IN ITS SIXTH YEAR – TORONTO’S WINTER STATIONS’ INTERNATIONAL DESIGN COMPETITION IS BACK

More than 273 ideas were submitted from artists around the world. Now you can see the chosen ones at Woodbine Beach, 1675 Lake Shore Boulevard East, easily reachable by Queen Street’s eastbound streetcar from downtown. The show is on until March 30th and it’s free.<ABOVE – ‘Mirage’ by Cristina & Pablo Losa Fontangordo; photo – Nick Lachance/NOW><‘Forest of Butterflies’ represents the forests of Michoacan, where monarch butterflies spend their winters.><‘Kaleidoscope of the Senses’ by Charles Sutherland; photo – Nick Lachance/NOW>

UNTIL APRIL 26TH AT THE TD GALLERY ‘ART OF THE BOOK’ – RARE PRESS & ARTIST-MADE BOOKS

The TD Gallery within the Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, is showing rare books from its Special Collections. Some were printed as early as the 1400’s, with richly-decorated covers, whimsical miniatures (there are lots of those), and contemporary forms showing us what books can be. Guided tours – Tuesdays at 2 pm.<‘Roses‘ by Robert Wu, Robert Chia-Yu; illustrations by Pierre Joseph Redouté. Toronto: Little Gem Press, 2006.><‘Wymps: And Other Fairy Tales’ by Evelyn Sharp, illustrated by Mrs. Percy Dearmer. London; New York: John Lane, The Bodley Head, 1897.><‘The Hound of the Baskervilles’ by Arthur Conan Doyle. Czech Republic: Jan Sobota and Jarmila Sobotova, 2006.> For the curator’s complete reading list go to – http://www.tpl.ca/artofthebook >

IN THIS CITY WHERE THERE’S CONSTRUCTION EVERYWHERE, ‘THE WELL’ MAY BE THE ULTIMATE

<ABOVE – Construction, August/2019> The Well is an enormous city-within-a-city going up non-stop bordering Wellington, Spadina and Front Streets. Several development companies and architects are at work here.<Rendering – RioCan/Allied> The project will contain a 36-storey office tower, six residential buildings, and 432,000 ft² of retail space.<Rendering – Diamond Corporation> Spread over seven and a half acres, the development occupies space vacated by the Globe and Mail and parking lots.  The Well’s goal is to pull together all the elements of a community – classy shopping, offices, businesses large and small, public transit, coffee bars, restaurants, grocery stores, and great views. The works – in other words.<Rendering – RioCan/Allied>

‘DAVID FRENCH LANE’ COMMEMORATES A MAJOR CDN. PLAYWRIGHT ON TORONTO’S WEST SIDE

DAVID FRENCH left us on December 5/2010 at the age of 71. Born in Coley’s Point, a Newfoundland outport, he went on to acting and writing for both the theatre and CBC television. Among his plays – ‘Of The Fields Lately’, 1973; ‘Salt-Water Moon’, 1984; ‘Jitters’, 1979, and ‘Leaving Home’, 1972. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada in 2001.Below – some of the fine art works lining David French Lane. No doubt he would approve.

JANET MORTON KEPT ON KNITTING UNTIL SHE FINISHED A ‘TEA COZY’ FOR A REAL HOUSE

 I’m sure even GUELPH’s Janet Morton wasn’t convinced she could do it, but she did it. Janet is known for other unusual projects, including making neck warmers for giraffes and sweaters for plastic snakes. She also spent a week in a store window, knitting news of the day into a gigantic scarf-like document.If Javacheff Christo could wrap buildings and islands in plastic, then why not let yourself go? With a good supply of wool and knitting needles in hand, Janet’s cozy little house reached a unique level of contemporary art.

WE SELDOM GIVE OLD CITY HALL A GLANCE, BUT UP CLOSE IT’S ONE FINE BUILDING

TORONTO’s population in the 1880’s was about 100,000, and the city fathers believed it was time to erect a public building that stood out from all the others. They hired E.J. Lennox, a local architect, to create a $200,000 court house, which soon expanded to a $1.5-million courthouse and city hall. The good fathers were shocked.Work began in 1889, and kept on going for the next 10 years. Lennox attended 520 meetings, arguing with politicians about the mounting bills. Finally in 1907 the final bill arrived, calculated on six sheets of paper. The tab – $242,870.82, with $181,255.71 still owing. That was serious cash in those days.E.J. Lennox was originally supposed to take home $68,000, but additional duties brought a hefty additional paycheck. He finally pocketed $120,000. Lennox also managed to leave his marks on the building – his engraved smiling face for one, and a string of letters spelling out E.J. Lennox Architect along all four sides of the structure.Just desserts for the penny-pinching city councillors.

TORONTO HAS PUBLISHED TWO MORE CULTURAL LOOPS GUIDES – THE LATEST: ETOBICOKE & YORK

These are fine guide books with detailed descriptions, maps and photography – and they’re all free. ‘Explore York’ details several tours on foot or on a bike you could take in this part of the inner city. Everything from public art, historic buildings, places to eat and local wildlife are contained in the slick little books. Scarborough and North York are in the series as well. For more information – http://www.toronto.ca/culturalhotspot<Reggae Lane (2015), 1529 Eglinton Avenue celebrates the musical legacy of Little Jamaica. This 1200-square-foot mural was designed by local youth, under the mentorship of artist Adrian Hales.><Squibb’s Stationers (1927), 1974 Weston Road, is TORONTO’s oldest bookstore and third oldest stationers.><Weston Public Library, 2 King Street, built in 1913, is one of 10 TORONTO libraries funded by the Carnegie Foundation, based in New York. It features ornate decoration inside and outside.><Weston Plank Road Company, 2371 Weston Road, built in 1841. Plank roads were constructed from wooden planks or split logs to make roads smoother.><The former Odd Fellows Hall, 24 Church Street, was once a Methodist Episcopal church, and the Odd Fellows turned it into a lodge. Today, the building is a private residence.>

VANCOUVER-BASED ARTIST, DINA GOLDSTEIN, HAS NEW SUBJECT MATTER – AMERICAN PRESIDENTS

Donald Trump – played by a woman – should be flattered. He’s the first of Ten Commandments in Ms. Goldstein’s new series. The President is in silk pyjamas preparing to finish off the next tweet, fast-food nearby, and the television going full blast. ‘You shall have no other gods before Me’ – the First Commandment.‘You shall not murder’, is the commandment showing President Abraham Lincoln in the hallway with abandoned jackets and book bags at the Sandy Hook Elementary School. All Ten Commandments can be seen online at this address – http://www.dinagoldstein.com/the-10-commandments