Dan, over at No Facilities blog, is hosting the Thursday Doorsphotography challenge. The challenge is open to everyone to participate in. So, I’m joining Dan for the first time and hope to meet lots of other bloggers who have similar interests in doors, architecture, art, history, photography, and of course blogging. Here’s my entry for this week.
Sunnyside Bathing Pavilion has been a Toronto’s lakefront landmark since it opened in 1922. The pavilion was designed in Beaux-Arts style by the firm Chapman, Oxley & Bishop. It features a highly visible front façade accented by an impressive archway with a decorative panel, as well as by Classical columns and pilasters.
Inspired by a bathing pavilion at Lynn Beach in Massachusetts, Sunnyside had enough room for 7,700 bathers at one time. Following a brisk swim in the lake, visitors could retire to the terrace garden for refreshments.
A heated outdoor pool, known as the “Sunnyside Tank” was opened in 1925. With a capacity for 2,000 swimmers, it was reputed to be one of the largest outdoor pools in the world. In 1980, when the pavilion was refurbished, the pool was dedicated in honour of swimming coach Gus Ryder.
What do you think of the Sunnyside Pavilion Beaux-Arts style? I’d love to hear your comments.
Hello blog friends! How are you doing? I hope all is well with you. Come on in to my blog space so we can share a coffee or tea and catch up since we last chatted about life with flower plants.
The weather continued to be nice here in the second week of June, with plenty of sunshine, clear blue skies, and even a touch of high heat and humidity. On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 9 and 10, it felt like 32C (100F). The rest of the week was pleasant with high temperatures ranged from 17C to 25C (63F to 77F).
Sisters’ Coffee Chat
If we were having coffee, I’d share that the first highlight of my week was meeting my sister. While we’ve been in touch by phone, text and virtual meetings, this was our first in-person meeting since March in “COVID-19 caution” style.
We sat outdoors under a tree by the lake front and had a nice chat while sipping hot coffee from our individual thermos and staying two meters apart the whole time. The day was perfect, sunny with a light breeze. It prompted us to talk about our summer plans. We’ll likely spend time exploring parks and conservation areas close to home.
The second highlight of my week was a photo hunt for fish-themed sculptures. To start my imaginary fishing expedition, I looked for a canoe, like the Red Canoe, designed by Douglas Coupland. This canoe is large enough for people to stand in and see over the Gardiner Expressway to Lake Ontario.
As I started canoeing, a colourful group of large fishing bobbers, also designed by Douglas Coupland, appeared. The lake water level was high and the water was so clear, I could see the reeds swaying under the canoe. We should see schools of fish soon.
I spotted the Salmon Run, designed by artist Susan Schelle. This 1991 sculpture fountain depicts schools of salmon in silhouette swimming upstream through a barrier of reeds and jumping over the steps of the fountain. The fountain is a combination of both black and green granite as well as bronze. When the fountain is on, it’s a powerful sight.
A bit further along, a school of forty-two bronze fish sculptures designed by local artist Stephen Radmacher ran west along Queens Quay from the foot of York Street. This public art installation on the sidewalk is well known and much loved by locals.
During the Toronto’s waterfront revitalization project, the fish were removed in May 2013 and sent back to Radmacher. He straightened and cleaned them. He also added new stainless steel rods to anchor the fish into the concrete base below the promenade.
The fish were photographed, measured from nose to tail, and labelled so that each one could be returned to its exact location along the new granite promenade in September 2015. If you look closely, the artist’s initials SR are on the fish front gills.
In case you wonder, here’s a list of Toronto’s Waterfront fish that are safe to eat. I saw a few big (real) fish in the harbour this week. They looked like northern pike and bass.
The third highlight of my week was to see a mother duck and her eight ducklings. I saw them twice on two different days. The first time, the ducklings stayed very close to their mama. I could tell they were not confident on their own yet. It was cute to see the last fuzzy duckling hurried to catch up with its mama and siblings. The second time, the ducklings were already able to swim very fast and confidently away from their mama.
All in all, I had a good week with lots of sunshine, a nice meeting with my sister, a fun imaginary fishing expedition, and first sightings of little ducklings this season. These simple pleasures made me smile.
How did your week go? I’d love to hear your comments.
Hello blog friends! How are you doing? I hope you’re well and in the mood to see something new. Remember last month I took you on a virtual walk to see several Wave-themed art works? This week on one of my walks, I looked for art works with a Circular theme or a ripple effect to make my walk more interesting.
I’m sharing five sculptures and murals in alpha order of the artist’s last name. Let’s see if you can spot the circles or circular motion in the photos below.
