Friday, January 04, 2019

Art along the Lower Don Valley Trail

Toronto's central river, I understand, was named hundreds of years ago after the adjacent Don Valley Parkway, a highway which brought early settlers from Buffalo through to North York. Even then the river would occasionally flood the highway, bringing a halt to the caravans of settlers led by teams of hardy oxen, which would barely be moving during rush hour anyways - those animals were pretty slow even at the best of times.

'Look both ways' more of a warning than art

The winding trail is a great multi-use path full of bikers, walkers and joggers and nature is a lot safer that biking along the City's hectic streets. There are also many attractions just off the path like the Evergreen Brickworks, Science Centre and the Riverdale Park and Farm.
The park has a program installing temporary art, from the park's website; "The series of temporary public artworks along the Don River creates a new hub for art in Toronto. Local, national and international artists have created projects that speak to the many histories and present-day realities of the ravine and its surrounding communities - looking at the land from ecological, cultural, industrial and Indigenous perspectives." One long-term project is Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality by Duane Linklater with concrete sculptures near the Bloor Street Viaduct.
Monsters for Beauty, Permanence and Individuality by Duane Linklater
"Artist Duane Linklater initiated the Don River Valley Park Art Program with a striking installation of cast concrete gargoyles on the Lower Don Trail. The sculptures are cast replicas of gargoyles adorning prominent buildings in downtown Toronto. Linklater’s project stems from an interest in the structural changes made to the Lower Don River as it became an industrial hub in colonial Toronto."

Other art include the permanent Elevated Wetlands sculptures by Noel Harding, located on both sides of the highway. The functional structures purify water from the Don River, supplied by solar power, into the giant plastic planters which empty into a natural wetland. The shapes remind me of elephants, but others think they look like teeth - go make up your own mind.
You also cannot escape the graffiti that finds a home along any available facade.
See more art after the jump.

'Slow dance with me' modified caution

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