Hieram Weintraub’s “art with a conscience”, 988 Queen Street West

Hieram Weintraub, an artist and children’s book illustrator, has brought the Shark Fin Soup controversy to TORONTO’s WestQueenWest art village.  “LV Whale Shark”, in the front window of Studio Lighting, is accompanied by some startling info on the wholesale slaughter of the ocean’s #1 predator.  <www.hieram.blogspot.com> . . . . . .  an estimated 100 million sharks are slaughtered annually– Shark Fin Soup can sell for $400 a bowl– shark fins have no flavour and no nutritional value;  -“finning” is when fishermen hack off a shark’s fins and dump the still living animal back into the sea to drown– removing the apex predator from the ocean’s ecological chain will have global consequences

Toronto passes the ‘walkability test’ – our core is deeply walkable!

From Alex Steffen, http://www.worldchanging.com “The true test of walkability I think is this: Can you spend a pleasant half hour walking or on transit and end up at a variety of great places? The quality of having a feast of options available when you walk out your front door is what I’m starting to think of as “deep walkability.”

It’s this deep walkability that ought to be the top priority driving urban design and development in our communities. We ought to be looking at how to knit our walkable communities together and how to make friendlier the unwalkable streets between them.”

Master printmaker, DAVID BLACKWOOD’s gift to the Art Gallery of Ontario

BLACKWOOD2242 works were given to the Art Gallery of Ontario in 1994 by the artist, DAVID BLACKWOOD, and his wife, ANITA.  Seventy of these, along with letters, photographs, nautical artifacts, flags and historic maps were recently shown at the AGO – for the first time.  Blackwood, 69, is a Newfoundlander, now living in Port Hope near TORONTO.  A master printmaker, he portrays the mythology, people and culture of his hometown of Wesleyville and the outport, Bragg’s Island, in blue, gray, black and white – with sudden splashes of red, orange and yellow.  David Blackwood’s collection of works draw on childhood memories, superstitions, dreams, legends, and the realities of life around Bonavista Bay.


“At the level of metaphor Toronto is a prostitute”, Atom Egoyan

Film director Atom Egoyan insisted on shooting Toronto as Toronto for his film “Chloe”.  Our city is normally a chameleon, disguising itself as New York, Chicago, San Francisco or even Manchester in the movies.  We don’t often get to see our own architecture, skyline and grit on the big screen.  This is changing though, and Mr. Egoyan is leading the way.  “Flashpoint”, a police action series on CBS and CTV, is thoroughly Toronto; “Scott Pilgrim vs The World” and Egoyan’s “Chloe” are two recent features unabashedly set in Big TO.  PHOTOS BELOW: Yonge Street disguised as Harlem’s 125th Street in “The Incredible Hulk” http://www/skyscrapercity


“Summer of the Moose”/2000 – thanks to Mayor Mel Lastman & Charles Pachter

In the summer of 2000, then-Mayor Mel Lastman asked sculptor/painter Charles Pachter to design 326 moose sculptures.  He did.  With coupons  for paint and a long list of sponsors, the naked moose were painted up by TORONTO artists and distributed around the city (map above).  Some were awful; many were beautiful; a few still exist.  PHOTOS: Sherbourne Street (SimonP), Old City Hall, CN Tower mountie (MKuhn), New City Hall pool (Boldts.net)

“To be with art is all we ask”, BRITAIN’S Gilbert and George, 1970

British artists Gilbert and George on the city and art: “Oh art, what are you?  You are so strong and powerful, so beautiful and moving.  You make us walk around and around, pacing the city at all hours, in and out of our Art For All Room.  We really do love you and we really do hate you.  Why do you have so many faces and voices?”