Richard Serra’s ‘Tilted Spheres’, Pearson International Airport

RICHARD SERRA, a sculptor and artist who does amazing things with weathered steel, is represented in most of North America’s major art museums.  TORONTO has installed one of his finest pieces in the Departure Lounge at Pearson International Airport.  The sculpture is called ‘Tilted Spheres’, and you can get as close to it as you like.  Of course you’ll need an international plane ticket in order to do so.

And that’s me inside another Richard Serra sculpture at DIA BEACON, New York.

The Absolute Towers – “best new high-rise buildings in the Americas/2012”

The Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH) has honoured MISSISSAUGA’s Absolute Towers (50 and 56 storeys) as “the best new high-rise buildings in the Americas/2012”.  The Towers (nicknamed Marilyn, after curvaceous Marilyn Monroe) are located near TORONTO’s western border, easily recognizable on the Mississaugan skyline.  The architect: Ma Yansong, MAD Architects, Beijing.The CTBUH Award Committee noted, “There have been several curvaceous towers completed in recent years – some using balconies to achieve the free-form edge and others using the whole façade. With Absolute we see the entire building twisting to achieve the organic form, creating a beautiful new landmark for a developing urban area.”

‘Midnight Tram to Humber’ – the #501 streetcar heading west

<Midnight Tram to Humber, PHOTO – Uwajedi/flickr>  TORONTO has 8 well-used streetcar lines, the largest network in North America.  For tourists, one of the best is the #501, which runs from Neville Park in the Beach to Long Branch in the west end.  Most of the trackage has been rebuilt over the past 5 years.  A new fleet of streetcars will soon make their debut.

‘Play me, I’m yours’ – painted pianos celebrate TORONTO’s Pan-Am Games/2015

PIANOS4Conceived by British artist, LUKE JERRAM, forty-one specially painted pianos have been scattered all around town.  They’re yours to play, and Torontonians are doing precisely that – with style.  Each piano represents a nation taking part in the forthcoming Pan-American Games/2015.  Artists from across the Americas did the painting.PIANOS5PIANOS6

Edward Hopper, born on July 22/1882 – master painter of the American city

<The Circle Theatre, EDWARD HOPPER>  EDWARD HOPPER on the urban scene: “our native architecture with its hideous beauty, its fantastic roofs, pseudo-gothic, French Mansard, Colonial, mongrel or what not, with eye-searing color or delicate harmonies of faded paint, shouldering one another along interminable streets that taper off into swamps or dump heaps.”  A better description of our TORONTO you couldn’t find.

TORONTO Treasure: the National Ballet School of Canada, 350 Jarvis Street

NBS7The NATIONAL BALLET SCHOOL of Canada, known internationally as a world leader in ballet training, recently celebrated its first half century.  The School provides dance training, academic instruction and student housing on its downtown campus.

NBS was founded by CELIA FRANCA and BETTY OLIPHANT, both now deceased.  It opened in a former Quaker Meeting House (still functional) at 111 Maitland Street, purchased for the sum of $80,000 <PHOTO ABOVE>.  Since the year 2000, the School has expanded greatly by renovating and occupying several buildings formerly owned by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.  <PHOTO BELOW>