Thursday, July 27, 2017

Sculptures - Union Station

July 2017 - Toronto ON

I've mentioned I've become obsessed with Toronto Sculpture since I bought the book Creating Memory.

I already had photos of some pieces and I am actively seeking out other works as I wander.

These are in the Union Station area, around Front St. and between York and Bay.

In front of Union right on Front and  often referred to as “Symbol of Multiculturalism”, “Monument to Multiculturalism” by Francesco Perilli,was unveiled on July 1st, 1985.

About the statue itself, Perilli writes:
“I conceived the monument to be cast in bronze, and, stylistically, in a postmodern vein. It represents a man who, at the center of the globe, joins two meridians; while the remaining meridians are held aloft by doves, a peace symbol in themselves. Moreover, the doves are symbolically meant to represent the cultural vitality of the people who, with the man, construct a new world, under the banner of dialogue and mutual respect.

A part of the inscription on the side of the statue reads “This monument, a tribute to multiculturalism, was presented to the city of Toronto on the occasion of its sesquicentennial by the national congress of Italian Canadians on behalf of the Italian Canadian Community.”

Also close by is the Union Station clock with letters spelling Union Station replacing the numbers.

I'm behind Union Station, on Bremner St. for the next two.

You can't miss this one!

The three-column steel sculpture Search Light, Star Light, Spot Light, is inspired by a quote from author Louis Untermeyer, (1885-1977): “God, if you wish for our love, Fling us a handful of stars.”

On December 16, 1998 the conical work titled Search Light, Star Light, Spot Light was unveiled at Air Canada Centre. The artist is John McEwen, sculptor of the steel.

The surface of each column has been extensively perforated with holes in the shape of five-pointed stars that glow when lit from within like celestial search beacons in the night. The effect is most immediately associated with the search beams that call attention to entertainment spectacles such as those that take place in the adjacent Air Canada Centre. Further, the telescopic shape of the columns and the starry lights suggest a connection between the earth and sky; between the infinite cosmos and the depth of the human imagination.

A fw feet away is the next one.
Air Canada Centre or ACC is where the Raptors play basketball and the Maple Leafs play hockey.

I've shown this one often in other contexts.

Known as Legends' Row it reminds fans of the glory days of the Maple Leafs.

Ted Kennedy, Darryl Sittler, Johnny Bower, Borje Salming, George Armstrong, Syl Apps, Mats Sundin, Dave Keon, Turk Broda and Tim Horton
Four more will be joining them this year. Wendel Clark, Frank Mahovlich, Red Kelly and Charlie Conacher then the bench will be full.

Sticking with ACC and hockey I found Wins Losses Ties.

I found the plaque last week and was puzzled where the sculpture was. I should have googled it then and there, but the space was empty so I never thought to look up or for that matter, down!!!

Not being a hockey fan, I know, so unCanadian!! I never thought about the fact that that banners and pennants are hung from the rafters of sports arenas.

When I went back and looked up (thank you Google) in front of 40 Bay Street, you will see dozens of stainless steel pipes hanging down. It looks like a pipe organ! Hey, and they used to be played at hockey games, too!!!

The pipes are of different lengths, from very short to very long. There are three rows of pipes in each of the seven separate sections.

Micah Lexier, 1999
Wins/Losses/Ties is specifically linked to its site at the Air Canada Centre, home of the Toronto Maple Leafs hockey club, and is a tribute to their previous home, Maple Leaf Gardens, as well as their enduring legacy.

The work consists of a group of 201 hanging stainless steel columns and seven inlaid granite sidewalk panels. In keeping with the spirit of this artist’s usual approach, the formal characteristics of these elements are determined by statistical information. In this case three steel columns depicting their record of wins, losses and ties represent the 67 seasons played at Maple Leaf Gardens. The columns are grouped by decade and extend downward for a length proportional to the related statistic, which is noted on the bottom of each column.

 The sidewalk panels record additional information such as the years that the Leafs won the Stanley Cup.

The inlaid sidewalk panels are very hard to read, in fact, I almost missed them as well.

Been There, Drank That

July 2017 - Toronto ON

I discovered Jimmy's Coffee Shop has six locations around Toronto and so far I have discovered that at least two have murals with images of Jimmy's. There is also a mural on the side of the Queen St. West location but I haven't figured a Jimmy connection.

