TORONTO ART GALLERIES ARE COLONIZING A WEST END POST-INDUSTRIAL NEIGHBOURHOOD

GALLERIES3First there was ARSENAL/DIVISION GALLERY (45 Ernest Avenue, photo above artoronto.ca), then came JESSICA BRADLEY’S ANNEX (74 Miller Street, photo above bigsmokeart.ca), followed by the CLINT ROENISCH GALLERY (190 St. Helen’s Avenue), DANIEL FARIA GALLERY (188 St. Helen’s), the SCRAP METAL GALLERY (11 Dublin Street, unit E), KATZMAN CONTEMPORARY (86 Miller Street), and this month TORONTO PHOTOGRAPHER’S WORKSHOP (170 St. Helen’s Avenue) opened its doors.

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GALLERIES7These vast spaces were once lumber warehouses, scrap metal yards, garages, and a couple of fish storage plants. Gallery owners saw great potential here. Spaces this size are not readily available in TORONTO’s booming real estate market.

The galleries are scattered around a neighbourhood on the fringe of the up-and-coming JUNCTION between Davenport Road and College Street, Lansdowne Avenue and Miller Street.

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STREET ART GOES ‘SUPER SIZED’ ON KING STREET EAST AT SUMACH IN CORKTOWN

MURALS1The King Street East flyover has a whole new look thanks to TORONTO’s StART program. Philadelphian STEPHEN BUCKLEY, T.O.’s general manager of Transportation Services, has headed up the Underpass Program – five commissioned giant mural projects citywide.

MURALS5This spectacular collection in CORKTOWN, was created by TORONTO-based artist ELISA MONREAL (artist moniker Shalak Attack). Ms. Monreal has painted every aspect of the concrete overpass, which cuts through one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods.

StART is an offshoot of StreetARTToronto, whose goal is to legitimize street art. In this particular case, they’ve succeeded big time.

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TORONTO’S SOUTHCORE FINANCIAL CENTRE GETS A BRAND NEW FLAGSHIP HOTEL

DELTA1 After 18 months, DELTA has returned to the city with a 46-storey, four-star venue on Lower Simcoe Street, near Ripley’s Aquarium, the CN Tower, Convention Centre, Air Canada Centre, the PATH system, and Union Station. The skyscraper will house 567 oversized units as well as multiple other suites, some equipped with kitchens.

DELTA3        In September, 88% of approximately 20,000 downtown TORONTO hotel rooms were occupied, according to the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sports. “We had to be here. There’s no way you couldn’t be,” said JENNIFER WORDEN, marketing and sales director for Delta Toronto.

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QUEEN’S PARK, HOME TO ONTARIO’S LEGISLATURE, WAS NAMED IN HONOUR OF QUEEN VICTORIA

QUEENSPK5Opened in 1860 by Edward, Prince of Wales, QUEEN’S PARK is divided into two sections – the southern part belongs to the Government of Ontario and is the site of the Legislative Assembly of Ontario <PICTURED ABOVE>. The northern half is owned by the University of TORONTO, and was leased to the city in 1854 for 999 years.

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QUEEN’S PARK is dominated by large trees: little leaf lindens, Norway maples, silver maples, white oak, red oak, ash species, honey locust, Austrian pine, white pine and white birch. Pathways radiate outwards from an equestrian statue of Edward VII.

FROM THE WINTER PALACE TO GERRARD ST. E., A GRAND DUCHESS’S ‘RICHES TO RAGS’ TALE

OLGA3OLGA2Grand Duchess OLGA ALEXANDROVNA was born into the richest monarchy in the world, residing in a 200-room mansion with 70 servants. As the younger sister of Tsar Nicholas II, she was driven out of Russia when her brother abdicated and was executed. She fled to Denmark, then to Canada, dying in poverty in TORONTO in 1960 at the age of 78 – a riches to rags story if ever there was one.

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This is where she ended up – living in a tumbledown unit over a beauty parlour in TORONTO’s east end. The building still stands at 710 Gerrard Street East, and the Grand Duchess’s apartment is now up for sale at a listed price of $539,000.  (I assume the storefront is part of the deal.)

ART IS WHERE YOU FIND IT ON LONDON’S TUBE – THESE COLLAGES WERE ON THE PICCADILLY LINE

Lon 14 Underground4_edited-1Several London Underground stations are being renovated and for TORONTO photographer ROSS WINTER – http://www.rosswinter.me – there are few better places to find abstract images. These five accidental paste-up collages were on the walls of Leicester Square station, waiting for Ross and his camera to come along.

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A.G.O. COLLABORATES WITH LONDON’S DULWICH GALLERY ON EMILY CARR EXHIBITION

For the second time in three years, TORONTO’s Art Gallery of Ontario is bringing a major Canadian artist to LONDON’s Dulwich Picture Gallery. The AGO’s blockbuster exhibition ‘Painting Canada: Tom Thomson and the Group of Seven’ was greeted enthusiastically in the British capital with long lineups in 2011.

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<INDIAN WAR CANOE, Emily Carr, Dulwich Picture Gallery>

Curated by Canadian art critic Sarah Milroy and Ian Dejardin, Sackler Director of the Dulwich, ‘From the Forest to the Sea: Emily Carr in British Columbia’ is a joint project and will be on view from November 1 to March 8 in LONDON, returning to TORONTO from April 11 to July 12.

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For EMILY CARR, the Victoria BC-born artist, this will be her first major retrospective in Europe. The exhibition features about 100 paintings, watercolours and drawings, including rarely seen sketches, works drawn from private collections, and the recently discovered illustrated journal ‘Sister and I in Alaska’.

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