Monday, January 31, 2011

An Urban "Forest"

I spent the day at a trade show at the Toronto Congress Centre which has a newly renovated building giving it over 1 million sq ft of floor space. In the midst of this very commercial environment is this wonderful installation of old wooden beams set into the floor and rising towards the ceiling like trees in a forest. There is something comforting and majestic about natural wood no matter what the setting! This pic shows just a section of the whole piece.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Look Up

This art piece titled "Air Show XV" is located in the lobby of the addition of College Park not far from the totem poles of a few days ago. By artist David Barnett it is a mural on shaped aluminum and is 16' high by 9' wide. I find the positioning really interesting because the bottom of the piece starts well up the wall forcing viewers to crane their necks, mirroring the people in the mural itself! Pretty cool!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Museum Subway Station

The subway station that serves the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) was redone a few years ago and now features columns shaped as First Nation house posts, Doric columns, Pharaohs, etc, all based on artifacts from the collection in the museum. Some subway purists aren't impressed by the changes to the traditional station but I quite like it!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Park Your Bike?

A cafe on Harbord St has put in this wonderful little bike parking lot beside their patio. You lock your bike to one of these colourful bikes which are so cheerful even when empty. Obviously not getting used too much in this weather!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

"The Three Watchmen"

As I wandered about College Park, I discovered these wonderful totems installed to commemorate the opening of a new addition in 1984. By celebrated Canadian artist Robert Davidson who is from our northwest coast and is of Haida descent, they are magnificent! The larger pole is 50ft high and the 2 smaller ones are 30ft tall - standing in a 6 storey atrium. I couldn't get back far enough to get the top in - it's amazing how our human eye can see where the camera can't!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

College Park Deco

It was so cold on Sunday that I headed inside the nearby College Park for some warmer shots. College park was built between 1928 - 30 (the height of the Art Deco movement) by the Eaton's Department Stores and was intended to become their flagship store but the Depression changed all that and it became a satellite store to the main downtown store until 1977 when it was closed. The building has since been divided up amongst many stores and companies but the wonderful Deco aspects have been maintained. The detail work on the railings and the wonderfully integrated stonework/planter are just samples of the incredible pieces still there! I'll get an outside shot on a warmer day!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

"Inner City Gate"

This is another one of the more than 40 pieces in Toronto by artist Kosso Eloul and once again he is playing the balancing act with large steel boxes. Installed in 1978 and located outside the Elizabeth St entrance to Toronto General Hospital, it is quite an impressive sight standing on a high earth mound and being 10 ft tall itself. It was -19C on Sunday morning when I took this shot so I didn't linger!

Monday, January 24, 2011

Ready For Easter?

I was surprised to see this skid of chocolate bunnies in the local grocery store on the weekend - 3 months before Easter! They did look tempting though.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Osgoode Hall Fence Support

The fence at Osgoode Hall from yesterday's post has these wonderfully detailed supports all along the inside perimeter of the fence. As well as serving a functional purpose they add to the beauty of the whole structure.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Osgoode Hall Fence

Osgoode Hall, which is owned by the Ontario Gov't and the Law Society of Ontario, has occupied a 6 acre property on Queen St right beside Toronto City Hall since 1829. In 1868 a gorgeous, Victorian design, cast iron fence was erected around the perimeter of the property and this is one of its gates. Called "cow gates" because they are used on farms to control the movement of cows, the gates were probably installed here for their charm rather than for repelling grazing animals!

Friday, January 21, 2011

A Work in 3 Places Part 3

The final destination. A bronze policewoman in full uniform is using a trowel to cement the blocks, which the worker from part 1 has carried to the site, into place to form a base for the obelisk which the little boy is bringing on his wagon. Interesting concept but I am not sure how many people actually view the 3 sculptures as 1 piece as they are a bit spread out around the block!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Work in 3 Places Part 2

Just along the street from yesterday's sculpture you will find this piece consisting of a little bronze boy pulling a wagon with a 21 ft high, stone obelisk on it. He too is heading towards Toronto Police Headquarters. The obelisk has the words "To Serve And Protect" chiseled into it - the motto of the Toronto Police. I have done a 2 part pic since there is such a scale difference between the boy and the obelisk!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

A Work in 3 Places

This pic is one of 3 sculptures related to each other but at 3 distinct sites around Toronto Police Headquarters on College St. Installed in 1988 and designed by Toronto artist Eldon Garnet, this life-size bronze figure of a construction worker is carrying 2 large books and granite blocks towards a site which will be revealed in 2 days as I post the other parts of this work. Hope you aren't too confused!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Just a bit up Bay St from yesterday's post is this sculpture by artist Kosso Eloul who was born in Russia but lived in Toronto for many years. Titled "Zen West", the 3 stainless steel boxes leave the viewer in a state of suspense waiting for their collapse to the ground. It is part of the wonderful sculpture collection at St Michael's College and is one of over 40 of Eloul's sculptures on public display in Toronto.

Monday, January 17, 2011

The Urban Waterfall?

As I continued my cold tour yesterday, I discovered this striking piece in front of a condo building on Bay St. Titled "Liquid Echo", this work of stainless steel, aluminum, and concrete was designed by American-born artist Catherine Widgery and was installed in 1999. It is an environmental piece with each of the 24, 20 ft high tubes being wind driven to create the effect of a waterfall when in motion. Only a few were spiralling yesterday - will have to return on a windy day in summer! I featured one of Widgery's works before - here.

