Recent Reads and Golden Finds

Sunflower and bees.

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #37! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of mostly sunny days with thunders, lightning and rain on Tuesday night. Daytime high temperatures ranged from 22C to 27C (72F to 81F) although cooler in the morning and evening. The parks are still full of green trees and beautiful flowers like the flowers I feature in this post.

It was also the week before Canada’s Federal Election. Election day is on September 20. I went to cast my vote first thing in the morning on one of the advance poll days. There was no line-up. It felt good to get this important action item done.

One of my neighbours called and asked me to go for a walk with her. At 80+ years of age and living alone, B is active and sharp as a tack. She talked, I listened and we did a 3.2 km (2 miles) walk. She’d like to walk with me again next week.

The rest of the week went well. I cycled most mornings, saw herons at a conservation area, took several walks, played disc golf twice, completed my mind and body exercises, chatted with my family and friends, and did house chores, reading and writing.

Recent Reads

I’m pleased to contribute to the #WhatsOnYourBookShelf challenge, co-hosted by four lovely bloggers Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.

I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.

My recent reads by author’s last name include:

  1. The Outlander – Gil Adamson
  2. Lock & Key – Sarah Dessen
  3. The Giver of Stars – Jojo Moyes
  4. Lily and the Octopus – Steven Rowley
  5. Peace by Chocolate – Jon Tattrie (non-fiction)
  6. The One We Fell In Love With – Paige Toon

I was pleased to discover Jon Tattrie and Paige Toon who were new to me. If I were to rate this batch of books, on a 5-star scale, I’d give 5 stars to Peace By Chocolate, 4.5 stars to The Giver of Stars and 4 stars to the other books. I linked the book titles to GoodReads.

While both The Giver of Stars and Peace by Chocolate are excellent stories of human resilience, compassion, kindness, love, family, friendship and community, I give an extra 0.5 point to Peace By Chocolate because it’s a true story of a family of Syrian refugees who settled in a small town in Nova Scotia, Canada.

The book is an easy read at about 200 pages. Does chocolate play a role in the story? Yes, Peace by Chocolate ships worldwide (this is not an affiliated link).

Golden Finds

Inspired by Cee’s Photographing Public Art Challenge (PPAC#14) and Terri’s Sunday Stills Colour Challenge – Harvest Gold or Citrine, I took photos of a few golden bronze art objects and flowers that are in the gardens.

Mural by unknown artist.
Mural by unknown artist.
Marlin sculpture by Andrew Posa, 1987.
Marlin sculpture by Andrew Posa, 1987.
U.V. Ceti by Andrew Posa.
U.V. Ceti sculpture by Andrew Posa, “Dedicated to Edward Isaac Richmond, architect, 1908-1982. A kind man who shared his love of beauty.”
'Cherokee Sunset' Back-eyed Susan flowers.
Black-eyed Susan flowers.
Citrine Coreopsis flower.
Marigolds.
Marigolds.
An Autumn Beauty sunflower.
An ‘Autumn Beauty’ Sunflower is a showy mixture of colours including golden yellow, bronze, brown, and burgundy.

Shared with #LifeThisWeek.

So how did your week go? What’s on your bookshelf?

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Going Back To School

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #36! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, or hot chocolate at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of sunny days and pleasant temperatures. A weather system passed through on Tuesday evening and brought thunders, lightning, and rain. By Wednesday morning, it was nice again.

It was also the first week back to school for students in Toronto. Last year most students were doing online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year with the available vaccines, vaccine mandate and indoor masking mandate, most students are returning to in-person learning.

I went back to the University of Toronto (informally known as U of T), not as a student but as a hobby photographer wandering at a relaxed pace. Originally established in 1827 as King’s College, the university is older than Canada itself. In 1849, King’s College was renamed to University of Toronto.

University of Toronto is the largest university in Canada by enrollment. The university has three campuses: St. George campus (downtown), Scarborough campus (east end), and Mississauga campus (west of Toronto).

St. George campus is huge with a mix of old and new buildings. From September to early May, the campus is busy with thousands of students. I made my trip before school started to avoid the crowds.

On this visit, I chose to photograph three buildings that have interesting architecture and significant history:

1. University College

University College is the University of Toronto’s founding College. Established in 1853, it was named the Provincial College, with a charter to make education available to every student regardless of religion or social status.

University College entrance.
University College entrance.
University College.
University College.

