Posts Tagged ‘WW2’

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.

Photographs of the Lodz Ghetto (Poland 1940-1945)
by Henryk Ross,
at the Art Gallery of Ontario until 14 June 2015

Ross was a Polish Jewish photographer and one of the official Lodz ghetto photographers under the Nazi regime.

A girl is standing in front a photography exhibit where many black and white photos are grouped together to form one big picture.

In the autumn of 1944 as the Lodz ghetto was being shut down, Ross buried his 6000 negatives in jars.  The Red Army liberated Lodz in January of 1945 after which Ross unearthed his negatives.  Water damaged about half of them.  Of the surviving 3000 negatives, about 200 form the ‘Memory Unearthed’ exhibit.

Close up of photo display showing black and white photos of people in portrait like photos.

Some of the photos are ordinary pictures – portraits of people, children playing.  Other photos look ordinary until you learn the context, what is really happening in the picture.  Many photos document suffering and despair.  They elicit a lot of uncomfortable emotions but as an historical record the collection is excellent as well as much needed.

Last Folio, A Living Monument to the Holocaust
An exhibit of photographs by Yuri Dojc,

at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Yuri Dojc was born in Slovakia but is now based in Toronto.
Starting in the 1990’s he has returned to Slovakia a number of times in search of traces of Jewish life from prior to WW2.

a close up of a photograph of an old book, open, with the pages on one side all curled up.   The photo is taken from the top of the book.

Details of one of the photographs in the exhibit.

There are only eight photographs in this exhibit but each one tells a story.   Narratives of loss and of life interrupted.
But also stories of memory and remembrance.

 More information about the Last Folio project.