Posts Tagged ‘Union station’

Monday’s walk was a meandering route downtown, once again going where my feet and eyes take me.  No particular plan in mind and no set destination…   just trying to explore where I haven’t been recently.   No theme jumped out and tapped me on the shoulder but a few “stories” emerged.

below: There is now a 3D sign between the CN Tower and the Aquarium that says Canada 150.

a young boy is leaping from the D of the 3D Canada 150 sign in front of the CN Tower, and is leaping onto the top of the A. His hands are on the top of the A, one foot is one the side of the A and the other foot is near the top of the D

below:  …and another 3D sign by the CN Tower (you can see part of the back of the Canada 150 sign through the tree). I wonder how many there are in this city now?   Another bit of information (trivia?) – this area is called Bobbie Rosenfeld Park and has been since 1991. Fanny (“Bobbie”) Rosenfeld was a Canadian athlete who won two track medals  in the 1928 Olympics.   She also played softball and hockey in the 1920s and 30s.  When arthritis force her to stop playing she turned to sports journalism, working for the ‘Globe and Mail’ until her retirement in 1955.

3D sign for the CN tower with tourists taking pictures in front of it. Canada 150 3D sign in the background as well as some people sitting around on benches

One of the routes from the CN Tower into the downtown core of the city is via the Skywalk, a glass enclosed elevated walkway over the railway tracks.  The next few photos were taken as I walked that route.

below: A Toronto species of woodpecker in its native habitat – a forest of glass and steel. This artwork was completed in 1997 and is the creation of Dai Skuse and Kim Kozzi who together are known as Fastwurms.

large sculpture of a woodpecker on a pole in the foreground, many glass skyscrapers condos in the background

below: The above photo was taken from a quiet little terrace that I accessed from the Skywalk. Now you can see just how big the woodpecker is!  The ‘tree trunk’ pole is 30m high.  What you can’t see is the second woodpecker who is on the other side of the pole and slightly farther down it.

a concrete terrace, with benches and planters with purple flowers, lots of condos in the background, one person standing there

below:  The glass of the Skywalk creates some interesting reflections and shadows.  The glass was fairly clean the other day when I walked through it.  I have seen it when it’s been quite dirty and it’s not a pretty sight.

reflections of a woman walking on the Skywalk between Union Station and the convention center, with views of the street below and buildings beyond also in the frame
reflected in the red glass of the entrance to the CN tower are two women walking

below: Union Station, looking east from the Skywalk.   The new roof over the station platforms is taking shape.  Someday soon I’m going to have to take a look at the insides of the station; I can’t wait for all the renovations to be completed.

union station as seen from the west, from the skywalk, with open air tracks as well as the covered platforms. New roof over the platforms, tall buildings in the background

below: Part of the south “wall” along the railway tracks.

buildings reflected in another glass building right beside the trains tracks south of Union Station

below: Looking east from lower Simcoe along the south edge of the Gardiner Expressway.   The podium of the new condo under construction at 10 York Street is quite the wedge!

construction of a tall condo beside the gardiner expressway. The bottom of the condo is a wedge shape to maximize the space available

below: I played a bit on google maps street view and this is what I found for the above scene (taken Nov 2016).  If you compare the photos (above & below), it’s obvious that one of the ramps for the Gardiner Expressway has been demolished.   The eastbound exit to Yonge/York/Bay was removed a couple of months ago.  If you are a regular user of the Gardiner, I’m sure you have already experienced the consequences of this!

screenshot of google maps street view of Lower Simoce stret just south of the Lakeshore, one of the offramps for the Gardiner, a new condo under construction

below: Standing on the same spot, but turning around 180 degrees – looking west from Lower Simcoe.  An old ramp in the foreground…. and what looks like new construction in the background.  Those are new bents (the structures that hold up the road).

under one of the Gardiner Expressway ramps, with new bents being built for a new ramp in the background.

below: To get a closer look at what was happening here, I ventured around to the other side .  This is the view from closer to Rees Street. There is car on the old ramp so it must still be open (onramps still functional, just the offramp was removed).

two "cherry pickers" parked in front of new bents being constructed for a new ramp for the Gardiner Expressway

below: The trees are growing at Canada Square (Harbourfront), but so are the condos.  Yes, this new building is the same one with the wedge shaped lower floors.

