Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre, 40 College Street – it’s free!

You’ll find the Toronto Police Museum and Discovery Centre on the ground floor of Police Headquarters, 40 College Street, open Monday to Friday from 8:30am – 4pm.  Elmer the Safety Elephant, the Boyd Gang, an old fashioned police station, traffic signals, handcuffs, finger printing, a motorcycle and police car, photographs, models – they’re all here.  Kids love it, and the exhibits are adult-friendly as well.  Best of all – it’s free.


‘Between The Eyes’ by Richard Deacon, on TORONTO’s waterfront. You can’t miss it!

This month ART + AUCTION brought us 6 pages on Richard Deacon, a London sculptor who does extraordinary things with extraordinary things.  There’s a huge Deacon sculpture in our city, near Lake Ontario, at the corner of Queen’s Quay East and Yonge Street.  Says Mr Deacon: “I learned how to do technical drawing for public commissions like ‘Between the Eyes’, 1990 for Queen’s Quay in Toronto, but computing has changed all that.  Now you can make a model, scan it, and produce the sculpture in a factory.”

ANISH KAPOOR’s stacked aluminium sculpture, Simcoe Park, 250 Front Street West

Adjacent to CBC’s Broadcasting Centre, in tiny Simcoe Park, sits one of the finer pieces of public art in TORONTO  – a city not known for fine pieces of public art.  It’s by British sculptor Anish Kapoor.  Indian-born, a Royal Academician and a Commander of the British Empire, his work is shown worldwide.  In North America, his best-known creation, Cloud Gate, is the centrepiece of Chicago’s Millennium Park, and he’s currently working on a project for London’s Summer Olympics in 2012.  The TORONTO sculpture (Untitled, 1995) is made from stacked aluminum layers cut with waterjets.  It’s wonderfully photogenic.  PHOTO – Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Europe

Ryerson University’s ‘secret garden’ . . . in the heart of downtown.

SHELDON LEVY, the motorcycle-riding president of Ryerson University has been opening up his campus to the city for some time now.  St. James Square, 50 Gould Street, is a tranquil space of mature trees, flowers, and an expansive grassy knoll – five minutes from the bustle of Yonge and Dundas.  St. James Square is hidden in plain sight.

EGERTON RYERSON (1803-1882) founded Ontario’s first teacher training facility here in 1852.  The Toronto Normal School was succeeded by a Royal Canadian Air Force training facility during World War II,  the Toronto Training and Re-establishment Institute for ex-servicemen and women, then Ryerson Polytechnical Institute, and in 2001 Ryerson University.

As city-builder SHELDON LEVY puts it: “a healthy downtown is good for Ryerson, and a healthy Ryerson is good for downtown.”