After the Tease. (And off-topic)

31 August 2016 – I promise: my very next post will follow through on The Tease (previous post). But meanwhile, there was a Tuesday, wasn’t there? So the Tuesday Walking Society was out & about, wasn’t it?

Phyllis & I cover a little more than 11 km., weaving our way through mid-town, with urban din — road repair, water main work, ambulances & fire trucks, leaf blowers, excavations — pounding our ears. I catch a headline in a local paper, claiming the city is so noisy that songbirds can no loner easily locate each other by sound. I sympathize.

But there are escapist moments. In the gardens & grounds of the Spadina Museum, for example.


Wouldn’t you think you were in Tuscany, perhaps, not downtown Toronto?

Some noise here too, but enjoyable noise — day camp kiddies being led in competing teams on a puzzle/treasure hunt through the gardens. The staff & volunteers guide them to the chosen area …

day camp, Spadina House

and remind them to write down each animal they see, but not to tell the other, competing teams.

Sssshhh! Keep it secret!

one of the animal discoveries

Needless to say, delighted kiddies shout their discoveries at full force, dance little gigs of joy.

Off we go, PHyllis & I, down the Baldwin Steps next to Casa Loma …

Casa Loma, from top of Baldwin Steps

and near the foot of the steps are rewarded with this very colourful truck, covered with street art.

Well, half-covered. Only this side is painted.

truck below Casa Loma

But it does include, I swear, a salute to the Sydney Opera House.

the Sydney Opera House??

Right? Am I not right?

Into the Yorkville neighbourhood next, where, amid the classy art galleries, we meet a couple of horses.

Right there on Hazelton Avenue.

On this side, ladies & gentlemen, in front of Miriam Shiell Fine Arts, a Mountie cuddling his horse …

Hazelton Av., in front of Miriam Shiell

and across the way, in front of Heffel Fine Arts, artist Emily Carr leaning against her horse (courtesy of sculptor Joe Fafard).

Emily Carr sculpture, artist Joe Fafard, Hazelton Av.

Heat & humidity as we go, what else this summer in Toronto, but we walk the shady side of Tranby Av., with its calm & cool-looking doorways.

doorway on Tranby Av.

More shady tranquility in Town Hall Square, a park slivered into Yorkville Av. just west of Yonge Street.

Town Hall Square

And yet more tranquility — after the earlier cacophony, we are so grateful — in the Toronto Reference Library on Yonge.

It is an extraordinarily beautiful building, the work of Toronto architect Raymond Moriyama, later revitalized by his subsequent firm, Moriyama & Teshima.

Toronto Reference Library

We’re here to tour the Art of Cartography exhibit, in the library’s TD Gallery.

Phyllis & I both play with the high-tech, interactive map jigsaw puzzle on the way in, but after that we focus on the old stuff. I am particularly amused by a 1600s map of Iceland …


which, even then, knew all about Hekla.

And what she does.

detail, Islandia map, shwoing Hekla

Namely, erupt.


Blocks of granite, explained

In my early-August post about High Park (The Poetry Walk. Almost), I admired one of the park’s sculptures …

a sculpture in High Park

and bemoaned its lack of artist credit. Maureen Scott Harris has been kind enough to send me a comment of explanation. It makes poignant reading:

I’m sorry you missed our poetry walk, but thanks for the glimpses of the other things going on that day. Regarding the anonymous granite sculpture you wondered about, it dates from a sculpture competition in 1967. The chunks of granite were delivered but the sculptor who was to carve them had a nervous breakdown and the piece was never made. Here’s a link to information about the competition and the sculptures:

Thank you, Maureen.



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  1. A great walk through a totally unfamiliar city. I love the way city walks are so diverse, and always seem to offer surprises. The library architecture is splendid, and I love the statue of artist and horse – you don’t often see that sort of almost painterly texture on a statue. I also love the way the blogosphere provides answers, as it did for you about the granite blocks, and as it did for me about an unattributed statue in Łazienki gardens.

  2. Wonderful post! I bow to your perseverance in the face of such heat and humidity!

  3. Loved this post and everything you saw! Our absolute favorite was the Mountie and how nice to have Emily Carr nearby with her horse, too.

  4. This looks like a great walk! I’ve not been to Toronto, but it’s on my list of places I want to visit at some point.

    • Fall is always a good season here — check websites for (eg.) ROM, Aga Khan Museum, AGO, Bata Shoe Museum, also TSO, Tafelmusik; think about walking the string of lakefront parks…

  5. Larry Webb

     /  1 September 2016

    Hi Penn.

    This info about the sculptures in High Park is fascinating, made more so by the new location of “No Shoes” by Mark di Suvero which has now been reinstated in my neighbourhood at the south-west corner of Corktown Common. The fascinating story is actually a footnote to the one in your link!

    Thanks as always for your fascinating glimpses of Toronto – I have learned so much and continue to do so.

    Best, L

    Larry Webb

    (416) 508-1291

  6. the artist narrative is always curious to me in understanding process…wonder what he would do now…happy walking and photographing Penny! ☺️


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    "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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