Toronto Twister from A Series of Whirlpool Field Manoeuvres
Designed by Alice Aycock, the Toronto Twister from A Series of Whirlpool Field Manoeuvres for Pier 27 (2017) is one of my favourite sculptures. It’s made of aluminum powder coated white structural steel. The white colour stands out against the blue backdrop of the lake on a sunny day.
The Twister is 25 feet tall at its highest point. Behind it is a series of whirlpool field manoeuvres that look like giant flowers. I love the sense of strength and movements in this installation.
Between the Eyes
Designed by Richard Deacon, the giant Between the Eyes sculpture (1990) is made of zinc sprayed steel, stainless steel, cement, and granite face base. I used to think of it as two whisks joined in the middle.
For a hard steel structure, the curves did give me a sense of plasticity. On this sunny day, I approached the sculpture from two different angles, looking south to the lake and looking east through the end circle.
Designed by David Gerry Partridge, the Metropolis nail mural (1977) is one of the most popular attractions in the lobby of Toronto City Hall. The mural consists of nine panels made of aluminum sheathing over plywood, with over 100,000 copper and galvanized nails. Yes, nails!
I love Partridge’s unique sculpture technique using nails to design the Metropolis mural. Partridge passed away at age 87 in 2006 so this mural is one of his legacy art works in Canada.
Designed by Judith Schwarz, the Nautilus Gateway (1992) is a steel and bronze sculpture. Schwarz, a Canadian visual artist, has created public commissions in both Vancouver and Toronto, Canada. I like both the sculpture and its shadow on the sidewalk.
Designed by the artist Wyland, the Heavenly Waters mural (1997) was #70 in Wyland’s Whaling Wall series of outdoor art. He started painting the series in the 80s and finished his 100th mural in June 2008 to share his love of marine life with 100 communities around the world.
I’m thrilled that Toronto has one of Wyland’s murals at an unusual location. It’s on the side of the Redpath Sugar Factory. On the left of the above photo is where big ships dock to load or unload sugar.
I love the circular movements of the whales and how the water colour gets darker in the depth of the ocean. The Heavenly Waters mural reminded me of the real whales I saw on Canada’s West Coast last September. Very happy memories!
I’m grateful for a sunny day, a nice walk, and interesting visual arts. The experience makes me smile and feel positive. Thank you for coming along with me. I hope you enjoy the circular-themed art works through my lens.
How did your week go? What makes your day interesting? I’d love to hear your comments.
Greetings! This week I took a cue from Mother Nature and decided to do a Wave-themed walk to photograph wave-themed artwork that has been installed in the last ten years in downtown Toronto. The city has been growing so there are always new things to discover. On this beautiful sunny day let me share some interesting artwork with you.
The Real Waves
Here we are at the start of Yonge Street where the 0 km Toronto sign is located on the sidewalk. Yonge Street used to be listed as the longest street in the world in the Guinness World Records until 1999. Can you see the small waves in Lake Ontario and the shadow of the curved railings?
Further west along the waterfront there are three WaveDecks named Simcoe WaveDeck, Rees WaveDeck, and Spadina WaveDeck. The WaveDecks are meant to give urban dwellers a feel for life at the lake.
Simcoe WaveDeck opened in June 2009. The design of this and the other WaveDecks was inspired by the shoreline of Ontario’s great lakes and the Canadian cottage experience.
Rees WaveDeck opened in July 2009. The wavy benches and wooden path are right by a small marina where canoes, kayaks, and sailboats launch in late spring through to fall.
Spadina WaveDeck opened in September 2008. It has received numerous design awards. On a spring day, it’s nice to sit on the curved bench facing the lake while mallards and ducks swim below our feet.
Wave Side Sculpture
From Spadina WaveDeck, we head north west to see the Wave Side sculpture designed by Toronto-based artists, Jennifer Marman and Daniel Borins. This artwork was made of stainless steel and was installed in 2011. It references a wake of waves, the ribs of a ship, and the shape of the waves inspired by ship curves.
Now we head east to see the Shoreline Commemorative sculpture designed by Paul Raff, a Canadian architect and artist. This artwork was made of glass, bronze, limestone, and sandblasted brick and installed in 2014.
The text on the red brick wall states: “For 10,000 years this was the location of Lake Ontario’s shoreline. This brick wall stands where water and land met with a vista of horizon”.
Why Do These Waves Make Me Smile?
They are accessible and free to the public.
They enhance the public space appearance.
They soften the angles of concrete buildings.
They connect the land and the lake.
They are about water movements and water is essential for life.
I hope that despite the grim pandemic news you continue to stay healthy and find bits of joy in your day. I also hope you enjoy the virtual walk with me and find the artwork through my lens interesting. Be well!
