Toronto Through My Lens

Tag: UniversityAve

“The Endless Bench”

A sculpture by Lea Vivot entitled The Endless Bench sits outside the main entrance of Sick Children’s Hospital at 525 University Avenue. It was donated to the hospital in memory of the artist’s son.

Two young women seated on the round bench are conversing; one, a young mother, nurses her infant, while the other is heavily pregnant. Two children play in the sand within the circle of the bench.

There is an inscription on the bench which reads:

“The Endless Bench” by Lea Vivot. Unveiled July 7, 1984 in memory of her son Morris, July 7, 1977-October 18, 1979, in appreciation of the excellent care received by him and countless others from the Hospital for Sick Children. May our children play in peace.

Engraved along the bench are 476 supporting messages and images from sympathetic people as the sculpture was being created. These messages include heart shapes, images of toys, hands, maple leaves, and hand-printed inspirational thoughts. Along the outside rim of the bench the word Peace is inscribed in different languages.

The sculpture is made of bronze and was installed on the site in 1984.

“Rising”

Outside the Toronto Shangri-La Hotel at 188 University Avenue, there is a curious sculpture constructed of stainless steel. This piece is entitled Rising by Shanghai-based artist Zhang Huan, and was unveiled in May 2012.

Zhang Huan conceived Rising as a philosophical reflection of the world around us. The polished stainless-steel sculpture consists of countless doves, the international symbol of world peace, and a twisted tree branch that resembles the body of a dragon.

The sculpture draws an analogy to the fragile conditions facing our planet. Zhang Huan seeks to convey the message that humans can exist in harmony with nature, and that, if this delicate balance is struck, our cities will become better places to live. The artist remarks:

… through the monster-shaped tree, I would like to advocate the protection of ecology, and the harmonious relationship between humans and nature. The doves in the tree symbolize the peace of the world and my wish is for beautiful city life to be shared by mankind and nature.

Realized in two parts, the large-scale exterior sculpture  permanently resides at the entrance to the hotel and a second component extends indoors, gracing the walls of the hotel’s lobby. Rising took Zhang Huan two years to complete in his studio in Shanghai. The sculpture is his first public art commission in Canada.

A Walk Up & Down Avenue Road

It was a crisp fall day when I started my Avenue Road photowalk at Bloor Street West. I made my way up Avenue Road, reached Dupont Street, then returned south until I hit University Avenue and Dundas Street West. Here’s a little of what I encountered along the way.

The Prince Arthur Condo
38 Avenue Road
The Prince Arthur Condo, 38 Avenue Road
I’ve always loved this entryway – so elegant, dramatic
New Condo Construction: 183 Avenue Road
Construction on the northeast corner of Avenue Road and Pears Avenue in Yorkville. This is a proposed 10-storey mixed-use condominium building designed by BBB Architects for K P Isberg.
Hazelton Lanes Residences
55A Avenue Road
Galerie de Bellefeuille
87 Avenue Road
Future Site of “The Webley”
121 Avenue Road
Bike Memorial For Adam Excell
On the corner of Avenue Road and Davenport Road. Adam Excell was riding his bike on Avenue Road, near Davenport Road on June 13, 2015, when he was struck and killed by a car that did not remain at the scene.
David Drebin Mural
On the northwest corner of Avenue Road and Davenport Road. David Drebin is a Toronto-born professional photographer.
David Drebin Mural & “Super Convenience”
Northwest corner of Davenport Road and Avenue Road
The Hare Krishna Temple
The Hare Krishna Temple is located at 243 Avenue Road. The building is the former home of Avenue Road Church. It was built in 1899 and was originally the Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. The building was designed by Toronto architects Gordon & Helliwell.
The Church of the Messiah
240 Avenue Road. This Anglican church was founded on March 24, 1891 by members of the Church of the Redeemer further south on Avenue Road. The building, and the rectory next door, were designed by Gordon & Helliwell, the same architects who designed what is now the Hare Krishna Temple across the street.
Fall Leaves
Somewhere on Avenue Road
Mural Outside Havana Coffee Bar
233 Davenport Road, southwest corner of Davenport Road and Avenue Road
Flower Markets
Avenue Road, south of Davenport
Giant Ring
Outside Louro & Sons Jewellers, 104 Avenue Road
“Mixer”
These cast bronze figures are entitled “Mixer” by sculptor An Te Liu, a Taiwanese-Canadian artist living and working in Toronto. “Mixer” envisions its installation as a stage inhabited by a pair of cast bronze figures engaged in dialogue with passersby, hotel visitors, and each other. Bold and distinctive in silhouette and richly finished in a lustrous deep gold patina, the sculptural ensemble forms a vivid and iconic tableau establishing the Park Hyatt as a singular destination. As a public artwork, “Mixer” is monumental in scale – visible from afar and instantly recognizable. Open and intimate, the work invites visitors to experience the artwork fully and in the round. People become a critical part of the scenography, which unfolds within the architectural proscenium and extends out into the city.

“Mixer” finds shape and expression in the rich history of Park Hyatt Toronto, merging classical figurative allusions with industrial, artisanal, and organic forms culled from glassware, vessels, and couture. The forms also stem from a reinterpretation of the artistic legacy of Henry Moore, a seminal figure in the history of the modern era in Toronto. “Mixer” captures the allure of social encounters and celebrates imbibing in all the senses. They form a continuity between the illustrious past of Park Hyatt Toronto and its present renaissance as an exemplar of elegance and luxury. An Te Liu’s inspiration for this work comes more specifically from an archival photograph of the Park Hyatt Rooftop Lounge, commonly known as “The Rooftop bar at Park Plaza,” years ago. An Te Liu would visit during his years as a student at the University of Toronto – understanding its’ social significance as a landmark in the city. Park Hyatt Toronto invites visitors to experience the artwork in the round, as this ensemble of works seems like an encounter or conversation. The hotel program inspired this meaningful concept as a place of social convergence, where friends and strangers cross
Lillian Massey Building
Building used by University of Toronto, 125 Queen’s Park
“Freedom Fighters”
Queen’s Park
“Freedom Fighters”
Queen’s Park
Fall Leaves
Queen’s Park
Al Purdy Statue, Queens’ Park
Al Purdy was a 20th-century Canadian free verse poet. Purdy’s writing career spanned 56 years. His works include 39 books of poetry; a novel; two volumes of memoirs and four books of correspondence, in addition to his posthumous works. He has been called the nation’s “unofficial poet laureate” and “a national poet in a way that you only find occasionally in the life of a culture.”
Iranian Demonstration
There was an Iranian demonstration happening that day at Queen’s Park, and this guy was ripping up and down Queen’s Park and University Avenue with his balloons and flag
U of T’s Schwartz Reisman Innovation Centre
112 College Street, at University Avenue
“Happy Lunar New Year”
Canada Post box at University Avenue and Dundas Street West
The United Building
481 University Avenue. On the corner of University Avenue and Edward Street. Converting into luxury condos.
The United Building
481 University Avenue. On the corner of University Avenue and Edward Street. Converting into luxury condos.

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