2. Victoria College

Victoria University, named in honour of Queen Victoria, was founded in 1836 by royal charter from King William IV, and federated with the University of Toronto in 1890. It comprises Victoria College (informally known as Vic), an arts and science college of the University of Toronto, and Emmanuel College, a theological college associated with the United Church of Canada.

Old Vic at Victoria College.
Old Vic is the oldest building of Victoria College. It was designed by architect W.G. Storm and built in 1891 in the Richardsonian Romanesque style.

3. Annesley Hall

Designed by architect George Martel Miller and built in 1903 in the Queen Anne style, Annesley Hall was the first residence built specifically for women in Canada. The building was designated a National Historic Site of Canada in 1990.

Annesley Hall.
Annesley Hall.

Annesley Hall was home to the first female resident at the University, as well as the first woman to graduate from a Canadian medical school. The building was renovated in 1988 and houses female students in single, double and triple rooms. No two rooms are the same.

*****

It was a fun walk on a beautiful day. I enjoyed visiting the historic buildings at the University of Toronto. I’ll go back to take more photographs at St. George campus in the future.

Shared with #LifeThisWeek, PPAC#13, #SundayStills, #ThursdayDoors.

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Colourful Laneway Murals #SundayStills

I’m delighted to be hosting the Sunday Stills photography challenge while host Terri Webster Schrandt continues her blogging break.

Thank you to everyone who joined me for the Sunday Stills photography challenge for the last two weeks. I appreciate your beautiful photography and interesting stories related to the photos. I’ve compiled the list of Afloat Bloggers’ Links at the end of this post for easy reference.

This week’s theme: Colourful Murals

Mural by Julii McMillo, 2020.
Mural by Julii McMillo, 2020.

Since 2012, the City of Toronto has organized nine programs under the StreetARToronto umbrella to encourage artists to showcase their talent. One example under this umbrella is the Laneways of Toronto project that transformed the Euclid- Palmerston laneway into a giant canvas of colourful garages and wall spaces.

The Euclid-Palmerston laneway showcases forty garages and wall spaces painted in 2018 and thirty five garages and wall spaces painted in 2019 by seventy five different mural and graffiti artists. I discovered a garage painted in 2020 during my recent visit to the laneway. It’s my header photo.

I’ve posted two batches of Euclid-Palmerston painted garages and wall spaces (links below):

Today, I’m sharing the third batch of twenty four garage images with my blog readers, Monday Murals and PPAC#12. I’ve noted the street number, artist’s name and year based on my look-up. Remember to click on any image in the gallery to see it in full view and use the arrow to move to the next image.

Which door(s) in the gallery do you like?

I’m looking forward to seeing all your entries for this week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge. Joining me are:

How to participate in the Sunday Stills photography challenge

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title the post a little differently than mine.
  • Enter the link party by clicking on the InLinkz button below and follow the prompt.
  • If you’re on WordPress, remember to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be shared all week (not just on a Sunday).
  • Use the hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

Next week’s theme: Going Back…

Terri will be back to host Sunday Stills on September 12 with a new theme ‘Going Back’. Here are a few tips to get your creative thinking flowing:

“Going Back…” implies going back to something, whether a place you’ve visited before, going back “in time” as you viewed your photo archives or how about going back “to the future?” Use any preposition to add to going back that suits you…like going back …in, on, to, out, under, over, through, between, by, as far as, across, etc. 

Afloat Bloggers’ Links

Below are the last week’s links from bloggers who shared their beautiful Afloat photos:

Have a great week!

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Laneway Art and Canoeing Fun

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #34! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate, or cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was another week of sunny, warm and humid days with a multi-day heat warning. Humidex value reached 44C (111F) on Wednesday. I enjoyed cycling, walking, playing disc golf, paddling, and visiting beaches and gardens. I also had plenty of sun protection and drank a lot of water to stay hydrated.

Laneway Art

Last Friday I wrote about Laneway art projects in Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood and posted my first batch of twenty two painted garage doors in the Euclid-Palmerston laneway here. Today I share my second batch of twenty one garage door images. I’ll post the third batch next weekend.

When I was at the laneway, one of the homeowners opened his garage door to let me take photos of the door in ‘Open’ and ‘Closed’ states. Most of the garages in this laneway have remote control door openers. Some still have the traditional door handles and latches, like this one.