From Jimmy's website:
Jimmy's Coffee first opened its doors on December 10th, 2009. The idea came to life thanks to serial entrepreneur, Phil Morrison. Phil? You mean his name isn't Jimmy? Then who is Jimmy? The elusive Jimmy doesn’t exist as a singular person—we love all Jimmies! James Dean, Jimmy Hoffa, Jimi Hendrix, Jimmy Carter, Jim Morrison, Jimmy Durante, your friend Jimmy, my friend Jimmy, or maybe even your dad Jimmy.

Jimmy’s Coffee on Gerrard St. West has plenty of studying space, spread over three floors. Tip! The third floor doubles as a boardroom rental space). For all you dog owners, don’t forget about the shop’s walk-up window in the back, so you don’t have to leave your pup outside alone!

So I now have a mission to visit all six shops.

We stopped into their third location on Gerrard St. last week. 

Jimmy Mount Rushmore

Hendrix, Page, Buffett and Morrison.

Another Jimmy on the back wall done by the same artist.


July 2017 - Toronto ON

Last summer I had followed The TELUS Health Brain Project.

Toronto is gearing up for a second year of raising awareness with over 100 new one-of-a-kind brain creations by local and international artists with a focus on bolder designs in their medium of choice.

I have taken the descriptions from the Telus website.

Total by visit
Jogging Memories - Union Station   Total 9
Penny for your Thoughts - FCP        Total 5
Sony Centre for the Arts                   Total 1
Lost in Thought - City Hall               Total 15
Thoughtless - Yorkville                     Total 3
City Hall                                            Total 4

2017 TOTAL TO DATE - 37

Yorkville Brains

Bloom Within
“Bloom Within” is a rich, textural, stained-glass, woven mosaic created with more than 12,000 tiny hand-cut pieces. Coral reefs, ecosystems, lush gardens, the flora and the fauna are the inspirations for this sculpture. They are very fragile and diverse, like our own brains. We must nurture and care for our inner garden. It is all about loving yourself from the inside out!

Rings of Memory
Artist Ben Sellick’s concept is based on tree rings, which are natural records of growth and change over time. The rings are visual reminders to times passed. No set of tree rings is the same as another, just as no people or sets of memories are the same. We can be similar and have shared experiences, but we are all unique unto ourselves. We all have our own individual stories. Memories are our sacred portals to our own personal histories.

Although the process of painting the brain was intuitive and the resulting imagery was abstract, the paint began to take on the visual characteristics of neurons. Each spot of paint became a soma and each drip formed axons and dendrites. Despite popular belief, creativity does not originate from one side of the brain, but utilizes many different regions working together as a team. Somata is an artistic interpretation of the mapping of the creative brain.

More City Hall

Gina Godfrey’s work is often characterized by the eyes. In this case, she was thinking of something like the female in Avatar or Finding Dory, both iconic characters where the eyes are the focal point and have shades of blue and yellow. With that as her base, Godfrey used skill and imagination to create “Luminescent,” named for its glowing quality. The piece should be appreciated purely for its beauty and emotional power. It is a fictional treatment of the human brain meant purely for art’s sake.

Brain Scan
PET, MRI and CT scans can use colour and shades to help detect brain activity to help us understand conditions we all might have. In PET scans, red stimulates high activity and cool colours show low activity.

Feel What You See

Feel what you see. Feel what you feel.

Jelly Beans
Artist Peter Triantos chose the 'Jelly Beans' series because of its simplicity. The colours represent positive vibrant energy, and Triantos believes that the Brain Project represents this same kind of energy as artists come together in support of a great cause.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Canada Permanent Trust Building

July 2017 - Toronto ON

I did some poking around the financial district today and decided to go into a few. No one stopped me...

Click here to visit the Concourse Building that is very close by.

Image result for canada permanent building historic toronto

Background is from Wikipedia.
Canada Permanent Trust Building is an Art Deco structure built between 1928 and 1930. It was designed by the architect Henry Sproatt.

The 18-floor office building is located at 320 Bay Street and was built by F. Hilton Wilkes.

The Art Deco building's current tenant is CIBC Mellon; it was renovated for them in 2001.

