Toronto Through My Lens

Tag: KingStW

“Pi”

Last week I happened across a curious piece found at 220 Bay Street, nestled in a passageway behind the TD Centre off Wellington Street West. Created by Canadian artist Evan Penny, this large sculpture – entitled Pi – is of a man’s head which has been cut into four pieces. The pieces are cut at ninety degree angles with straight lines which are in sharp contrast to the roundness of the outside of the head and the features of the face. The tallest piece measures approximately four feet high.

The features of the man’s face are very strong but they show little expression as if he is lost in thought and the fact that his head has been turned into a puzzle has not registered.

The bronze is a deep green colour which gives this sculpture a warm complexion.

This sculpture has been in place since 1996. I am amazed I had not come across this work until just recently; it resides in kind of a hidden pocket in the King/Bay area so that may explain it.

St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church

St. Andrew’s is located at 73 Simcoe Street, on the southeast corner of King Street West and Simcoe Street. The church was built in the Romanesque Revival style and opened for worship in 1876. At that time, its location at King and Simcoe Streets was a busy place and most of the congregation lived within easy walking distance of the church. Across the street stood Government House, the official residence of the Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. Upper Canada College stood on a second corner and on a third was a popular tavern. With St. Andrew’s, the four corners were known locally as Legislation, Education, Damnation and Salvation!!

“Megaptera”

Located at 121 King Street West, this sculpture is entitled Megaptera, and was created by Transylvanian-born artist George Schmerholz. Megaptera novaeangliae is the scientific name of humpback whales, the name translating to Great Wings.

The humpback whale here is depicted with her calf. The sculpture was carved from a single block of granite, called “Prairie Green”, which was sourced from Riviere à Pierre, Quebec. The sculpture, dedicated on May 18, 1993, weighs 43,000 pounds and took 1.5 years to create.

“Ballast”

In front of the Hudson condo at 438 King Street West, there sits a sculpture by artist Jed Lind, entitled Ballast.

Installed in 2013, Ballast is a patinated bronze sculpture of the prow of a ship, anchoring the corner of King and Charlotte streets in Toronto. Rising like a skeletal prow of a Great Lakes freighter, the five-metre tall bronze sculpture is described by artist Jed Lind as a visual metaphor for the transformation of the King Street corridor from working class to creative class. The artwork began as a maquette that was laser scanned and enlarged. After hours of meticulous sculpting and finishing of the enlarged positive form, the sculpture was cast in bronze in small sections. The sections were welded together, finished, and the bronze was patinated.

Jed Lind’s photographs, sculptures, and installations are populated with nautical vessels and vehicles, though they are not always immediately recognizable. On this particular creation, Jed Lind has commented:

Transformation is central to my work whether physical, emotional, or metallurgical. Ballast represents for me a transformation of the King Street corridor which is so drastically different than my memory of it growing up. Ballast is modelled on the frontend of a working lake boat, or Lakers as they are called. The boat is a nod to the blue collar working class that used to occupy the now vacated commercial and industrial spaces, while the geodesic pattern is a reference to Buckminster Fuller who inspired youth culture—in the late 1960s and 70s—to transform their existing circumstances through architecture. I hope Ballast will be a model for the younger generation who have taken over downtown en masse.

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