287E with door opened – Caerina Abrenica, 2019

I’ve noted the street number, artist’s name and year based on my look-up. Remember to click on any image in the gallery to see it in full view and use the arrow to move to the next image. Shared for #LifeThisWeek, Monday Murals, #ThursdayDoors and #PPAC11.

Which door(s) in the gallery do you like?

Canoeing Fun

The warm weather was perfect for my solo kayak outing and a tandem canoe trip within Toronto Islands with my friend J. The paddling season is short here and not every summer day has good weather conditions for paddling. So, when I could make two paddling trips in one week, I was thrilled.

Regarding tandem canoeing (two persons paddle one canoe together), when the two canoeists are in sync, it’s fantastic, and when they’re out of sync, it’s frustrating. Fortunately, J and I paddle well together.

We hit the jackpot seeing several young great blue herons and other birds within Toronto Islands.

Great blue heron.
Great blue heron.
Great blue heron on a tree.
Heron on a tree.
A young great blue heron.
Heron walking away.
Toronto Islands.
Toronto Islands.

It was a beautiful and meditative experience: Calm water, green plants, warm day, a mix of sun and clouds, and minimal boat traffic on a weekday. We hope to go canoeing again before the summer ends.

Tell me something good about your week.

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What’s In The Garden? #SundayStills

I’m delighted to be hosting the Sunday Stills photography challenge while host Terri Webster Schrandt is away.

This week’s theme: In The Garden

What do you think of when you hear the words ‘In the garden’? I think of beautiful living things that I saw in the public gardens and my small herb garden. Let me share a few photos, all captured with my cell phone, with you and #CellpicSunday.

Butterflies

Bees and butterflies are buzzing in the gardens in August here. Photographing butterflies has taught me to be patient. I received a few rewards for my patience.

A Red Admiral butterfly.
A Red Admiral butterfly with black and orange wings and white spots.
Camberwell Beauty or Mourning Cloak butterfly.
A Mourning Cloak butterfly with dark maroon and yellow wings and iridescent blue spots.
Monarch butterfly.
A Monarch butterfly with orange and black wings and white spots.
A Cabbage White butterfly.
A Cabbage White butterfly with creamy white wings and single black dot.

Birdhouses

It’s a delight to find painted birdhouses in the gardens. Art and nature together.

Roses

In the summer, I like to visit the Rose garden at Exhibition Place. The staff take good care of rose varieties and other flowering plants here. At peak blossom time, the roses are beautiful and their scent is lovely. This year, I was happy to see the Shrine Peace Memorial fountain and smaller fountains in the Rose garden turned back on after a long lockdown.

Fountains at Shrine Peace Memorial.
Fountains at Shrine Peace Memorial.

Tomatoes

This spring I grew a small herb garden of sweet basil, chives, mint, oregano, rosemary, sage and thyme. There was space left in the centre of the planter box so I added cherry and plum tomato plants. Here come the tomatoes.

Cherry tomatoes.
Cherry tomatoes.
Plum tomatoes.
Plum tomatoes.

Those are a few lovely things I saw in the gardens. I’m looking forward to seeing all your entries for this week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge.

I’ll be hosting Sunday Stills again in the next two weeks. Next week’s theme is ‘Afloat’. Have a wonderful week!

How to participate in the Sunday Stills photography challenge

  • Please create a new post for the theme.
  • Title the post a little differently than mine.
  • Enter the link party by clicking on the blue InLinkz button below.
  • If you’re on WordPress, remember to create a pingback to this post so that other participants can read your post. I also recommend adding your post’s URL into the comments.
  • Entries for this theme can be shared all week (not just on a Sunday).
  • Use the hashtag #SundayStills for sharing on social media.

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Laneway Art and Recent Reads

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #33! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate, or cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of sunny, warm and humid days. I had fun cycling, walking, kayaking, canoeing, and playing disc golf. Today I’m sharing wonderful art in a laneway, my recent reads, and a friendly reminder.

Laneway Art

I cycled to Toronto’s Little Italy neighbourhood then walked a quiet Euclid-Palmerston laneway. This laneway is a vast display of seventy five colourful garage doors painted by an amazing array of Toronto’s mural and street artists.

In 2018 and 2019, Jieun June Kim and Erika James (also known as KJ Bit Collective) partnered with the city’s StreetARToronto program to transform this community laneway into a giant canvas of graffiti and mural art. KJ Bit organized seventy five artists to paint garages in two live-paint jams. The initiatives were well supported by local residents who now enjoy their revitalized laneway.

