Garden of the Greek Gods

A sunny morning prompted me to cycle to Exhibition Place with a garden in mind. Entry to this garden is free to the public which means it can get busy on a nice day. Did I choose the right time to visit?

The Garden of the Greek Gods is a collection of 20 amazing limestone sculptures by renowned Canadian sculptor Elford Bradley “E.B.” Cox (1914-2003). They were originally sculpted in the 1960s and were previously displayed in less accessible locations. They are once again on display in a beautiful garden setting.

Even though visitors can enter the garden from any side, an official plaque about the garden located near Hercules, the tallest sculpture in the collection, seems like a logical place to start. Each sculpture has a plaque explaining the Greek mythology.

Exploring the Garden

In the first row on the south side of the garden, I meet:

  1. Hercules: The mighty hero of ancient Greece. The gods tested him with 12 labours. He is seen here after slaying the Nemean lion.
  2. Medusa: One of the three gorgons, with hair of snakes, whose glance changed all who looked at her into stone.
  3. Narcissus: A handsome young man who pined away for love of his own reflection, finally turning into the flower of the same name.

Next row along the garden path:

  1. The Sphinx: A strange creature with claws of a bird and the body and tail of a lion. This woman would devour passing travellers if they could not answer her riddle correctly.
  2. Centaur: One of a jolly race of creatures, half man, half horse who lived in the forest of ancient Greece, and were very hard to catch.
  3. The Minotaur: Half bull, half man, he guarded the maze for the King of Crete until vanquished by the Greek Prince Theseus.
  4. Aphrodite: Goddess of Love, also known as Venus. Born of the sea, she reached shore riding a scallop shell.
  5. Orpheus: He charmed the creatures of the forest with his wonderful playing of the lyre and his heavenly singing.
  6. The Three Graces: These beauties were judged by Paris, and the most beautiful of them received the golden apple.

Around the corner, six intriguing sculptures beckon:

  1. The Hydra: A monstrous dragon with nine heads originally – However if one head was cut off, two heads grew in its place.
  2. Cyclops: One of a race of giant one-eyed men who herded sheep for a living. They were finally done in by Hercules after a fierce struggle.
  3. The Typhon: Supposed to be a fearsome creature, half man, half snake. This last surviving speciman doesn’t seem so very fierce.
  4. The Triton: He ruled the seas and by blowing on his conch shell could either stir up the waves or calm a storm.
  5. Cerberus: This savage three-headed dog guarded the gates of Hades, to keep good people out and bad people in.
  6. Pan: The elusive god of the forest, half man, half goat, full of fun and games. He invented the reed pipes and filled the woods with their sounds.

Five smaller sculptures in the last row and a block with the sculptor’s name and date marks the end of the garden:

  1. Mermaid: A sea nymph having the body of a woman and tail of a fish. Here she holds a merbaby and a young dolphin.
  2. Boy on a Dolphin: Many stories come down from antiquity of children having dolphins for playmates, and of lost sailors being helped to shore by dolphins.
  3. Sea Horse: These creatures appeared on the surface of the Mediterranean as whitecaps. In large groups they could stir up quite a storm if the wind was right.
  4. The Phoenix: After living in the desert for 500 years this bird was consumed by fire. It rose anew from its own ashes and is the symbol of eternal life.
  5. The Harpies: These bird-women were the embodiment of conscience and tore at the hearts of evil-doers.

I was fortunate to have the garden all to myself. I headed home feeling great about my choice for the day. I got sunshine, fresh air, an enjoyable bike ride, and a delightful walk to see beautiful sculptures.

What colour are the sculptures?

Would you say they are gray? I’m sharing this walk with Jo’s Monday Walk and Terri’s Sunday Stills January white/ gray colour challenge.

Weekend Coffee Share

I’d love for you to share whatโ€™s been happening, simple joys from your week and/ or favourite public art photos from around the world in the comments or Weekend Coffee Share linkup #102 InLinkz below.

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100 thoughts on “Garden of the Greek Gods

  1. leannelc January 13, 2023 / 8:12 am

    Well I’m not sure about these sculptures Natalie…..Greek gods in Canada??? And they’re all chubby! I imagine they’d be quite a sight in real life, but they seem like the original Greek gods ate too many tacos and lazed around for too long. Still, they gave me a smile for the evening ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 11:36 am

      Leanne, I’m glad they gave you a smile and not a frown ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Karen January 13, 2023 / 10:04 am

    I remember learning about Greek Mythology in school. I recognized some of those names & tried to think what each one was before I read your description. Such a nice walk looking at the details of each of the sculptures & their uniqueness. #Weekendcoffeeshare. Karen

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 11:38 am

      Karen, Like you, I recognized some of those names and not all of them. It was a fun walk on a nice day. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  3. Writing Sparkle January 13, 2023 / 1:25 pm

    Exhibition Place’s The Garden of the Greek Gods looks interesting. I didn’t know about it. Thanks for sharing, Natalie. Happy Friday!