view from Canada Place (Queens Quay West) with a clump of birch trees in the foreground and 3 highrise buildings in the background - two older ones and one in the middle that is under construction.
below: Also at Canada Square, there are three large photographs by Johan Hallberg-Campbell, a series called “Coastal”.   This one of them:

a large photograph of a run down building, northern, on the side of a concrete structure that is an entrance to the underground parking

below: More of Hallberg-Campbell’s work can be seen inside in the Artport Gallery (Harbourfront building) – here, many photographs with simple wood frames are mounted on a wall that is covered with large images.  “Coastal” is the product of the artist’s travels to coastal areas of Canada, from Newfoundland to northern Manitoba to British Columbia and many places in between.   Life on the edge, so to speak.  (Note: gallery show ends 18th June)

three colour photos in simple light wood frames mounted on a wall that is covered with large images

below: It’s not art but sometimes the line between public art and advertising campaigns is fuzzy.

a man walks on the sidewalk below a largef ad for Apple watches.  The photo is cropped so that the only part of the ad that shows is a hand on the handle bar of a bike.  A bright turquoise watch is on the person's wrist

Not all is shiny and new.   And that’s the way it should be.

metal grille, part of a barricade along the side of a parking structure, rusted,

parking structure on the top, old door and wall on the bottom. A wood picnic table in disrepair is in front of the door

On Friday morning, my original goal was to find ‘Residents of the Esplanade’, a CONTACT Photography Festival outdoor exhibit at David Crombie Park but it was such a beautiful morning that I didn’t stop there. I found more than just the ‘Residents’.

Forty years ago, May 1976, the site plan for The Esplanade neighbourhood was approved. Since then, it has become home to a very diverse group of people. And it is those people that this installation celebrates on the 40th anniversary of the founding of the neighbourhood.

Crombie Park runs along the south side of The Esplanade between Berkeley street and Lower Jarvis.  The installation consists of a number of small white rectangular pillars with the picture and story of person on either side.

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - story of Mysha from Pakistan

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - photo of Solomon from on top of a basketball hoop

A photo from the CONTACT photography festival, installation called 'Residents of The Esplanade' - photo of Alan working at a desk, tulips and a woman sitting in the park are in the background

People were out enjoying the morning; school kids were playing basketball at recess.

kids playing basketball on an outdoor court. The wall behind the basketball hoop has been painted with a mural of hands making a heart shape with the fingers, by Bruno Smokey and Shalak Attack.

Flowers were blooming.

close up photo of red tulips in full bloom on a sunny day

tulips in a garden in a park, orange and yellow tulips, with some greenery. Grassy area with trees behind, and people walking on a sidewalk in the background.

below: Looking towards Lower Jarvis Street and downtown Toronto.

at the corner of The Esplanade and George Street, looking west towards downtown and St. Lawrence market. Playground on the left with children playing.

below:  One street beyond Lower Jarvis is Market Street.  It dead ends at the railway tracks.  The long structure on the right is a parking garage.

looking west towards the CN Tower, with the railway tracks to the left (but they are elevated and behind maintenance buildings so you can't see the tracks). Parking structure to the right, with city buildings behind it.

below: After a small backtrack up Market Street, I went through Conger Coal Lane to Church Street.  I don’t think I have walked this way before.  The lane was named in commemoration of the Conger Coal Company whose yard and wharf was nearby.   It was one of the many companies that provided Toronto with coal back in the day when coal fueled the city.  It was started in 1870 by Mr. P.D. Conger.   In 1913, Sterling Coal company bought Conger and the name was changed to Conger Lehigh Coal Co.

a downtown Toronto lane, very clean, no graffiti, taller, newer buildings on either side of the lane. CN tower in the distance,

below: A very old photo of the Conger Coal Company dock at the foot of Church Street, back when Church street ended at Lake Ontario

historical picture of the old COnger COal Co wharf at the bottom of Church street.

below: Tucked into a corner on Church street immediately south of Front Street, is an art installation by Paul Raff called ‘Shoreline Commemorative’.  A topography of limestone forms the base of the work.  A glass ball representing the line between sky and water sits on top of a tripod that tries to evoke a land surveyor’s tripod.  The words on the wall say “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 horizon”

Shoreline Commemorative by Paul Raff, an art installation on Church St., south of King, that marks where the shoreline of Lake Ontario used to be. It involves words on a brick wall and a model of the shoreline of Toronto showing the different elevations of the land.

below: Continuing the lake theme, a little fish out of water, jumping over the entrance to a condo.

bas relief sculpture of a fish, square stone on a brick wall above the entrance way to a condo building.

below: From the lake theme to another common theme in the city, construction. Spring is the beginning of construction season and here Berczy Park is being upgraded. In the background a new condo is being built but as we all know condo construction ‘season’ never ends. In fact, the challenge might be to find a place in this city where there isn’t a condo being built.

workmen redoing a park, Berczy Park in Toronto, with a digger and another piece of equipment, cityscape behind with a tall condo building under construction. A red and white crane is on top.

below: I walked past the never ending Front Street construction.  Construction in front of Union station seems to be finished, but this stretch of Front Street just west of the station is still being worked on.   There have been fences here so long that I can’t remember a time when they weren’t here.