During one of my recent walks in the city, I stopped by Harbourfront Centre to see an art exhibit of glass vessels. Glass vessels have been so integral in our lives. It’s hard to imagine what we would do without them: Drinking glasses hold our water and wine, vases beautifully display flowers, bowls contain tasty snacks, jars store our food, and bottles keep perfume and serum…Just to name a few.
At the exhibit, the work of two artists, Nadira Narine and Jared Last, caught my eyes. I’m sharing some photos of their collections. The items were displayed behind glass vitrines (another form of glass vessels?) so please excuse the glare and reflections in my photos.
Nadira Narine’s glass vases
At first glance, the vases look like they are made of clay but a closer look shows the beautiful glass work by Nadira Nadine. I like the warm colour combinations which likely come from her cultural roots as she was raised in Panama City, Panama.
Her bio explained that she’s been living in Canada for the last seven years and she explores objects and memories from her childhood for the purpose of self-exploration and a sense of connection to home.
Jared Last’s glass bowls
Jared Last’s bio explained that he’s a Toronto-based artist who has been working in glass since 2011. He holds a BFA in Glass from the Alberta College of Art and Design where he graduated with distinction in 2016.
Jared’s glass bowls with deep colours and black wavy lines are eye catching. I think each of them is a conversation-starter. They reflect his interest in colour, pattern, architecture and the unique optical properties of glass to create both functional and sculptural works.
What made me smile when I viewed the exhibit?
The glass vessels are visually interesting with beautiful colours, designs, and shapes.
The displays give me ideas to arrange my own glass vessels at home: a single item, a pair, or a group of similar items.
I learn about the artists and their portfolios, and look forward to seeing more of their work in the future.
Admission to the exhibit is free to the public, making art accessible to everyone.
The exhibit is on until June 7, 2020 which gives people lots of time to visit and revisit.
Here’s a glass bottle that I bought in Denmark during my travels. It continues to bring me joy:
What do you think of the exhibit? If you have a favourite glass vessel of your own, please feel free to share it in the Comments. Comments with links or images attached will be moderated.
I hope you love the music, art, film, and fashion of the 80s. The Awesome 80’s was the theme of the 15th annual Ice Sculpture Festival in Toronto’s Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood on February 8 and 9 weekend. It’s a family-friendly event and admission is free.
Over 70,000 lbs. of crystal-clear ice were carved into magnificent sculptures inspired by the music, art, film and fashion of an awesome decade. All things 80’s are retro-cool again! I’m sharing some of the ice sculptures on display at the festival.
The Main Ice Exhibition included an 80’s sculpture, a Boombox, an Elton John silhouette, Converse sneaker, Madonna – Desperately Seeking Susan, Leg Warmers & Heels, Andy Warhol, a Roller Skate and Eddie Van Halen.
The Back to the Future sculpture was in the Photo Opportunity area for many photos and Instagram moments.
The Terry Fox Run Walk Wheel Ride sculpture was #1 winner of the ice carving competition.
Number 5 (not Wall-E) and Van Halen’s The Flying V Guitar sculptures were #2 and # 3 winners of the ice carving competition.
I loved the colourful Icefest Lounge where visitors could take a break while listening to the curated selection of songs from the 80s. It made a huge difference when professional DJs played live.
February is Heart month so volunteers from the Heart and Stroke Foundation were at Icefest. For a donation of $2, visitors could sample tasty maple syrup taffy or play vintage arcade games, including Pacman, at the Icefest Arcade Tent.
There were about thirty-five sculptures and I took photos of all of them. Just in case you don’t like the 80s, I share just a few in this post. I love the 80s!
During my stay in Tofino, I walked along the main streets in the village and discovered the Float’em Garden. I thought I’d share the artist’s message and the story behind the objects in the garden with my blog readers.
About the Float’em Garden
The Float’em Garden is located along the sidewalk on Third Street between Campbell Street and Main Street in Tofino. It’s an outdoor public art installation comprised of eleven individual assemblages made entirely from marine debris. Pete Clarkson, the artist and a park warden, has been creating his unique marine debris art since 2000. The Float’em Garden was opened in June 2018.
Art from recycled marine debris
Message from Pete Clarkson
Here’s an excerpt from Pete Clarkson’s message inscribed at the Float’em Garden:
“I hope you’ll take a moment in this spectacular place to enjoy the Float’em Garden, and consider your own role in the marine debris story. As these objects remind us, there’s no longer an ‘away’ when we throw things away. Everywhere is somewhere, and the ocean is downstream of everything. The daily decisions we make – what we buy, what we throw away, what we value and support – can add up to a chorus of positive action. Let your actions show how much you care. We can all make a difference!“
I find the Float’em Garden art installations visually interesting and the message behind the marine debris thought-provoking. It’s a good reminder that we are all connected and we need to reduce waste that is harmful to our environment.
