RUSH LANE IS A MUST-VISIT – ESPECIALLY IN AUGUST WHEN NEW ART MAKES ITS APPEARANCE

In August TORONTO’s mural painters descend on Rush Lane and colourful new works go up almost overnight. Artists share space with garbage cans, kitchen doors, parked cars, delivery trucks and vans – there’s nothing fancy about this particular venue. Below – new art that’s making the scene in 2017.

A giant mural about TORONTO, its wonders and eccentricities from the Ikea Monkey to the CN Tower, is getting a lot of attention.

ABOVE – The Alex Wilson (1953-93) Community Garden

Protected by the city as a heritage site, RUSH LANE runs parallel to Queen Street West, and can be entered from the west side of Spadina Avenue, a few steps south of Queen.

BERCZY PARK’S DOG FOUNTAIN IS A SMASH HIT; A CAT & MOUSE-THEMED PROMENADE IS COMING SOON

<PHOTO – Claude Cormier by Christopher Katsarov/Globe and Mail>

Landscape architect CLAUDE CORMIER, creator of TORONTO’s dog fountain in Berczy Park, is now working on a feline-themed promenade in the Draper St. neighbourhood downtown. The path will feature 15 to 20 statuettes of cats as well as some mice hidden in the underbrush. There’ll be one dog “just to be fair” as there is one cat at Berczy.

The promenade between Wellington St. W. and King St. will include two rows of black locust trees and a water feature. Montrealer Claude Cormier also designed TORONTO’s Sugar Beach and HtO Park – both on the waterfront.

CHICAGO’S JUSTUS ROE III WILL BE HERE THIS SUMMER PAINTING THE WEST END’S RONCY BRIDGE

<PHOTO – Justus Roe & TORONTO Mayor John Tory>

As part of a cultural ‘entente cordiale’ with our neighbour across the Great Lakes, TORONTO and CHICAGO are exchanging innovative artists this summer. In a partnership with our city’s STEPS Initiative, the free-style muralist will be tackling the Roncesvalles Pedestrian Bridge <PHOTO – STEPS>

<75-foot-long mural, 222 West Merchandise Plaza, Chicago, Justus Roe>

Mr. Roe has no design plan. “I freestyle it,” he says. “I find that I have better success when I don’t work off a sketch and I let the environment guide it.”

<Andersonville, a Chicago neighbourhood>

<Kedzie Underpass, Chicago>

<‘Bright Lights, Big City’ for the Chicago Artist’s Coalition>

This is a year of celebration for both cities – Canada/150 over here, and Chicago’s Year of Public Art over there. By this fall a TORONTO artist, once chosen, will be undertaking something similar in the Windy City.

A RETROSPECTIVE OF YDESSA HENDELES’S WORK IS AT THE POWER PLANT UNTIL SEPT. 4/2017

YDESSA HENDELES, curator-turned-artist, is well known in TORONTO for her former Art Foundation (now closed) on King Street West <PHOTO ABOVE>. There, in a converted industrial building, she began putting this city on the international art map in both Europe and the United States. I, for one, loved going there on Saturday afternoons with an entrance fee of $3-5 (free coat check) and being transported to another world.

Inside, she combined puppets, chocolate moulds, policemen’s night sticks, Punch and Judy, books, paintings, photography, designer shoes, teddy bears, furniture, even Adolf Hitler. And then, after 25 years, Ms. Hendeles sold her property, picked up and moved to NEW YORK CITY.

She’s back now for a limited time at the Power Plant on TORONTO’s waterfront with a show called “The Milliner’s Daughter”, which includes elements from past exhibitions along with new-to-this-city pieces of art. Everything from Puss in Boots & Jumbo the Elephant, to artist’s manikins of all sizes.

DOGS, CATS & RABBITS GET THEIR OWN MURAL ON THE TORONTO HUMANE SOCIETY BUILDING

This new mural has appeared on Queen Street East at River. Torontonians love their animals. There are probably more dogs and cats in this town than people, and they’re very much a part of city life. So here’s to them and the good work of the TORONTO Humane Society.  Kids will love the mural.