Toronto Music Garden in Autumn

Hello and welcome! I’m glad you’re here. It’s week 47 in 2022 and I’m hosting Weekend Coffee Share (WCS) linkup #97 which includes the Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC). Feel free to link your WCS or PPAC post to this post. Come on in for a coffee or tea, and let’s catch up.

I had written about the Toronto Music Garden in Spring (here), Summer (here) and Winter (here). To complete my series, I visited the garden in Autumn (early November). A week after my visit, we had our first dusting of snow.

Toronto Music Garden

The Toronto Music Garden springs from the imagination of renowned cellist Yo-Yo Ma and garden designer Julie Moir Messervy. Inspired by Johann Sebastian Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello, the garden is made up of six “movements” whose forms and feelings correspond to that suggested in the music: Prélude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Menuett, and Gigue.

Prélude

This section imparts the feeling of a flowing river. Granite boulders that came from the Canadian Shield represent a stream bed. Low-growing plants soften its banks. Circular designs on the ground and at the edge of the boulders represent the water movements. The trees with straight trunks are native Hackberry trees. This is the only section in the garden that is not a dance form.

Prélude in autumn

Allemande

This section imparts the feeling of a forest grove of wandering trails. The allemande is an ancient German dance. The trails swirl inward and move higher and higher up the hillside. A circle of dawn redwood trees and a small birch forest provide shades to the various contemplative sitting areas that look over the harbour.

Allemande in autumn

Courante

This section imparts the feeling of a swirling path through a wildflower meadow. The courante is an exuberant Italian and French dance form. The trails swirl upward in a spiral form, through a lush field of grasses and brightly-coloured perennials that attract bees, birds, and butterflies. At the top of the swirling path is the maypole, with Celtic-patterned spirals and iron wheel, designed by Anne Roberts.

Courante in autumn

Sarabande

This section is envisioned as a poet’s corner with a centerpiece. The sarabande is based on an ancient Spanish dance form. The trails go in an inward-arcing circle that is enclosed by tall needle-leaf evergreen trees. Japanese maple trees are also grown here. The centerpiece is a huge stone that acts as a stage for readings, and holds a small pool with water that reflects the sky.

Sarabande in autumn

Menuet

This section imparts the feeling of a formal parterre garden of flowers. The menuett is a French dance movement. Its formality and grace are reflected in the symmetry and geometry of a circular pavilion. The pavilion is hand-crafted with ornamental steel by Tom Tollefson. It is designed to shelter small musical ensembles or dance groups.

Menuet in autumn

Gigue

Gigue section imparts the feeling of a series of giant grass steps that offer views onto the harbour. The gigue, or “jog”, is an English dance. The steps form a curved amphitheatre that focus on a stone stage set under a weeping willow tree.

Gigue in autumn

Photographing Public Art Challenge

To my delight, as I reached the east end of the Toronto Music Garden, I saw a new mural on an utility box by artist Varvara Nedilska.

Art by Varvara Nedilska, 2022
Art by Varvara Nedilska, 2022

In early November, Toronto Music Garden still had plenty of colours such as pink and white anemones, pink and purple asters, snow berries, holly berries, and more. I love walking through the garden and take in the beauty around me.

December Schedule

Please note the following Weekend Coffee Share linkup schedule:

  • December 2: Linkup #98
  • December 9: Linkup #99
  • December 16: Linkup #100
  • December 23: No linkup
  • December 30: No linkup

I’ll repeat this announcement between now and December 16th since some bloggers don’t participate every week. I’ll be taking a break in the last two weeks of 2022. After the holidays, I’ll resume the Weekend Coffee Share linkup on Friday, January 6, 2023.

How was your week?

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75 thoughts on “Toronto Music Garden in Autumn

  1. leannelc November 25, 2022 / 8:10 am

    Hi Natalie – I have no understanding of musical movements at all, but that doesn’t stop me appreciating how beautiful those gardens are. I love how you’ve done a post on each of the seasons too. That willow towards the end is absolutely magnificent.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 25, 2022 / 10:14 am

      Hi Leanne, I’m glad you found these gardens beautiful. The explanations about the Toronto Music Garden design add to my imagination and appreciation of the garden as I walk through it. That willow is a lovely focal point for summer concerts. The musicians would perform under the shades of the tree and people sit on the steps to listen to the music.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Retirement Reflections November 25, 2022 / 8:35 am

    Hi, Natalie – I love how you have shared this garden in each of it’s seasons. I had no knowledge of the garden’s history or design. It truly is fascinating. Thank you for sharing this with us.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie November 25, 2022 / 10:16 am

      Hi Donna, I was glad to finally document the Toronto Music Garden in four seasons. This green space is a true treasure and beautiful year round. Thank you for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Gary A Wilson November 25, 2022 / 1:19 pm

    Hi Natalie,
    I too love the garden shots, especially that huge willow with the boat harbor in the background. We have some of these trees nearby and I grew up climbing and loving them. They are very soft wood trees with branches that break easily, so we learned to treat them kindly.
    Because we were a bunch of boys, we did break off a few of the long soft and pliable branches to make whips. They were great fun and worked really well, but we limited such antics because the trees are just so amazing as is.
    Thanks for hosting another great visit.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 25, 2022 / 5:26 pm

      Gary, Willow trees provide wonderful shades in the summer. Thank you for sharing your childhood story.