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 6:15 pm

      You’re welcome, Shari. This garden was just opened at the end of October 2022 although the sculptures have been around much longer. Happy weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. restlessjo January 13, 2023 / 1:43 pm

    I seem to remember that these Gods didn’t set a very good example, Natalie. ๐Ÿคซ๐Ÿ’—

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 6:16 pm

      Jo, Perhaps some of them may have misused their powers ๐Ÿ™‚

      Like

  5. Thistles and Kiwis January 13, 2023 / 2:23 pm

    Gosh – what an exhibition! For one person to make all those sculptures too – did you like them?

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 6:17 pm

      Yes, I like these sculptures and have gone back to see them again.

      Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 6:21 pm

      I like that we can use our imagination in art and create something different.

      Like

  6. Jennifer Jones January 13, 2023 / 3:42 pm

    This exhibition is amazing Natalie. I wouldn’t have expected to find an exhibition of the Greek Gods in Canada. Looks like tou had a fabulous day there

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 6:22 pm

      Jennifer, It was a fun outing and I enjoyed the sculptures. I’ve gone back to see them again.

      Like

  7. anexactinglife January 13, 2023 / 5:27 pm

    Wow! Iโ€™ve never seen this exhibit mentioned – has it been there long?

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 6:25 pm

      Dar, This garden was officially opened at the end of October 2022 although the 20 sculptures have been at a much less accessible location for years before that.

      Like

  8. OmoresOtempora January 13, 2023 / 6:42 pm

    These sculptures are a good study guide for learning or relearning about Greek Mythology.

    A fun way to learn while smiling.

    Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 6:57 pm

      I agreed. I’ve gone back to see those sculptures more than once.

      Like

    • Natalie January 13, 2023 / 8:12 pm

      Teresa, I’m glad to jog your memory with my post. The winery and art displays are beautiful. Thank you for your PPAC contribution.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 9:19 am

      Jez, Thank you for your PPAC contribution. I get to see public art in Scotland without leaving home. Iโ€™d love to visit Scotland one day.

      Like

      • Photos by Jez January 15, 2023 / 10:44 am

        It’s well worth a visit, but I’m a bit biased ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

        Like

        • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 5:28 pm

          I don’t know anyone who visited Scotland and wasn’t in awe of the landscape and history there ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 9:22 am

      PR, Thank you for your PPAC contribution. Human creativity is fascinating and so varied, especially in art.

      Like

      • profundareflexion January 14, 2023 / 9:40 am

        Thanks Natalie…yes, but only a few people have that talent! I always think why my brain is not wired to create artistic stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

        • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 11:22 am

          Ah, I think writing and photography are forms of creative and visual arts so you’re creating artistic stuff ๐Ÿ™‚

          Liked by 1 person

  9. Marsha January 14, 2023 / 3:43 am

    You really hit a wealth of public art in this post! they are so different than most Greek or Roman statues I’ve seen. Definitely modern! I love Jo’s comment! LOL Naughty gods! Their chubbiness makes them seem a little more innocent.

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 9:29 am

      Marsha, The artist loved to have children climb on these big and heavy limestone sculptures. The chubbiness of the statues make them look playful and friendly to play with. I love that inviting and interactive aspect of this garden.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Marsha January 14, 2023 / 11:29 pm

        That is fun. Maybe they will read the myths.

        Like

  10. Amila January 14, 2023 / 6:49 am

    This garden seems like a beautiful and peaceful place. The sculptures are attractive and glad to know about these Greek gods. And, for me, the colour of these sculptures is gray… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Have a fabulous weekend!

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 11:10 am

      Thank you, Amila. Sometimes beige and gray look the same to me. Glad to have your vote for gray.

      Like

  11. trentpmcd January 14, 2023 / 7:56 am

    Sculpture gardens are always fun and this one looks great. Riding a bicycle in January also is always fun… Hope you have a great weekend and a wonderful week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 11:11 am

      Thank you, Trent. It was a fun outing. I’ve gone back to see those sculptures more than once.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 11:13 am

      Thank you, Suzanne. Sometimes beige and gray look the same to me.

      Like

  12. Maria January 14, 2023 / 10:35 am

    A most interesting garden indeed! Thank you for sharing Natalie!

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 11:16 am

      You’re welcome, Maria. I’m glad you find the garden interesting. The artist loved to have children climb on to these big and heavy limestone sculptures so it is an interactive garden, not one of those ‘off limit, don’t touch’ exhibits.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Maria January 14, 2023 / 1:43 pm

        That makes it even more interesting! Love that.

        Liked by 1 person

  13. Jackie January 14, 2023 / 10:53 am

    I was wondering why I had never heard of this, then I read the comments and saw that it is new. Whew!

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 11:17 am

      Yes, it was opened at the end of October and not many people know about it yet.

      Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 12:51 pm

      Thank you, Pam. I hope you visit Toronto and let me know when you do.

      Like

  14. Retirement Reflections January 14, 2023 / 3:50 pm

    Those sculptures are fabulous, Natalie. And to have had the place to yourself – how relaxing and peaceful. Wishing you wonderful exploring ahead!

