some countries such as Canada, Remembrance Day.  An armistice is an agreement to stop fighting, a truce in other words.  After this signing, it took several months of negotiations before the First World War officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 June 1919.  That treaty ended the war between Germany and the Allies.  (The Allies of WW1 were also known as the Entente Powers while Germany and her allies were known as the Central Powers)

The poppy became a symbol of Remembrance day, and a symbol in remembrance of soldiers who died fighting in all wars, after the publication of the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ in 1915.  This popular and often quoted poem was written by Canadian Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae.  In it he talks about the poppies that grew in the battlefields at Flanders Belgium during WW1.

“In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,”

Many Remembrance day poppies lie on the grass in front of the cenotaph in front of old City Hall. In the background is a small Canadian flag as well as a few wreaths that have been laid in front of the cenotaph.

below: The cenotaph (war memorial) in front of Old City Hall was unveiled on 11 Nov 1925 to commemorate those Torontonians who died in WW1.  Since then, it has been expanded to include those who lost their lives in WW2 and in the Korean War.  The word cenotaph comes from the Greek and translates as ’empty tomb’. This style of memorial has been used widely for commemorating someone, or some group, whose remains are interred elsewhere.

More than 6000 Torontonians lost their lives in these three conflicts.  Close to three thousand men died in World War 1, a number that represents about 2% of the male population of the time. (1)

The cenotaph in front of Old City Hall in Toronto, with a collection of wreaths that have been laid at the bottom of it.

In the middle of University Avenue is a statue erected by the Toronto District of the Sons of England Benefit Society in memory of their members who died in World War 1.  Founded in 1876, this society provided insurance to its members who were in need because of illness or accident.

In 1914 Canada was still part of the British Empire.  As a result, when Britain found itself at war in August of that year, Canada too was involved.

statue and memorial at University and Elm streets.

below: At the base of the center lion is a small plaque that reads: “Chas Adamson, sculptor, 1923”.

A carving of a lion in granite. It is at the base of a sculpture. A small brass plate is attached in front of the lion and it says Chas Adamson, sculptor 1923

below: The Sons of England building on the NW corner of Richmond St. East and Berti St., 1922

historical picture of Richmond Street near Berti, taken in 1922, old buildings, a, horse drawn cart and an old car. Streets but no traffic. black and white photo.

photo credit: Toronto public library website

 

Another memorial in this city is the Ontario Veterans Memorial.  This is a 30m long granite wall in front of Queens Park dedicated to all the men and women from Ontario who served in the military.  Etched into the granite are scenes depicting Canadians in military roles between the time of the Fenian Raids in 1867 to the present day.

below: Part of the granite wall.  The red in the picture is a reflection of the red carpet that was laid in front of the memorial for the Remembrance Day service.
An etching of men running across a battlefield with rifles at the ready.

below: part of the granite wall

part of a war memorial showing the wars written on it

Transcription of the passage by Canadian author Jane Urquhart:
One by one they left behind the bright fields of innocence and stepped into the darkness of experience
Their brave departure was discrete* and humble.
Un à un, ils ont quitté les champs illuminés de l’innocence pour se plonger dans la noirceur de
i’expérience. Ils ont quitté avec courage, discrétion et humilité
Some do not return. Their absence is as big as sorrow, as wide as grief.
Certains ne reviennent jamais. Leur absence laisse un vide aussi béant que le chagrin,
aussi vaste que le deuil.
The returning walk back toward their northern homeland. Their faces are shadowed,
but they are carrying illumination in their arms.
Ceux qui reviennent marchent vers leur terre nordique. Leurs visages sont dans l’ombre
mais ils portent la lumière dans leurs bras.  

(* discrete vs discreet ?)

below: Some of the wreaths laid at the Ontario Veterans Memorial on Remembrance Day.

wreaths in front of the granite wall of the Ontario Veterans Memorial

A bouquet of flowers, red roses, plus some white and blue flowers in front of a war memorial. An etching of three men in uniform, part of the memorial, is in the background.

 

below: Although it is not a war memorial per se, someone left a small poppy wreath by this plaque at Nathan Phillips Square.  The plaque is by the arches over the pool, the freedom arches.

blog_poppies_freedom_arches

Transcription of the plaque: Freedom Arches. The citizens of Toronto dedicate these arches to the millions who struggled, including Canadians, to gain and defend freedom and to the tens of millions who suffered and died for the lack of it. May all that we do be worthy of them. Only in freedom can the Human Spirit soar. Against the Human drive for freedom nothing can long succeed. This plaque is mounted on a slab of the Berlin Wall.

below: The 3D Toronto sign was red on Remembrance Day.

A remembrance day poppy is in the foreground. It is being held up in front of the 3D toronto sign which has been lit in red for Remembrance Day

We remember collectively as a nation, as a community. We also remember privately, as individuals, as families.  Countless small memorials can be found around Toronto including in schools, in churches and other religious institutions, and in cemeteries.

below: A memorial to the 48th Highlanders, Mount Pleasant cemetery.  In memory of the officers, non-commissioned officers, and men who have served with the 48th Highlanders.

Tall pinkish granite memorial to the 48th Highlanders in Mt Pleasant cemetery.

symbol, in metal, found on the memorial to the 48th Highlanders.

Dileas Gu Brath, their motto, is gaelic for ‘faithful forever’

below:  Quiet memorials

poppy wreath beside a tombstone in a cemetery

A small Canadian flag with two poppies pinned to it. The flag is inserted into the ground in front of a tombstone in a cemetery. The stone is a veterans stone, with air force insignia at the top and a cross at the bottom. In the middle is the information for the pilot who died during the war.

 

(1) source: Patrick Cain, Global News