      Like

  4. Thistles and Kiwis November 25, 2022 / 1:54 pm

    Oh remember your other posts from this garden – thank you for completing the seasons! Lovely place.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 25, 2022 / 5:27 pm

      Thank you, Barbara. I was glad to finally document the Toronto Music Garden in four seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 25, 2022 / 5:30 pm

      Thank you, Sue, for joining me. The garden designer Julie Moir Messervy and the gardeners who maintain this garden have done a fantastic job. Have a great weekend!

      Like

    • Natalie November 25, 2022 / 5:32 pm

      Janis, Agreed. Toronto is fortunate to have this garden and visitors have free access to it year round.

      Like

  5. Writing Sparkle November 25, 2022 / 9:32 pm

    Thanks for posting the December coffee schedule. Its hard to believe we are so close to Christmas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 25, 2022 / 9:44 pm

      You’re welcome, Shari. Four weeks to go before Christmas and five before New Year’s.

      Like

  6. Ju-Lyn November 26, 2022 / 2:22 am

    So lovely to see the Toronto Music Gardens in the Fall – different seasons, different views. Such fun! And to discover a new mural – nice!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 26, 2022 / 9:47 am

      Thank you, Ju-Lyn. I was pleased to finally document the Toronto Music Garden in four seasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ju-Lyn November 29, 2022 / 6:08 pm

        A beautiful work in nature (and heritage) documentation!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie November 29, 2022 / 8:20 pm

          Thank you for your kind words.

          Like

  7. Janet Alcorn November 26, 2022 / 8:01 am

    Love those fall colors! And it’s interesting to see the changes from season to season. As a gardener, I’ve always been fascinated at how different a garden looks each season–different textures, different colors, different moods.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 26, 2022 / 9:50 am

      Janet, I share similar fascination and that’s why I visited this garden in four seasons. Thank you for joining me.

      Like

  8. dinah November 26, 2022 / 10:50 am

    I love everything about this…especially the mural at the end! Thanks for sharing 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 26, 2022 / 11:06 am

      I’m glad you enjoyed my post and the mural. Thank you for joining me virtually.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Toonsarah November 26, 2022 / 12:31 pm

    This sounds like such a lovely idea to theme a garden, and the result is beautiful! I love the mural too 🙂
    Marsha tells me you’re taking over the Photographing Public Art challenge. I have an idea for PPAC so I was wondering if you’re planning on a challenge post this week?

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 26, 2022 / 2:01 pm

      Thank you, Sarah. I’m glad you liked the garden and the mural. I started hosting the PPAC on November 11 and combined it with my weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup. So you can link your PPAC entry to this post and/ or enter it using the InLinkz button at the end of my post. I host every week, from Friday at 8 am to Sunday at midnight, Eastern Standard Time, except I’ll be taking a holiday break the last two weekends of December. I look forward to your PPAC post.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Toonsarah November 26, 2022 / 2:41 pm

        Thanks for explaining Natalie. I couldn’t see any reference to PPAC in this post nor a PPAC tag, so I didn’t realise you’d combined it with the Coffee Share. Are you planning on dropping the tag?

        Like

        • Natalie November 26, 2022 / 3:41 pm

          Good question, Sarah. Initially I planned to combine PPAC with Weekend Coffee Share under Weekend Coffee Share tag (see my Nov. 11 post). I suppose for the rest of this year, I can keep both PPAC and WCS tags to make the transition easy for participants. I just added the tags to this post.

          Do you prefer to see PPAC-tagged posts only? There are WCS participants who may become your blog readers and followers even if they don’t participate in PPAC. I enjoy reading your travels and seeing your beautiful photos.

          Like

          • Toonsarah November 27, 2022 / 4:56 am

            I have no problem at all with combined posts – it’s a great idea 😀 But it would be nice if you could continue to use the PPAC tag and to mention that challenge too in your post, just so I know which one to link to! And thanks for the kind words about my blog 😀 I’m looking forward to seeing more of yours from now on!