Practicing the 3Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle)
My family and I have made a diligent effort to practice the 3Rs in our day-to-day living. We follow our municipal waste reduction movement and help keep items out of landfill. Some of the actions that we’ve taken:
Borrow books or DVDs from public libraries.
Buy locally-grown fresh produce as much as possible.
Cook and eat most of our meals at home with no food waste.
Donate clothes and linen to recycling organizations.
Put recycling, organics, and garbage into the right bins. Blue bin for recycling, green bin for organics, and black bin for garbage in our city.
Read or subscribe online for news and community event notifications.
Re-purpose cookie tins and glass jars for storage.
Trade in old items when purchase their replacements (where trade-in is offered).
Use refillable water bottles.
Use reusable bags for grocery shopping.
We shop consciously, plan ahead, buy only what we need, and consider the impact of packaging when making purchases.
I wonder to what degree Pete Clarkson’s message and similar environmental reminders affect consumers’ shopping habits, especially around the holidays when people tend to have more purchases and more social gatherings.
How does the marine debris story from the Float’em Garden affect your shopping habits? How well is waste managed in your city? I’d love to hear your comments.
One of my favourite go-to spots in the city is the Toronto Music Garden. I try to come here often and share it with any of my family members or friends who may be interested in coming with me.
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: Prelude, Allemande, Courante, Sarabande, Menuett, and Gigue.
It’s a fun experience to listen to Bach’s First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello while walking through the well-maintained garden and imagine the six movements.
1. Prelude 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.
2. Allemandesection 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.
3. Courante 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.
4. Sarabande 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.
5. Menuett 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.
6. 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. In the summer, informal performances are held here.
The Toronto Music Garden is a magical place to visit in all four seasons. This past spring, look what I found at the garden:
I love that the Toronto Music Garden is open year-round, wheelchair accessible, and there is no admission fee. Free guided tours and concerts are available from June to September. I hope you enjoy the garden through my lens.
In July, my family went on a trip to Regina, the capital city of the Province of Saskatchewan, located about 3 to 3.5 hours by plane west of Toronto. During our stay, I took a day out to explore some of the sights located in the heart of Regina.
The Saskatchewan Legislative Building
Known as the marble palace, the Saskatchewan Legislative Building is one of the largest legislative buildings in Canada. It was erected between 1908-1911. Walter Scott, first premier of Saskatchewan, envisioned the Legislative Building in a park-like setting with grounds that would reflect the grandeur of the building.
Tours of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building are available seven days a week (except Good Friday, Christmas Day, and New Years Day) and are conducted on the hour. I took a guided tour to learn more about the architecture and history of the building. I highly recommend it. Why?
During the free, fun, and interesting guided tour that lasted about thirty minutes, I got to:
Visit the same building Their Majesties King George VI and Queen Elizabeth visited on May 25, 1939.
Stand in the same spot in the rotunda where Queen Elizabeth II stood to view the Northern Traditions and Transitions murals.
Touch the beautiful green marble columns and look up to see the dome of the building.
Enter the legislative chamber and the library, where the Confederation table is kept. This table was used during the meeting of the Fathers of Confederation in Quebec City in 1864.
View numerous sculpture and artworks, including fifteen Portraits of Indian Leaders, all pastel on paper, completed by Edmund Harris during 1910 and 1911.
Queen Elizabeth II Gardens
Located in front of the Saskatchewan Legislative Building, Queen Elizabeth II Gardens was dedicated by Her Majesty the Queen on May 18, 2005 on the occasion of the Centennial of the Province of Saskatchewan 1905-2005. A statue of the monarch on her favourite Saskatchewan-born horse, Burmese, was designed by Susan Velder and unveiled by Her Majesty in 2005.
The Saskatchewan Legislative Building and its grounds were designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 2005. After the indoor guided tour, I picked up a booklet at the information desk and completed a self-guided outdoor tour that takes me through approximately 1.6 kilometres (1 mile) of the beautiful legislative grounds.
Wascana Centre features a 930-hectare urban park built around a 120-hectare lake. The trails around the lake are accessible for walking, cycling, and rollerblading. It was a sunny and warm day so I appreciated the shades provided by the trees, the water fountains in and around Wascana Centre, and the light breeze from Wascana Lake.
MacKenzie Art Gallery
From Wascana Centre, I walked further south to explore the MacKenzie Art Gallery’s Outdoor Sculpture Garden. Some of the artworks that are on display on the grounds around the Gallery caught my attention. Joe Fafard’s bronze cow statues reminded me of his work, The Pasture, in Toronto.
It was a wonderful and educational outing on a gorgeous summer day. I walked about 8 kilometres (5 miles) outdoors, learned a bit of history in Regina, and saw some beautiful architecture and artworks.