Front street constrcution, behind a greenwire fence is a rd truck and piles of construction materials. Between the fence and a stone building is the sidewalk on which some people are walking.

a shirtless man in sitting on a stool at the corner of Front and Union streets. He has four signs (behind, above, in front, and beside him) asking for spare change or for you to buy his novel that is well rated on both Amazon and Goodreads.

A man is selling Black History newspaper to another man in front of the TTC subwayentrance at Union station.

 

 

Stephen Andrews POV
an exhibit at the Art Gallery of Ontario

Stephen Andrews is a Toronto artist whose career began in photography and the exhibit now on at the AGO does include a few excellent 8×10 photographs.  The main part of the exhibit though are approximately 20 (mostly large) paintings of his.

A room in an art gallery with white walls and three large paintings on it. A woman is taking a picture of one of them with a camera. The paintings consist of large rectangles
  below: ‘X-men at Union’, 2013, oil on canvas
Construction workers at Union Station, Toronto

rtwork picture of two construction workers wearing orange and yellow safety vests as they walk into a building that is being renovated

below: ‘After Before/After After’ oil on wood panels
The two paintings on the wall were based on landscapes by J.M.W. Turner that depicted scenes before and after the flood described in the bible (or before and after chaos).  Andrews has painted his with dots in only four colours, yellow, magenta, cyan and black

An open book on a pedestal, a large picture of a painting on each page. Two paintings on a wall directly behind the book. The paintings on the wall are replicas of the ones in the book .

below: detail from ‘Crossing’, 2011, oil on canvas

close up of a painting of a large number of railway crossing signs.

below: close up of part of ‘Entrance/Exit’, 2014, oil on canvas

close up of a slightly abstract painting of a person about to go through a revolving door in a glass wall

Water’s Edge
A Pan-American photography exhibit

produced by No.9: Contemporary Art & the Environment.

Two venues are involved, Union Station and Pearson Airport.  The photos below represent a sample of the photos on show at Union Station.

 

below: Bridge Glacier, British Columbia 2012, by James Balog, part of his study of vanishing glaciers.

large photographs, part of an exhibit at Union Station in Toronto -

below: Two black and white photographs by Sebastiao Salgado,
part of a photographic project titled ‘Genesis’.
One aim of ‘Genesis’ was to examine “the fragile beauty and grandeur of nature”.

large photographs, part of an exhibit at Union Station in Toronto -

below:  ‘The Anavilhanas’ taken in Amazonas Brazil, 2009 by Sebastiao Salgado.
Located on the Rio Negro, the Anivilhanas Archipelago is the world’s largest fresh water archipelago.  It is an unique ecosystem with over 400 river islands spread over 90 km.  The Rio Negro is 27 km at its widest point. During the rainy season (November to April) many of these islands are underwater.

large black and white photograph, part of an exhibit at Union Station in Toronto -

below: ‘Sarnia’ by Gustavo Jononovich, taken in Sarnia, from his “Free Shipping” series.

large photographs, part of an exhibit at Union Station in Toronto -

below: ‘Georgian Bay #1, Four Winds’, Point-au-Baril, Ontario  2009, by Edward Burtynsky.
This picture is part of his Water Series, a series that looks at changing water systems around the world as well as the relationship that we have with these water systems.

large photographs, part of an exhibit at Union Station in Toronto -

The exhibit ends on the 15th of August.

#myhomewaters

A while back, I posted some photos of ‘Zones of Immersion’,  Stuart Reid’s art installation at Union Station.   Now that it is completed, I decided to revisit it.  There has been some talk about how depressing it is.
I’ll let you decide whether it is depressing or not.

If you are on the ‘northbound to Finch’ platform you get a clear view of all the panels.
If you are on the ‘northbound to Downsview’ platform you can only see some of the glass panels.

I’ve now been back a number of times and this is what I saw:
1) Of the figures with discernible gender, 12 or 13 were male.
2) The males are of different ages and shapes.
3) The number of females outnumber males by at least 2:1.
4) Almost all (or even all?) of the women are young.  They are all thin, if not gaunt.
5) There is one child…. with a finger up his/her nose.
6) Only two or three figures are smiling.