            Liked by 1 person

            • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 10:28 am

              I’ll have a PPAC heading in my Weekend Coffee Share post so you know the post to link to. I usually post once a week on Friday. “See” you soon.

              Liked by 1 person

              • Toonsarah November 27, 2022 / 12:31 pm

                That sounds great. I’ll have something for you next week I hope 🙂

                Like

                • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 1:29 pm

                  Thank you, Sarah. I look forward to reading your post.

                  Liked by 1 person

  10. Tessa November 26, 2022 / 4:40 pm

    I haven’t been to any sort of garden in about 40 years. I loved the Bonsai trees where I went. They were the most fascinating to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 26, 2022 / 6:23 pm

      Yes, bonsai trees are fascinating. I hope you get to visit a nice garden again soon. Thank you for sharing your story.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 10:29 am

      Thank you, Pam. That willow tree is a beautiful focal point.

      Like

  11. Marsha November 26, 2022 / 11:04 pm

    Gorgeous post, Natalie. What a wonderful place to take a walk. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 10:30 am

      Thank you, Marsha. Toronto is fortunate to have this beautiful garden. It’s open and free to access year round.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha November 27, 2022 / 9:19 pm

        I would love to visit Toronto after reading your weekly coffee shares. Every one is more beautiful than the next. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 9:24 pm

          You’ve got the inside scoop from me, hehe 🙂 If you plan to visit, let me know.

          Liked by 1 person

  12. Maria November 27, 2022 / 1:07 am

    The music garden is gorgeous in autumn. All of the seasons you’ve shared from Toronto Music Garden have been amazing. What a wonderful place to visit. I love the idea of truly living local, enjoying all the beauty the area holds. Even though vacations are fun, it is amazing to be able to enjoy life locally where we live.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 10:42 am

      Thank you, Maria, for your comment. I agree with you about truly living local and enjoying all the beauty the area holds. I love exploring and enjoying Toronto. It’s a beautiful and wonderful home base for me. I also love to explore other places in Canada and abroad while I still can.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Ally Bean November 27, 2022 / 8:01 am

    I like this way of naming gardens. There is always a bit of music in the natural movement in gardens, so why not play around with the idea. Beautiful photos

    Liked by 2 people

    • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 10:47 am

      Like Janis commented, two masters collaborated to create a true work of art. I’m thankful and in awe of the maintenance work that the staff put in every season to keep the garden beautiful.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Kathleen Howell November 27, 2022 / 9:31 am

    How neat to have captured this beautiful place in all the seasons! Thank you also for the coffee share reminder.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 10:48 am

      You’re welcome, Kathleen. Three weeks to go before my holidays and blogging break 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 1:29 pm

      Patrick, Thank you for joining me virtually. I appreciate your visit.

      Like

  15. ganga1996 November 27, 2022 / 8:31 pm

    My brother lives in Toronto and I think I should check out this musical garden. Anyway I have created a pingback for my weekend coffee sharem. I hope it works. What a nice way to meet other bloggers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 27, 2022 / 8:58 pm

      Ganga, Welcome to my blog and the weekly Weekend Coffee Share linkup! Your pingback works. If you like to see other participants, click on the InLinkz button at the end of my post and feel free to add your link so they can see your blog, too. I hope you and your brother visit the Toronto Music Garden anytime from spring to fall when the plants are lush and flowers bloom.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. restlessjo November 28, 2022 / 1:16 pm

    The colours are so beautiful, Natalie. Toronto looks to be a wonderful city to call home.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 29, 2022 / 8:33 am

      Thank you, Julie. I’m glad you liked the utility box mural.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Kirstin November 30, 2022 / 1:24 pm

    That garden sounds like such a great place to visit. I sent a package for a customer to Toronto yesterday and thought of you and how I want to visit there someday.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie November 30, 2022 / 4:46 pm

      Kirstin, Thank you for thinking of me. I hope you visit Toronto. When you do, feel free to contact me.

      Like

    • Natalie December 2, 2022 / 8:59 am

      Thank you, Teresa, for your PPAC entry. I’m glad you’ve got your internet service back. I look forward to your next PPAC entry.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 3, 2022 / 9:39 am

      Sarah, Thank you for your PPAC contribution. The colourful cabs in Nepal are great objects for photography. I’ll be over to your blog shortly.

      Liked by 1 person

  18. trentpmcd December 3, 2022 / 8:26 am

    For some reason I couldn’t get to this last weekend. Anyway, I did enjoy the post. I think it is very cool how they organized the park using JS Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello as inspiration.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie December 3, 2022 / 10:09 am

      Yes, I think the TMG design is unique and wonderful. Thank you for your comment.

      Liked by 1 person

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