Toronto Through My Lens

“Businessman On A Horse”

This 1989 bronze sculpture by William McElcheran is somewhat tricky to find. It is tucked into a small square in St. Michael’s College at U of T.

The artist has remarked that the businessman replaces the classical hero. Instead of dealing with heroic imagery, McElcheran endeavours to find his idea of the “larger-than-life” non-hero. Inspiration for the piece grew as he watched the “fat cats” wheel and deal on the corner of Bay and King Streets.

There are more works by McElcheran around Toronto, which I endeavour to find for future TOcityscapes posts.

Bonus!

Although technically not a TOcityscape, there is another of William McElcheran ‘s sculptures located in Calgary on Stephen Avenue at 1st Street S.W. This one is called Conversation, and was presented to the City of Calgary by Norcen Energy Resources Limited in 1981. Vince and I were in Calgary in the fall of 2019, which is when I grabbed this shot:

William McElcheran is now internationally recognized for his bronze figures of portly businessmen, portraying these self-important men of trade in different settings and situations. His commissioned works can be found in churches, subways, and numerous public places worldwide. Since his death in 1999, McElcheran forgeries have appeared on the market, which is indicative of how well regarded and widely accepted his works have become.

2 Comments

  1. David Lalonde

    Good ole University of Toronto has so many hidden wonders. I love walking around U of T. on a warm summer or spring day. This particular sculpture, I have not seen, so I look forward to exploring next summer. thanks Marvin. Please let me know where it is.

    • Marvin Job

      We’ll have to go on a U of T sculpture hunt this spring/summer. I’d love to shoot the art/statues/sculptures of U of T then create a post dedicated to them; there are plenty of sculptures tucked away on that sprawling campus.

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