 

Part of an art installation at Union Station, paint on glass panels - a rough drawing, black outline with some grey shading of a couple

paintings on glass panels, Union Station art installation, two women. One on the left looks very sad, like she's been crying. The other woman is painted very dark grey with a few red highlights.

Looking along a subway platform at Union Station, the far wall is an art installation, paintings on glass panels of people

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels,

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a woman's head in dark blues and blacks, heavy paint around the eyes

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a large face in red
blog_union_art_thinking

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, three men sitting on a subway

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, on the left are white words on blue background, on the right are two women in profile

“the way we settle into a seat
the way we stretch when the train is empty
and retract as it fills
the way we deflect a glance and simultaneously present
language of the body claiming, relinquishing and balancing
personal space in the interstitial realm
halfway between the worlds of here and there”

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a woman in yellow on a green and blue background, a man is waiting for the subway and his reflection is in the photo

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, woman standining

The panels that can be seen on the ‘northbound to Downsview’ platform are seen as the reverse of those viewed from the other platform.

black and white painting on glass of a woman holding a mobile phone

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, upper part of a man sitting and reading, in profile, on the left is the reflection of a woman waiting for the subway
“slicing through the clay of the earth’s first skin
steel rails and electric lines
going from      going to
slicing through time and distance
darkness and light
station by station
releasing us into the city’s fabric
stop by stop
after a days labour
taking us home”

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, four women sitting on the subway

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a group of people standing. The word because is also visible in the picture

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, a woman sitting on the subway with a child on her lap. The child has a finger up its nose

part of an art installation, paintings on glass panels, on the left side is a man on blue and on the right is a woman's head drawn in blue

painting on glass panels, two women, on the left is standing, on the right is pointing to the left.

(added in October) I got off the subway at Union Station today.  There were three guys in front of me.  One of them stopped and pointed to the nearest painting which happened to be the one above.  As he pointed he said “See what I mean, if that doesn’t make you want to jump… “.

 

I’m happy to be corrected if you can prove me wrong.

 

Edouard
a CONTACT photography festival exhibit,
VIA Rail Concourse (i.e. where the trains depart from)

Edouard LeBouthillier documented his life in Toronto in the 1970’s and early 1980’s with Polaroid pictures.  On the back of the photos he noted dates and places.  He also took pictures of Toronto buildings and landmarks that were newly constructed or in the process of being torn down (e.g. the old Eatons store at Yonge & Dundas).

There are two exhibits of his work being shown at CONTACT this year.  The first, shown below, is on the east side of the VIA Rail Concourse of Union Station where a number of large prints are on display.  If you have trouble finding them, look for VIA platforms 12 and 13.

A second Edouard exhibit is at Art Metropole (1490 Dundas West) and it consists of some of the original polaroids that show his domestic life.

below:  At new City Hall.
In front of the tulip garden on the left and lying by the fountain on the right.

large photographic prints on display at Union Station

large photographic prints on display at Union Station

below: Edouard was at the CNE on the 17th of August 1977.

large photographic prints on display at Union Station

below: On the left is Ed’s Wacky Wirld store, 1977

large photographic prints on display at Union Station

If you have recently stood on the platform at Union subway station, northbound to Finch side, you will have seen the new artwork being installed there.   The platform is still under construction and not all the art panels have been installed but this is what it looked like this past weekend.

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - a seated woman picture on the left.  The panel on the right has not yet been installed, there is a space and the construction behind it is easily visible

There are 166 glass panels, each just over 2m high (7 feet) and when it’s finished it will cover the length of the subway platform, a length of 170m (about 500 feet).

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform

At the moment they are installed in such a way that they act as mirrors as well as pictures.

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - several panels with pictures of people but it is highly reflective so you can see the people waiting on the platform as well

The piece is titled ‘zones of immersion’ and it is the work of Canadian stained glass artist Stuart Reid.  The people on these panels are based on drawings that Reid made as he rode on the TTC.

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - a sitting woman and a standing woman.  An exit sign is reflected in the glass

I’m not sure they will be so highly reflective once the installation is complete and the construction behind them finished.  But in the meantime, a little fun can be had!

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform  several panels with pictures of people but it is highly reflective so you can see the people waiting on the platform as well

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - two blue glass panels, one with a woman's face

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform - 3 men sitting on the subway, all facing the viewer

new art, pictures of people on the subway, on glass panels installed at Union Station platform, a woman's face in profile.  You can see traces of the construction behind her.