Jieu June Kim art
208P – Painted doors by Jieu June Kim

I’m sharing twenty two images of the painted garage doors in today’s post, and the remaining garage door images in future posts. I’ve noted the street number, artist’s name and year based on my look-up.

Remember to click on any image in the gallery to see it in full view and use the arrow to move to the next image. Sharing for #ThursdayDoors, #PPAC10, Monday Murals and #LifeThisWeek.

Which door(s) in the gallery do you like?

Recent Reads

I’m pleased to contribute to the first #WhatsOnYourBookShelf challenge, co-hosted by four lovely bloggers Donna, Sue, Jo and Debbie.

I use the Toronto Public Library 2021 Reading Challenge categories to read widely and discover new books, authors, and genres. You can see the full list of books I’ve read and the categories I’ve met so far this year on my Books in 2021 page at the top of my blog.

My recent reads in July and August by author’s last name include:

  1. The Noise of Time – Julian Barnes
  2. Love At First – Kate Clayborn
  3. Dreamland – Sarah Dessen
  4. The Anthropocene Reviewed – John Green
  5. The Good Sister – Sally Hepworth
  6. Life’s Too Short – Abby Jimenez
  7. The Editor – Steven Rowley
  8. From My Mother’s Back – Njoki Wane

Five of the eight authors were new to me. I was pleased to discover them. I linked the book title to the author’s web site or GoodReads. If I were to rate this batch of books, on a 5-star scale, I’d give 4.5 stars to The Good Sister and The Anthropocene Reviewed. The other six books got 4 stars.

What’s on your bookshelf?

Friendly Reminder

I’m delighted to be hosting the Sunday Stills photography challenge on August 22 while host Terri is on blogging break. The theme is ‘In The Garden‘. I look forward to seeing all your entries for this week’s Sunday Stills photography challenge.

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Walk the Fleurs de Villes Trail

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #32! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate, or cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a hot and humid week with scattered thunderstorms. Daytime high temperatures reached 31C (88F) and felt like 41C (106F) on Wednesday. I enjoyed kayaking and stand up paddling within Toronto Islands where the water was calm and great for swimming. I also cycled, walked and played disc golf earlier in the day when it was cooler. One of my walks was a floral trail.

Fleurs de Villes Rosé

Toronto’s Fleurs de Villes (Flowers of Cities) took place on August 4-8, 2021 in Bloor-Yorkville neighbourhood. The five-day, Rosé-themed event showcased over thirty five stunning fresh floral installations and mannequins designed by over twenty of Toronto’s top florists in support of Breast Cancer Research.

I spent time meandering around the streets of Bloor and Yorkville exploring the floral trail and taking pictures. I grouped my photos into two galleries. Feel free to browse either one or both. Remember to click on any image in the gallery to see it in full view and use the arrow to move to the next image.

Doors and Entrances

Beautiful flower arrangements adorn these doorways. Shared for #ThursdayDoors.

Mannequin and Other Florals

The mannequin florals are stunning. I love them all. The Breast Cancer Society of Canada (BCSC) Warrior mannequin reminded me of my girlfriends who fought breast cancer. I also learned about Sophie Scholl and the White Rose.

The other floral designs are unique: Look up to see the floral Cloud, strings of Lights and a butterfly spreading its Wings. Get a coffee from Jacked-Up Coffee Truck then hop on the cool turquoise Bicycle or the hip orange VW Van for a ride to the market.

Pose for photos by the Stairs, the Swing, or Entry and Benches. Pick up fresh flowers at the Pop-Up Shop Cart, see the floral Tree and try yummy snacks from the Market Stall.

It was a beautiful and fun walk! Shared for #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC#9.

Guest Hosting

I’m delighted to be hosting the Sunday Stills photography challenge for three weeks when host Terri at Second Wind Leisure Perspectives is on her blogging break. I’ll have dedicated link-ups and posts for Sunday Stills on the following dates and themes:

  • Sunday August 22: In The Garden
  • Sunday August 29: Afloat
  • Sunday September 5: Colourful Murals

The weekly Weekend Coffee Share link-up continues as usual, no change. The Sunday Stills photography challenge runs from Sunday at 10 a.m. to Saturday at 10 p.m. Toronto time. I hope to see you at both link-ups.

Which floral designs you would pick as your Top Three?