The building was used for the exterior shots for the television show Traders.

Inspired by the 1922 discovery of King Tut's tomb, a bas-relief brass panel on the elevator doors - showing a mythological figure holding a cornucopia and a model of the new 18-storey tower - is a fitting statement of prosperity and pride.

The Banking Hall possesses a sense of quiet elegance and grandeur. Its marble floor features colourful triangular inlays that enhance the rhythm established by the robust squared columns. Geometrically patterned brass heating grills punctuate the low marble walls that delineate the public space. The symmetry of the floor plan is echoed in the classically inspired groin-vaulted plaster ceiling.
The Banking Hall was originally illuminated by 15 large chandeliers, which were sadly lost after the building was closed. Working solely from period photographs, the refurbishment team's craftsmen created new brass chandeliers with energy-efficient, high-intensity lamps that closely resemble the crisp Deco geometry of the original fixtures.

Look at this stunning mailbox! Quite a contrast to those ugly boxes today.

You can see a heating grill in this photo.

Thursday Doors

Linking up at Norm's Thursday Doors.

July 2017 - Toronto ON

I worked next door to this building on Adelaide West for years and it was just a nondescript office building, rather frumpy in appearance, in comparison to the modern towers around her. There was an old-fashioned greasy spoon on the ground floor for years. Eventually it got a Tim Horton's.

I was walking up Bay St. this week and was looking up when a building with vibrant colours caught my eye.

I turned onto Adelaide, across from FCP, and behold a magnificent jewel or so I thought.
The silver tower reaches a height of 40 storeys, the Kohn Pedersen Fox-designed EY Tower catches the eye as the distinctively crystalline roof joins the Financial District skyline.

It happens to be a replicated heritage facade that fronts the tower's southeast corner at Adelaide and Sheppard. Long home to the 1928-built Concourse Building, the corner of Adelaide and Sheppard is now fronted by a conspicuously new replica of the former building. Featuring prominent murals and mosaics by Group of Seven member JEH MacDonald, elements of the Art Deco building—demolished in 2013—have been incorporated into the new facade.

According to Historic Toronto's website:

It was truly one of the city’s best examples of Art Deco structures from the 1920s. Even though it is designated a Heritage Site, the building was demolished, except for two of its facades—the south facade on Adelaide Street and the east facade facing Sheppard Street. They were dismantled, cleaned, and reconstructed. It is small consolation that these two facades will remain.  The interior of the Concourse Building will be lost to future generations. A 40-storey modern tower of glass replaces it.

The Concourse Building was designed by the architects Martin Baldwin and Greene in 1928, the year prior to the great stock market crash. Its rich decorative detailing was created by J. E. H. MacDonald (1873-1932). A plaque on the Concourse Building states that “MacDonald was best known as a painter and was a moving spirit in the Group of Seven.”

“The Concourse Building introduces colour for the first time in downtown Toronto,” a newspaper ad boldly proclaimed in March 1929. “The austerity of eternal gray which pervades our streets is relieved in this building with a lovely warmth of gold. An office in this building will be more than an office.”

Replication/reconstruction/reassembly or not it is stunning.

The entranceway on Adelaide Street is two storeys in height, topped by an impressive Roman arch. Inserted into the arch is a mosaic panel that displays a large planet, symbolically depicting the elements of air, fire, earth and water. MacDonald said that he felt this was appropriate as the name Concourse suggested a gathering together. He extended this theme to the smaller panels on the underside of the arch, placing designs that represented Canada’s industries (steam shovels, plough, wheat sheaf, airplane, furnaces, sailing ships, electric power, plough), as well as the wildlife of Canada. All the designs possess brilliant colours against solid backgrounds.

MacDonald placed his initials and year—1928 in the left-hand corner.

In the lobby are photos of the original building.

the EY Tower's heritage preservation entailed a meticulous survey of the Concourse Building in advance of demolition. The search uncovered a number of original murals and mosaics, as well as ornate architectural features that were hidden beneath mid-to-late 20th century renovations.

This panel soars between the doors.

One more look as we exit the doors.
A bike messenger asked if I wanted a photo of me in front of the doors, I declined and we chatted about the architecture in Toronto and he said it was a favourite part of his job getting to see the interiors.