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 4:15 pm

      Hi Donna, It was a fun outing. Not many people know about this garden yet since it was just officially opened at the end of October 2022. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Terri Webster Schrandt January 14, 2023 / 3:53 pm

    What a find, Natalie! A whole garden of Greek-inspired statues, and yep they are white and gray and perfect for Sunday Stills this week! I took Latin for two years in high school and learned all about those Greek and Roman gods. Quite the stories.

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 4:18 pm

      Terri, I’m glad to hear your confirmation that those sculptures are white and gray and perfect for SS this week. Sometimes beige and gray look the same to me. I’ll do pingback after your SS post goes live. I love that the sculptor created these statues with humour and he loved to have children climb on to them. It’s an inviting and interactive garden, and not one of those “look, don’t touch” places.

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Bernie January 14, 2023 / 4:08 pm

    Definitely grey. Love how the green grass is the pop of color in the photos.

    Like

    • Natalie January 14, 2023 / 4:22 pm

      Bernie, the green grass is an excellent addition that goes well with the statues. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great weekend!

      Like

    • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 8:19 am

      Thank you, Max. I’m glad you think those sculptures are amazing.

      Like

  17. Alison January 15, 2023 / 6:52 am

    I also remember these names from school. They are great examples
    I love Greek Mythology

    Like

    • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 8:21 am

      Ali, Greek mythology is quite interesting. I added your link to InLinkz since you’re traveling. Have a safe trip!

      Like

      • Alison January 15, 2023 / 5:01 pm

        Oh thanks Natalie, I actually did that post from my phone, something I never do, was quite tricky ๐Ÿ™‚

        Like

        • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 5:25 pm

          Ali, you deserved a blogging medal for posting that post from your phone. I greatly appreciate it.

          Like

  18. Dan Antion January 15, 2023 / 10:13 am

    Thanks for sharing the statues, Natalie. It looks like a wonderful place to walk around on a beautiful day.

    Like

    • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 5:10 pm

      You’re welcome, Dan. A beautiful day is not to be missed. I enjoyed the outing.

      Liked by 1 person

  19. Janet Alcorn January 15, 2023 / 10:42 am

    Interesting! Some of them remind me a little of ancient fertility statues.

    A belated happy new year to you!

    Like

    • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 5:12 pm

      You’re welcome, Kathleen. It was a fun outing.

      Like

  20. Ally Bean January 15, 2023 / 11:36 am

    Beautiful photos and wonderful information. I knew a little of this from high school, but not enough. I like the Boy on a Dolphin because I like the idea of kid playing with a dolphin.

    Like

    • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 5:18 pm

      Ally, Like you, I knew some of the Greek mythology and learned something new from this garden. The Boy on a Dolphin is quite beautiful IRL. I think young children would love to climb on it and the artist encouraged that.

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Colleen M. Chesebro January 15, 2023 / 12:15 pm

    I love the statues. What a beautiful place to wander and enjoy the weather.

    Like

    • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 5:19 pm

      Colleen, Thank you for your visit and comment. I’m glad you love the statues. I enjoyed my time at this garden.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. csuhpat1 January 15, 2023 / 2:23 pm

    Such a beautiful garden. A place that I would love to visit. Very nice. Thanks for hosting and I hope that you have a wonderful week.

    Like

    • Natalie January 15, 2023 / 5:20 pm

      Thank you, Patrick, for linking up. I’m glad you like this garden. Have a great weekend!

      Like

  23. Ju-Lyn January 15, 2023 / 9:13 pm

    I love the aesthetic of this sculptor! a rather unique look at Grecian sculpture. It is lovely to see them in a garden setting!

    Like

    • Natalie January 16, 2023 / 8:04 am

      Ju-Lyn, I’m glad you like what you see in my post. Thank you for stopping by. Are you ready for the Lunar New Year? Have a great week!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ju-Lyn January 25, 2023 / 7:35 am

        We are having a quiet celebration with family. Minimal fuss. What about you? Did you celebrate?

        Like

        • Natalie January 25, 2023 / 8:42 am

          Same here, Ju-Lyn. A quiet celebration with family. I did go to chinatown but didn’t go to any indoor Lunar New Year events.

          Like

  24. Julie January 17, 2023 / 1:29 am

    These Greek god statues are a little rounder than what I am use to seeing. It’s almost like a Chibi-style.

    Like

    • Natalie January 17, 2023 / 8:50 am

      I like that the sculptor created his own style and introduced us to a new possibility of shapes of Greek mythology. He also loved to have children play and climb on these statues so perhaps the more rounded-statues are more child-friendly.

      Like

  25. Kirstin Troyer January 19, 2023 / 10:11 am

    Wow. Those sculptures are amazing! I don’t know if I could pick a favorite.

    Like

    • Natalie January 19, 2023 / 3:45 pm

      I’m glad you liked those sculptures. I had fun viewing them and reading the Greek mythology.

      Like

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