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Tasty Meal and St. James Park

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #31! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate or a cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a week of sunny days with fluffy clouds and fun activities. In this post, I’d like to share a new-to-me recipe and my walk in St. James Park.

Asparagus and Sausage Penne

This tray bake by chef Adam Liaw is a winner. I substituted asparagus for broccolini and penne for spaghetti. I skipped the optional anchovies and the red chili. It was an easy-to-make, quick and tasty meal. Sharing for #WhatsOnYourPlate challenge, hosted by Donna at Retirement Reflections and Deb at The Widow Badass.

Asparagus and sausage penne

A Walk in St. James Park

St. James Park is located at the intersection of King and Jarvis Streets in downtown Toronto. From spring 2018 to spring 2021, the park has undergone improvements and is a beautiful space to stroll and relax. The park layout has four entry plazas, one central plaza, plenty of benches and a formal garden. On the west side of the park is St. James Cathedral.

St. James Cathedral: The Cathedral Church of St. James is an Anglican cathedral. It is the location of the oldest congregation in Toronto, with the parish being established in 1797. The cathedral, with construction beginning in 1850 and opening for services in 1853, was one of the largest buildings in the city at that time. It was designed by Frederick William Cumberland and is a prime example of Gothic Revival architecture.

Click on any image in the gallery to see it in full view. Sharing for #ThursdayDoors.

Arbour: The clematis covered wrought-iron arbour at the northeast entry plaza was added to St. James Park in the early 1980’s.

Lighting feature: The new lighting feature at the northeast entry plaza is a sculptural abstract interpretation of the St. James Cathedral in silhouette. It looks better at night when the lights are on.

Sculpture: The Robert Gourlay bust welcomes visitors coming into the park from the northwest entry plaza. Robert Fleming Gourlay (1778 – 1863) was a Scottish-Canadian writer, political reform activist, and agriculturalist. The bronze bust was created by Toronto sculptor, Adrienne Alison.

Robert Gourlay sculpture by Adrienne Alison.

Playground: Families with young children enjoy the new market-themed playground that features elements such as the asparagus climber, giant-sized produce, a tower made of stacked farmer’s baskets, a merry go-round, a flexible seating platform under a tree perfect for story time and a small water-play area.

St. James Park playground.

Pavilion: A new open-air park pavilion located on the east side of the enlarged central plaza. The pavilion, made of heavy timber columns and a trellis canopy with recessed lighting, is in part, inspired by the Gothic arches of the cathedral’s architecture. It’s suitable for a variety of community events.

St. James Park Michael Comstock Pavilion.

The pavilion was officially named Michael Comstock Pavilion this summer. After a long lockdown, live music at an outdoor concert in St. James Park brought me tremendous joy. Below is the north view of the pavilion and the garden.

Garden: Walking trails traverse the grass and tree dotted area. The St. James garden in Victorian garden style was renovated in 2003 by landscape designer Wendy Shearer. It has several rose beds, shrubs, ornamental stone statues, and a fountain.

Seat Wall: The seat wall in the southwest plaza near the cathedral features a bronze silhouette of the architectural skyline of the area through several historic periods by Canadian artist Scott Eunson.

Bronze silhouette by Scott Eunson.

Linked with #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC8.

Have a seat and tell me something good about your week.

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Hawk, Heron and Kayaking Fun

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #30! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate, or a cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a fantastic week with a mix of sunny days and some showers. I enjoyed cycling, walking, playing disc golf, strength training, meditation, yoga, learning French and Spanish, watching Olympic highlights, photography, reading and writing. I went canoeing and kayaking. I had a few nice surprises.

1. A Red-Tailed Hawk

One morning as I cycled to Ontario Place to go kayaking, I spotted a hawk on a fence post. I turned my bike around to get a good look. I’ve seen hawks in Toronto before but this was the first time I was about 2m (6 ft) from a calm red-tailed hawk. What a thrill to observe this beauty up close!

Red-tailed hawk.
A magnificent red-tailed hawk.

2. Dr. Duke Redbird

I continued cycling to the South Marina. Dr. Duke Redbird was at the Big House Canoe (Wigwam Chi-Chemung) that I wrote about here. I said hello and we chatted. As a few ducks swam towards us, he mentioned that they like oatmeal. It was an unexpected and nice encounter with Dr. Redbird at his houseboat.

Dr. Redbird at his Wigwam Chi-Chemung (Big House Canoe).
Dr. Redbird on his houseboat.

