UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO’S SOLDIER’S TOWER, 1924, IS DEDICATED TO 1,185 WHO DIED IN TWO WORLD WARS

The Soldier’s Tower on the St. George Campus commemorates those who lost their lives while fighting in WWI and WW2. It’s Canada’s second tallest war memorial after the Peace Tower in Ottawa.  Designed by Hart House architects Henry Sproatt and Ernest Rolph, the Tower is built of grey ashlar stone amd trimmed with limestone.

The Memorial Room sits directly above the archway and is open to the public. It contains artifacts focused on the U of T’s wartime service, and the names of those who lost their lives.

The Memorial Room stained-glass window is based on John McCrae’s poem ‘In Flanders Fields’. It was dedicated in 1995. Eight additional windows honour the wartime services of the Canadian Forces.

Built by the British firm Gillett and Johnston, the tower clock’s original 23 bells were replaced in 1976 by the current 51-bell carillon. The 51 bells span four octaves and range in weight from 23 pounds to 4 tons.  <PHOTO – clock face mechanism>

The bells are played using an organ-like console.

Bridging the gap between University College and the Soldiers’ Tower is the Memorial Screen, displaying the names of the 627 who died in the First World War. Students walking under the tower through the Memorial Archway pass by the engraved names of the 557 university members who lost their lives in World War II.

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.

1 SPADINA CRESCENT TO BE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO’S LANDSCAPE/ARCHITECTURE/DESIGN BUILDING

<One Spadina Crescent as it was two years ago>

One Spadina Crescent, with its Gothic towers and long history, is getting yet another lease on life after a career as Knox College, World War I barracks, a penicillin factory, an eye bank, a veterans hospital, a library, pathology lab and several departments within the University of Toronto.

Amelia Earhart once worked here as a nurse’s aide until she contracted influenza, and there’s been at least one murder within the building. It was nearly demolished in the 1960’s to make way for the (canceled) Spadina Expressway.

Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design is now rehabilitating the historic structure and adding a modern extension on the back.

The extension will contain lecture rooms, research facilities, a green roof testing lab, design studios, a fabrication lab and the Global Cities Institute.

<PHOTO – looking down on One Spadina Crescent prior to the renovation>

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.

AFTER A $15-MILLION REFIT, GRANGE PARK IS NOW OPEN ON DOWNTOWN’S WEST SIDE

The park belongs to the Art Gallery of Ontario. It was bequeathed by Harriet Boulton Smith to what was then called the Art Museum of Toronto. <PHOTO ABOVE – The Trolley Pole>

The City of TORONTO and private donor W. Galen Weston funded the renovation of GRANGE PARK to the tune of $10-15-million.

The playground has both typical and not-so-typical attractions.  There’s a splash pad, literary walk and an off-leash dog area.

Grange Park centrepiece – Henry Moore’s sculpture ‘Large Two Forms’
Grange Park backs onto the Art Gallery of OntarioThe Grange, one of TORONTO’s oldest houses is shown below centre.  It’s now part of the AGO.

Older trees were kept in place, while another 80 were added, including chestnut, beach and elm.

<PHOTO ABOVE – Grange Park before the rebuild began, roughly two years ago>

<Downtown skyscrapers are just a few blocks away.>

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