Toronto Through My Lens

Tag: YongeDundasSquare (Page 1 of 2)

Illuminite 2024

Currently running until the end of March 2024 is an interesting LED light exhibition called Illuminite. There are 6 installations in total: 2 in Yonge-Dundas Square, 3 in Trinity Square Park behind the Eaton Centre, and 1 at Yonge and Shuter Streets (although this last one I was not able to locate during my visit).

Apparently Illuminite happens every year, but this was the first year I’d personally heard of it. I believe the event has been on hiatus over COVID so that would explain its absence.

At any rate, here’s a sampling of some of the works on display (descriptions courtesy of the Illuminite website):

Biolumen

Artist: Radha Chaddah & RAW Design
Location: Yonge-Dundas Square

Biolumen is by Toronto-based visual artist and scientist Radha Chaddah and architectural firm RAW Design.

Biolumen by Radha Chaddah x RAW Design is an immersive experience with changing light,texture, and sound. The art installation features ten large luminescent structures where art, science, and nature merge. Inspired by deep-sea Radiolaria, Biolumen represents resilience and beauty in harsh environments.

During the evening hours the columns cast patterns of light when spun by participants. During the day, the columns emit ambient sounds when spun.

Click images below for slideshow:

If there were darkness enough in Yonge-Dundas Square, this is how Biolumen would appear:

Digital Drapes

Artist: MattCreative
Location: HNR Properties 19-21 Dundas Square

Digital Drapes is the crossover between light, motion, and architecture, where all of the windows of a building are covered in grids of programmable LEDs. Dynamic visualizations are created that work together with the unique geometry of the building to activate the entire space, turning the entire building into an interactive canvas.

Unfortunately my shots of Digital Drapes cannot do it justice; the LEDs were constantly changing and pulsating so it was hard to capture this installation at its best:

Ethera

Artist: Ariel Weiss
Location: Trinity Square Park

Ethera is an interactive and LED based public art installation designed by students from the Department of Architectural Science at Toronto Metropolitan University. Toronto-based lighting design studio Urban Visuals and StrongLED also served as industry partners for the Media Architecture Biennale.

Through its polycarbonate and recycled glass-filled skin and its LED-based lighting system, the installation plays with lighting in both natural and artificial conditions.

The animated Ethera pavilion creates an immersive experience that invites visitors to disengage with the city around them, encouraging a childlike playfulness:

SAM Lamp

Artist: Sam Hardwicke-Brown
Location: Trinity Square Park

This installation is a response to episodes of negative mental health that we all face throughout our lives. Through the semiotics of structure, and the use of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) light technology, the intention of the installation is to provide support to those within the structure. This noctilucent installation aims to provide temporary comfort to those in need. In the bleakest of darkness, one will find support in the light.

This project acts as a Seasonal Affective Meditation space, and temporary safe haven for those in need:

Spectrum

Artist: Spectrum by Mirari, co-production of Quays Culture and Quartier des spectacles Partnership. Distribution by QDSinternational.
Location: Trinity Square Park

A listening experience, in which you are invited to engage with others in a sound-and-light dialogue. Take some time to listen, in order to see.

This interactive installation sheds light on the phenomenon of communication, by displaying the path taken by the waves generated by voices and other sounds. Here, the fundamental means of interpersonal communication, speech, is disconnected from language. Instead, it becomes a cascade of waves and luminous pulses, illustrating the fascinating trajectories of sound. Watch as your message moves from one end of the circles to the other. You will see how small gestures – invisible reverberations – can have a big impact:

The installations can be enjoyed for free daily until midnight, from March 1-31.

Illuminite has been created and sponsored by the Downtown Yonge BIA, with support from the Government of Canada and the City of Toronto.

City Walk on a Foggy Day

This post was originally from a couple of weekends ago when the weather was not cooperating. I am reposting this one as I don’t believe it was published recently given all my trouble with my automated sender.

This post is one-part city walk mixed with two-parts photography experiment.

Does anyone remember what sunshine looks like?

It’s a distant foggy memory, much like the weather we’ve had recently. Given that, I thought it would be interesting to take a walk in the fog/darkness and shoot in black and white to emphasize the moodiness.