Sunday, January 16, 2011


I just happened upon this bronze sculpture today as I wandered about downtown in freezing temps (-12C, windchill -23C!). Dedicated in 2005, this sculpture is part of the Ontario Fire Fighters Memorial honouring the over 300 firefighters who have lost their lives in Ontario. I have been unable to discover the artist's name but the piece is very effective showing the fire fighter rescuing a child, positioned in front of the black granite monolith representing a building. I didn't realize until I got home that there is a wonderful reflection in the granite showing our flag which is at half-mast honouring a Toronto policeman who was killed this week.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

"Anonymity Of Prevention"

This bronze sculpture by artists Derek Lo & Lana Winkler was commissioned by the WSIB (Workplace Safety & Insurance Board of Ontario) and was installed next to their building on Front St in 2000. It is installed beside a monument to the many workers who have lost their lives in the workplace in Ontario and is quite suitable in that this worker is wearing all the proper safety gear - goggles etc. - as he 'chisels' into the granite wall. A reminder to us all!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Dressed For the Cold

It seems that all the little dogs dress to go out in the cold these days - never did when I was a kid. The little guy in the back here actually has 2 layers on and even a hood. They are both wearing orange balloons on their feet to protect against the salt and ice-melters which are liberally sprinkled about on our sidewalks during the winter. We are all waiting for spring!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Sign For Dogs

I came across this sign on the grounds of a condo complex while wandering around in the fall. I had a good laugh and wondered how you stop a dog from disobeying these orders!

Taking part in Signs, Signs. For more signs click here.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

"The Pines"

This bronze sculpture by Canadian artist Walter Yarwood was installed in front of a Government of Ontario building on Wellesley St in 1968. This low relief style was very typical of the era and of his work which included many commissions for various institutions including the U of Toronto. I love how the snowfall has accentuated the branches!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tarragon Theatre

Housed in a building that was once a cribbage board factory, the Tarragon Theatre has just celebrated its 40th anniversary. One of many smaller theatres in Toronto, the Tarragon is known for its development, creation, and encouragement of new works and the building with 2 large playing stations, rehearsal halls, wood shop and more enables this. It is also famous for the large cookies it sells at intermission!

Monday, January 10, 2011

Ascending Women

This sculpture titled, "La Scala" (after the long-time restaurant La Scala previously on this site), was installed in 2003 and features the figures of 9 women ascending an invisible 2 storey high staircase that is wrapped around one of the concrete supports of a condo tower downtown. Each 5' high figure is made of a flat steel side silhouette and a flat steel frontal silhouette that have been intersected to give a 3-D image. The artists are Colette Whiten and Paul Kipps. I love this piece!

Sunday, January 9, 2011


Probably the most controversial sculpture on the U of Toronto campus is this one, "Crucified Woman" by artist Almuth Lutkenhaus. Installed in 1976 at Victoria College, it has been the subject of much debate that continues to this day. Obviously some students have decided to 'keep her warm' by providing the scarf but you can still see the strength and power of the piece as it stands in its glade of trees.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Surprise Snow Storm

The weather forecasters called for 1 cm of snow and we woke up to more than 10 cm! It's the beautiful fluffy stuff and the sun has come out so it's gorgeous walking around the neighbourhood. I have been shooting this 1948 Ford F-1 pick-up all summer and fall but today it looked quite fabulous with it's blanket of snow!

Friday, January 7, 2011

Doors Extraordinaire

These incredible steel doors are found on the Globe and Mail (Canada's largest national newspaper) building on Front St. Originally installed in 1937 at the King St offices, the doors were rescued when that building was demolished in 1974 and then placed at the new building. They are wonderful - such super Deco details!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Senator

Housed in a house built in the 1860s, The Senator has been a Toronto landmark since 1948. With most of its 1940s interior intact it's a great place to eat. Upstairs was a well-known jazz club, Top O' The Senator, until its closing in 2005. Love the old signage.

Taking part in Signs,Signs. For more click here.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


I took this pic in the financial district just before winter set in. By artist George Schmerholz, and titled "Megaptera" (Humpback Whale), it is carved from Prairie Green Granite and was installed on King St in 1993. The skill level of the carving is incredible!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

"Pillars Of Justice"

This sculpture, "Pillars Of Justice", was installed in 2007 in front of the Courthouse on University Ave. It represents the people of the jury as the pillars of justice and the missing figure in the front row "invites you to imagine that you are the twelfth juror". It was designed by English artist Edwina Sandys - the granddaughter of Winston Churchill. We got a sprinkle of snow this morning!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Waiting for Tim Burton

I arrived early for the Tim Burton exhibition at the TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival) building yesterday so got this pic before the crowds moved into line. The show is fabulous - 100s of great drawings, puppets, props and even Edward Scissorhands's hand! No photos allowed inside the show though.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Red Mini

It has been very grey here this week and it is a grey time of year so this neat little red Mini caught my eye as I walked by a private boys school in the Annex. There are a lot of Minis here with graphic details but I especially like the checkered patterning on the roof, wheels, and side mirror of this one!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Shot Of The Year

As part of the theme of shot of the year, this is my pic. It shows Douglas Coupland's installation of giant fishing bobs at Canoe Landing Park downtown. I love the colours and the sky.

I am having no luck doing the link for the theme - after 7 tries I give up!