As part of the Doors Open event in Toronto on Saturday and Sunday May 29th and 30th, art tours were conducted in the city. In the West Don Lands neighborhood we met our guide under the highway, below a sculpture installed in such a way as to reflect our group gathering below.
We walked with our guides learning about the artwork as well as the history of the West Don Lands.
A 40 meter long linear piece called Site Specific, tells the story of Thornton and Lucie Blackburn.
Water Guardians recognizes the need to protect the community’s water. And structures like old railroad tracks and a series of interlocking light posts from throughout Toronto’s history have been transformed as pieces of art.
I especially liked Peeled Pavement as it truly looks like an exposed layer of the sidewalk with the tools of the past exposed. It cleverly serves as a bench as well. This public art project brings great pride to the Toronto waterfront.
We also took a self-guided tour in the Village of Islington with over two dozen murals depicting the town’s history. From the building of the Methodist Church and the role of the Circuit Riders:
to a class picture on the side of a building.
A residence painted so that it appears that John, the photographer, is part of the scene.
Lots of murals of residents participating in recreational activities.
And others illustrating transportation.
One representing recovery after a hurricane and another recounting a football game stormed by eager fans trying to collect coupons dropped on the field.
Our expressions mimic the somber ones of Islington’s founding families.
The art in the West Don Lands and the Village of Islington are by no means the only public art to be found in Toronto. Many statues can be seen throughout the city. Toronto really is a great place to take an Art Walk.
Murals of Islington Self Tour – Download the map. Follow the path. Information about each mural is on the building next to each mural.
Art Gallery of Ontario – Admission $19.50 (Canadian, about $15.50 US)
Tuesday 10:30 am – 5 pm
Wednesday 10:30 am – 9 pm
Thursday 10:30 am – 5 pm
Friday 10:30 am – 9 pm
Saturday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Sunday 10:30 am – 5:30 pm
Museum of Contemporary Art – opens May 2, 2017
Art & Performance Tour on Saturdays 10:00-12:00 and a Culture and Campus Tour on Sundays 1:30-3:30 – Led by Toronto Society of Architects; They also offer a Tower Tour Saturdays 1:30-3:30; Tickets to all tours are $10 (Canadian about $7.75 US) and require advance registration.
Tour Guys – Free Walking Tours in Toronto including a Downtown Tour, Old Town Toronto History Tour, Food Tour at St. Lawrence Market and a Graffiti Tour While these are called Free Walking Tours, they aren’t really free, but instead participants are expected to tip your guide “whatever they think the tour is worth”, usually between $15-$20. (We couldn’t take advantage of these tours because none are scheduled on Monday, the only day we had sufficient time for a tour.)