3. A Great Blue Heron

I picked up my kayak rental and paddled for about two hours. I saw many colourful fish amid green aquatic plants. Blue and red dragonflies flitted around me and some of them landed on my kayak.

Blue kayak.

At the Fish Habitat, I saw a Great Blue Heron! This stately heron with its subtle blue-gray plumage stood motionless as it scanned for prey. I paddled quietly to get closer and we watched each other in silence.

A Great Blue Heron – What a majestic sight!

I paddled away and when I circled back, the Great Blue Heron was still there. It moved from the tree log to the river bank, to the rock, and flew to a small island in the Habitat before I left.

Great blue heron.
“I’m over here”
Great blue heron.
Wait, I see something!

4. Other Aquatic Life

I saw cormorants, a variety of ducks, and a muted swan. The cormorants are swift divers. The ducks and the swan were less shy and let me take their photos. Some of the ducks swam merrily alongside my kayak. I love it when they do that.

The water was so calm and clear, I could see the bottom of the lagoon. I also got a close-up view of green floating mats and white water crowfoot flowers.

Aquatic plants and flowers.
Aquatic plants and flowers.

5. Over Floe by John Notten

My kayaking fun continued as I paddled to Over Floe, a floating art creation by John Notten. He also designed the Plant It Forward urban garden sculpture that I shared in my previous post. I was glad to see this interesting art exhibit first on the water.

Truck, School
Bank, House and Factory

Then from land after I finished kayaking. Here are two views of Over Floe and what Notten says about each view. Click on each image to enlarge it.

It was a wonderful outing. I had a blast!

Linked to #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC7, #TreeSquare30, #WWE90.

How was your week? I’d love to hear your comments.

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5 Eye-Catching Art Stations

Hello and welcome to Weekend Coffee Share #29! I’m glad you’re here. Please come on in, help yourself to a cup of coffee, or tea, hot chocolate, or cold drink at my coffee station and let’s chat.

It was a mainly sunny and warm week. Ontario moved to Step 3 of the 3-Step Reopening plan on July 16. This means indoor dining, indoor fitness centres, indoor swimming pools, movie theatres, art galleries, concert halls, conservatories, and more businesses are re-opened with capacity limits.

I enjoyed cycling, walking around town to see outdoor art exhibits and taking photos at different angles. After sixteen months of restrictions and lockdown, fountains with water flowing gave me joy.

Fountains at Nathan Phillips Square.
Fountains and Freedom Arches at Nathan Phillips Square facing Old City Hall.

I’m sharing five eye-catching art stations for the weekend. In each of my photo galleries, I encourage you to click on the “About” photo and read it as it explains the artists’ intentions.

The first four stations are winning designs for Toronto’s 2021 Spring Stations exhibition. They were selected by a jury from a record-breaking 400+ submissions from around the world. The theme of the exhibition, Refuge, asked designers to “reflect on the ongoing pandemic and consider what refuge means to each of us: a shelter, a place of comfort and security, a sanctuary.”

1. ARc de Blob

ARc de Blob.
A colourful arch created by Aleksandra Belitskaja, Ben James and Shaun McCallum, Austria/UK.

2. The Epitonium

The Epitonium.
A leaning structure created by a group of Iranian artists aiming to provide physical shelter with architecture inspired by nature.

3. From Small Beginnings

From Small Beginnings.
Created by Jack Leather and Charlie Leather, UK, From Small Beginnings is made up of an entire tiny forest of seedlings planted on 15 wooden shelves and provides both seating and standing space for spectators to seek refuge. Visitors have taken most saplings by the time of my visit.

4. THROBBER

THROBBER.
A rainbow neon piece made up of 10 colourful rooms and created by Alexandra Grieß and Jorel Heid, Germany.

5. Plant It Forward

This urban garden/ sculpture installation created by John Notten is one of five winners of Toronto’s 2020 Temporary Parklet Design Build Competition.

Plant It Forward sculpture/ urban garden.
Plant It Forward sculpture, street-facing side.
Plant It Forward urban garden with wheelbarrows.
Plant It Forward urban garden with wheelbarrows, park-facing side.

The concept of Plant It Forward by John Notten:

I enjoyed these art stations and their messages. Happy weekend, everyone!

Shared with #LifeThisWeek, #PPAC6, #SundayStills, #ThursdayDoors, #WWE89.

Which of the above art stations do you like? I’d love to hear your comments.

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