Slantwise Across the Square. And More.

19 November 2014 — Walking Woman has been more of a Gallery Girl these past few days. My dear friend Mary came to town, & we gorged on indoor pleasures — the AGO, the ROM, the Textile Museum, even a terrific evening of contemporary dance at the Betty Oliphant Theatre (within the National Ballet School complex), under the auspices of the enchantingly named Toes for Dance.

So no Tuesday walk of any length, but after sending Mary off to her train following our visit to the AGO, I lengthen the walk home with a detour. I cut diagonally south-east from University Avenue  around the Toronto Courthouse south of Dundas and then into & across Nathan Phillips Square in front of City Hall.

I stop at this statue immediately behind the Courthouse,  thinking yet again how very cold statues of people always look in winter-time.

In other words, my first reaction is entirely trivial.

statue by Marlene Hilton Moore

Then I read the plaque. It tells me the sculpture is the work of Marlene Hilton Moore (2012) & a gift of the Toronto Lawyers Association. It also includes this quotation (which ends on the plaque as shown below):

The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms guarantees, as a fundamental freedom, that everyone has freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression …

I decide to look more closely at the next sculpture in this grouping around the Courthouse.

statue by Maryon Kantaroff, Toronto Courthouse

This, I read, is the Frederick G. Gans Q.C. Memorial: “A sculpture by Maryon Kantaroff dedicated to an advocate of Human Rights, funded by relatives, colleagues and friends [1990].”

There is a third sculpture, which shows a lion & a lamb, equally balanced.

"Equal Before the Law," by Eldon Garnet, Toronto Courthouse

Can you make out the inscription? On that side, it is in French. I circle around, take a close-up on the English side.

inscription, English side, on "Equal Before the Law"

The plaque tells me this sculpture was funded by The Advocates Society, and created in 2012 by Eldon Garnet, an artist who has made a major contribution to public art in this city. It is called Equal Before the Law, and states: “Equality rights are guaranteed by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.”

Do our courts, do we as a society, always live up to these principles? Of course not. But I am extremely happy to see them proclaimed so vividly, so unequivocally, right here at the Courthouse.

There is a renowned sculpture in Nathan Phillips Square itself, of course — The Archer by Henry Moore. I salute it as I pass, but don’t photograph it. Doesn’t seem the moment.

In fact, I don’t really plan to take any more pictures as all, but change my mind as I approach the south-east corner of the Square.

pond turning to skating rink, in Nathan Phillips Square

In summer a shallow pond, now sparkling with ice — not yet deliberate ice, groomed for public skating; merely a casual (if early) gift from Nature. But look at that word SKATES on the building at the far end. The season starts soon.

And then … and then… it will in turn give way again to summer.

Which is why this ticking clock has been installed right next to the pond/rink.

Pan Am 2015 clock, in Nathan Phillips Square

Toronto 2015 indeed: Pan Am and Parapan Am Games, 10-26 July and 7-15 August respectively. The clocks are doing their count-downs, rotating through three official languages. (Our usual two, plus Spanish.)

“And More.”

As promised.

First, I must clear Street Bear (see previous post) of my accusation of poor spelling. That was my ignorance on display, not the bear’s! Thank you Rick, for taking time to research this point, and then post a comment to share your thoughts:

“With regard to Macarons/ Macaroons – depending on what you thinks a macaroon is, they may be different things. Macarons are filled meringue biscuits/cakes (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaron) whereas, to me (& Wikipedia – although it does hedge its bets a little), macaroons are coconut based small cakes (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Macaroon).”

Second, here’s a link for anyone interested in Toronto Victorian architecture — line drawings, plus clear descriptions of each style & remaining best examples. This time, my thanks to  my very smart, very enjoyable neighbours right across the street.

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  • WALKING… & SEEING

    "Traveller, there is no path. Paths are made by walking" -- Antonio Machado (1875-1939)

    "The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes" -- Marcel Proust (1871-1922)

    "A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities" -- Rebecca Solnit, "Wanderlust: A History of Walking"

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