Toronto Through My Lens

The Max Tanenbaum Sculpture Garden

The Max Tanenbaum Sculpture Garden is a semi-hidden Toronto gem. It sits on the west side of the Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital beside the old Don Jail at Broadview Avenue and Gerrard Street East. I call it “semi-hidden” because the figures in the Sculpture Garden can only be seen from the Don Valley Parkway; they are practically invisible from either Broadview Avenue or Gerrard Street East.

These are marvellous figures, created by Canadian sculptor William Lishman (1939-2017). Since 2015, twenty of his works have been displayed outside Bridgepoint, a hospital for patients with complex chronic disease and disability.

The works of this talented creator are displayed at a number of Canadian locales. Amazingly, Lishman was dyslexic and colour blind, which must have made for an interesting time when creating these sculptures.

Designed in memory of the late businessman and philanthropist Max Tanenbaum, the colourful, life-sized pieces at Bridgepoint aim to celebrate the human spirit. According to a post on Hennick Bridgepoint Hospital’s website, the figures aim to express the capabilities of the physical form through dance, sport and movement. The sculptures complement our building and speak to the hope and aspiration we bring to our patients, families, and the community.

We are privileged to have an installation by William Lishman on our campus. These life-sized sculptures depicting human figures engaging in dance, sports and movement evoke a sense of wonder, The artwork inside and outside of our hospital has a positive impact on our patients, connecting them to the life of the community and city. We’re grateful to the Spiro Family who donated the work, which was designed in memory of the late Max Tanenbaum (1909-1983).
Dr. Gary Newton, President and CEO of Sinai Health System

If you would like to view a short YouTube video highlighting the Sculpture Garden, you will find one below:

A Few Bonus Shots

As I was leaving the Hospital grounds, I noticed these Sorel Etrog sculptures by the front doors:

The Max Tanenbaum Healing Centre

As an adjunct to this Sculpture Garden, The Max Tanenbaum Healing Garden can be found on the 14th floor atrium of Princess Margaret Cancer Centre. The Princess Margaret website describes this garden as:

cultivated patterns of formal French gardens incorporating the artistry of hand-blown glass flowers, enclosed by an artificial boxwood hedge. The vertical walls feature decorative panels that add another visual dimension and unify a garden rich in colour, creativity and natural forms. The hand blown glass flowers have each been created to blend together in a colourful garden that resembles a rainbow; red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple are all represented in the garden with flowers that carry one colour or a blend of multiple colours and tones.

The few shots I’ve seen of the Healing Garden look amazing and I plan to feature it in a future post.

2 Comments

  1. Michal

    Great photos! When mom was at Bridgepoint for
    a month in August of 2022, I enjoyed both sculpture gardens, as well as the 10th floor terrace. However, your photos bring out details like the faces on the dancing figures that I had failed to notice. A true neighborhood treasure.

  2. Bob K

    These are so pretty and really are fairly well hidden. I remember seeing them, but I think at a distance, when I checked out the hospital after it opened. These photos bring them to life.

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