I love shooting in black and white; it makes everything look so different and dramatic – details stand out, creating emotions. In addition to shooting in soft black and white I used a diffusion filter which removed much of the “digital edge” from modern digital cameras, leaving a soft B&W treatment looking like it was shot on film. The shots are intentionally dark and muted, and the fog enhanced the effect.

Condo on Jarvis Street, below Gerrard Street East. Taken from Mutual St.
Mutual Street below Gerrard Street East
Condos at Jarvis Street & Dundas Street East. Shot from Mutual Street
St. Michael’s Hospital, Shuter Street
Fran’s on Shuter Street
Diamonds on Shuter Street

Inside OctoZone

Located at 247 Yonge Street, across from the Eaton Centre, is OctoZone. OctoZone is a huge claw machine-themed gift shop. The interior is very Asian-styled, infused with copious amounts of bright turquoise and hot pink neon (the effect lost, of course, in my black and white shots). I’ve passed this place several times and have always wondered what it is; this time I decided to take temporary refuge from the fog and drizzle, go in and check it out. It’s quite an interesting place: click here if you’d like to watch a short YouTube video about OctoZone.

Later, Back On Yonge Street…

Looking north on Yonge Street. Shot from Yonge-Dundas Square.
The electronic billboards of Yonge-Dundas Square in the fog
“I see you”: Eaton Centre in the fog
The Aura condo in the fog. Shot from Yonge-Dundas Square.
The World Food Market at 335 Yonge Street, below Gould Street
336 Yonge Street, below Gerrard Street
Ryerson, from Gould Street
The corner of Church Street & Carlton Street

Next stop: home, where it’s warm and dry! 🙂

A Christmas Walk

Well, it is a black and rainy Christmas this year in Toronto. Regardless, I took a little photo-spin yesterday to see how the city is setting up for the season.

There are some much-loved (at least by me) Toronto traditions missing this year: unfortunately no festive windows at The Bay on Queen and Yonge (due to the massive construction of the new subway on Queen Street). The Flower Show at the Allan Gardens conservatory is extremely scaled back due to the renovation of the Palm House, and “Holiday Fair”, normally held at City Hall, was moved to Mel Lastman Square in North York (I suspect, again, due to the mess caused by the Queen Street subway project). Despite these, it is still Christmas in the city… a special time. Here is a bit of what I encountered yesterday:

Allan Gardens Christmas Flower Show

I wish I had more shots to post here, but the few below were the extent of the Flower Show this year:

“Winter Glow” at Yonge-Dundas Square

Yonge-Dundas Square had a mini-festival going on, although I only saw a couple of people there. There were carnival rides, a 45-foot-tall Ferris Wheel, the “Great Canadian Carousel” and a few midway games.

On the Yonge Street side there was a 40-foot “Remembrance Tree”, sponsored by the Rotary Club. Visitors make a donation to the cause, then receive a yellow ribbon on which to write a message to a loved one who has passed.

Eaton Centre

As usual, the Eaton Centre was abuzz with people, a massive Christmas tree (114-foot high, said to be the tallest in North America) and giant glittering reindeer:

MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!

A Protest in Black & White

I’m not exactly sure what the issue was that day, but I happened to catch this Algerian protest as I passed through Yonge-Dundas Square, April 6, 2019.

This shot always amuses me – the chic model in the upper right is completely at odds with the rest of the demonstration. The model seems to be almost mocking the crowd.

“Optik” at Yonge-Dundas Square

The last couple of times I’ve passed through Yonge-Dundas Sqaure I’ve noticed these odd gyroscope things, with people spinning them around. It turns out this is a project entitled Optik.

Optik is an interactive installation that incorporates sound, light, and touch to create a multi-sensory experience. The installation features 10 gyroscope-like displays that produce various rhythmic sounds and cascades of colour when manipulated in a spinning motion.

It’s a bit of a multimedia experience: users spin and rotate the disks to reveal a spectacle of colour. No matter the time of day, the dichroic film built into the centre of each display reflects rays of lights. There is also sound: you can hear notes of 10 different instruments that sing out as the user manipulates the forms to create unique sounds and rhythms. The sounds match the speed the discs are spun – fast, slow or in harmony with another.

The Creation Team

Optik was created by The Urban Conga team in collaboration with Serge Maheu

Click here if you’d like to learn a little more about the project in Yonge-Dundas Square.

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